From one of most prominent figures in the field of meditation comes a guidebook for how to use mindfulness to build our inner strength, find balance, and help create a better world.
In today’s fractured world, we’re constantly flooded with breaking news that causes anger, grief, and pain. People are feeling more stressed out than ever, and in the face of this fear and anxiety they can feel so burnt out and overwhelmed that they end up frozen in their tracks and unable to do anything. In Real Change, Sharon Salzberg, a leading expert in lovingkindness meditation, shares sage advice and indispensable techniques to help free ourselves from these negative feelings and actions. She teaches us that meditation is not a replacement for action, but rather a way to practice generosity with ourselves and summon the courage to break through boundaries, reconnect to a movement that’s bigger than ourselves, and have the energy to stay active.
Consulting with veteran activists and social-change agents in a variety of fields, Salzberg collects and shares their wisdom and offers the best practical advice to foster transformation in both ourselves and in society. To help tame our inner landscape or chaos, Salzberg offers mindfulness practices that will help readers cultivate a sense of agency and stay engaged in the long-term struggle for social change.
Whether you’re resolving conflicts with a crotchety neighbor or combating global warming, Real Change will provide the fundamental principles and mindfulness practices to help guide you to the clarity and confidence to lift a foot and take the next step into a better world.
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. \n