Real Change: Mindfulness to Heal Ourselves and the World

Sharon Salzberg. Flatiron, $24.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-250-31057-6
Salzberg (Real Happiness), cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society, explores the intersection of social activism, mindfulness, and meditation in this discerning work. She argues that human beings have a basic desire for happiness and to serve others, but “reactions of fight, flight, or freeze... rule our patterns of communication... and the limits of imagination,” creating a cycle of self-defense, rejection, and fatigue. Practicing “mindfulness and lovingkindness,” Salzberg writes, should induce calmness and be a reminder of one’s agency and ethical values: “the point of developing these qualities is not to judge ourselves harshly when we are less than mindful or kind but to learn how to not be stuck in an automatic reaction.” Through interviews with activists, lawyers, community organizers, artists, and philanthropists, along with meditation practice instructions, Salzberg teaches readers how to transform feelings of stress or anxiety into catalysts for change and encourages reclaiming one’s agency and connecting with others who are engaged in social activism. Though no new ground is trod, Salzberg’s earnest call to put compassion into one’s social and political life will appeal to any Buddhist. (June)
Reviewed on : 03/05/2020
Release date: 06/02/2020
Genre: Religion
Compact Disc - 978-1-250-76397-6
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