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Lions Roar : May 2011
51 SHAMBHALA SUN MAY 2011 Excerpted from Real happiness: the power of meditation—a 28-Day program, by Sharon Salzberg. © 2011 by Sharon Salzberg. Used by permission of Workman Publishing Co., Inc., New York. All rights reserved. Real Happiness Renowned buddhist teacher shaRon salzbeRg explores the myriad benefits of meditation and offers a quick-start program to get your daily practice going. meDitation is essentially a way to train our attention so we can be more aware of both our inner workings and what’s happening around us. it’s straightforward and simple, but it isn’t easy. people have been transforming their minds through meditation for thousands of years. every major world religion includes some form of contemplative exercise, though today meditation is often practiced apart from any belief system. meditation may be done in silence and stillness, by using voice and sound, or by engaging the body in movement. all forms emphasize the training of attention. “my experience is what i agree to attend to,” the pioneering psychologist william James wrote at the turn of the twentieth century. “only those items i notice shape my mind.” at its most basic level, attention—what we allow ourselves to notice—literally determines how we experience and navigate the world. the ability to summon and sustain attention is what allows us to job hunt, juggle, learn math, make pancakes, aim a cue and pocket the eight ball, protect our kids, and perform surgery. it lets us be discerning in our dealings with the world, responsive in our intimate relationships, and honest when we examine our own feelings and motives. attention determines our