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Evolving Dharma is the definitive guide to the meditation revolution. Unorthodox and irreverent scholar and activist Jay Michaelson shows how meditation and mindfulness have moved from ashrams and self-help groups to classrooms and hospitals, and offers unusually straight talk about the “Big E”– enlightenment.
Michaelson introduces us to maverick brainhackers, postmodern Buddhist monks, and cutting-edge neuroscientists. He also shares his own stories of months-long silent retreats, powerful mystical experiences, and many pitfalls along the way. Evolving Dharma is a must-read for the next-generation meditator, the spiritually cynical, and the curious adventurer in all of us.
“Jay Michaelson gets it. His voice is contemporary yet serious, informed yet engaging–and much needed today.”
–Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence
“Taking the reader from the banks of the Ganges to the offices of Google, Evolving Dharma shows how meditation is transforming our world. A must-read!”
–Deepak Chopra, author of The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success and Spiritual Solutions
“Michaelson tackles difficult questions about Buddhism’s evolution in Western culture, as mindfulness practice grows slowly but steadily as a popular secular activity. He examines the history of postmodern Buddhism, describes the path of practice and enlightenment through his own personal accounts of bliss and darkness, and considers future directions. Working from the foundational idea that meditation has become a set of tools for the refinement and improvement of the human mind, the author addresses the pitfalls and benefits of the more traditional spiritual/religious approach and its counterpart, the rational and scientific Western worldview...Serious practitioners–secular or religious–and curious individuals alike would benefit greatly from reading Michaelson’s intelligent and compassionate examination of mindfulness practice.”
“I highly recommend this book. Its scholarship on the past is solid, its review of the present is revealing, and its sense of possibility grounded in both kindness and vision.”
–Daniel Ingram, author of Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha
“Evolving Dharma tells a story that is changing the world: the mainstreaming of meditation and the democratization of wisdom. This is not only the best book on contemporary mindfulness; it is the first of its kind.”
–Josh Baran, former Zen monk and author of The Tao of Now