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Summary

Two New York Times best-selling authors unveil new research showing what meditation can really do for the brain. In the last 20 years, meditation and mindfulness have gone from being kind of cool to becoming an omnipresent Band-Aid for fixing everything from your weight to your relationship to your achievement level. Unveiling here the kind of cutting-edge research that has made them giants in their fields, Daniel Goleman and Richard J Davidson show us the truth about what meditation can really do for us, as well as exactly how to get the most out of it. Sweeping away common misconceptions and neuromythology to open listeners' eyes to the ways data has been distorted to sell mind-training methods, the authors demonstrate that beyond the pleasant states mental exercises can produce, the real payoffs are the lasting personality traits that can result. But short daily doses will not get us to the highest level of lasting positive change - even if we continue for years - without specific additions. More than sheer hours, we need smart practice, including crucial ingredients such as targeted feedback from a master teacher and a more spacious, less attached view of the self, all of which are missing in widespread versions of mind training. The authors also reveal the latest data from Davidson's own lab that point to a new methodology for developing a broader array of mind-training methods with larger implications for how we can derive the greatest benefits from the practice. Exciting, compelling, and grounded in new research, this is one of those rare books that has the power to change us at the deepest level.

©2017 Penguin Group (USA) LLC (P)2017 More Than Sound, LLC

What listeners say about Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body

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Decent

Really good, nice the author read it but his voice can lose you, however I find with these kinds of books a little and often rather than all at once helps. Off setting the tone of the reader and I’m glad he read it!

3 people found this helpful

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Not for me, unfortunately.

Having read previous books by Daniel Goleman I was excited about this one. Unfortunately I struggled to finish it as I thought he was going on and on about things and not getting anywhere. Perhaps it's one to be listened to whilst resting rather than running errands, exercising etc.
Narrator is excellent though. Sometimes it felt like he was an acquaintance just having a chat.

7 people found this helpful

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Top read if you are into meditation

Well worth the listen. Excellent book, masterfully read. The overview of the science behind meditation makes a very compelling case.

10 people found this helpful

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A good mixture of science, intuition, and enquiry.

This book contains an animal into the explorations of two scientists into the world of meditation. Furthermore, it offers re-sources and concepts that can improve daily life, using the different kinds of meditation.

2 people found this helpful

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Outstanding

If you're considering taking up meditation, this book is a must read. A work of research spanning some forty years, including the most recently available data, it demonstrates beyond reasonable doubt the many - and often profound - benefits of practising meditation.

2 people found this helpful

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Indepth but not over reaching

No crazy claims made, points out holes in research. Fascinating stories and findings. Good narrator!

2 people found this helpful

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Wonderful Science

What a wonderful book. I think we can no prove that meditation works . love it, my fight and flight response has abated since I started meditation, I thought it was mumbo jumbo, but once I started meditating I felt calmer and more caring. what a brilliant read. I am convinced this is the right path for me. I hope to aspire to reach 9000 hrs my 360hrs seems a long way off , I will reach it with peace in my heart.

1 person found this helpful

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very insightful and inspiring.

Great insight into the benefits of meditation and the science and positive change it can bring to each indevidual as well as society as a whole.

1 person found this helpful

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Act to better the world

My take home. I live this book snd was sad it ended. A fascinating exploration into us! Mindfulness is something I’ve been practising and will continue with an aim to do it as much as I clean my teeth… which is twice daily. What’s not to love about trying to be better versions of ourselves which is acceptance, kindness and science. Enjoy x

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Excellent book

Excellent book for anyone interested in science and meditation. Very thorough, well thought out and explanatory with neuroscience, scientific process and thinking. Along with the benefits of meditation and different kinds of meditation to develop certain traits and skills.

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  • Bryce
  • 27-01-18

Fascinating

Some of the most interesting research and anecdotes in the field of neuroscience today. Great book for the science minded meditator.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Wade
  • 01-03-19

Easily digestible

this book does an excellent job of reviewing the research done on meditation and its effects. it also speaks to the topic of what makes valid research. and how the scientific community has gotten away from it in some respects. I will admit the author's kind of go on tangents about there meditation experiences and retreats. but they make up for it with a focused in a nutshell summary at the end of each chapter. if you want to focus on the nuts and bolts just read the summaries.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Luana
  • 11-01-18

Important information for meditation seekers

Good to know the proven benefits of meditation. I had a little difficulty in understanding the narrator before I started listening to the audio on a lower speed.

24 people found this helpful

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  • Cliente Amazon
  • 17-01-19

Scientifically precise, but not so entertaining

The book does not present a story throughout, instead each chapter present scientific findings related to meditation and mindfullness. Although the science seems precise and convincing the presentation is dry and repetative, mentioning too many unnecessary details and I had a hard time listening to and paying attention to the content.

19 people found this helpful

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  • OCreviewer
  • 12-07-20

Disappointing

Most of this book is miscellaneous ramblings about various personages involved in different levels of meditation or similar concepts. Perhaps ten percent of it contains anything resembling “science” or revelations from scientific efforts. I thought it not worth the time to read

5 people found this helpful

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  • E. A. Jacques
  • 14-12-17

Couldn't Make it Past the Two Hour Mark

I have a standing rule that I will listen to any audio book I purchase until the end, no matter what. I have a few that are still queued up that I intent to finish at some point so I am true to myself. This one has been relegated to that queue. Over two hours into the book and so far, no substance what so ever. I do not see what people are getting from this book.

I practice meditation daily and am working to making living mindfully a way of life. I have purchased countless books on the subjects. Some of the top rated and some not so high up the list and every one has been far better than this book.

I had a hard time figuring out where the authors were going with this book. Just babbling about who traveled where and did what, some vague references to studies that were completed, and just plain dribble for two hours. I started skipping chapters to see if it was going to actually get-on-with-it. Nope. Same old stuff.

And to make matters worse, the narrator speaks like he is reading a kids book to a bunch of first graders. Not that it could have saved this book, but spend the money and get a professional narrator next time.

I would have given it one star in every category, but since I did not finish the book, I gave it two stars for story.

There are sooooo many better books out there on meditation and mindfulness. Do yourself a favor don't make this your first one on the topic and skip it if, like me, you have been studying for some time. Not worth the credit. I wish I could get a refund

85 people found this helpful

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  • Robert Merlin
  • 22-09-18

Good information

Kept my attention but the authors voice was hard to listen to. Normally I enjoy when the author reads their own work. But the story of meditation and the studies were so captivating that it was ok. Read this if you want to know about the science of meditation and not the fluff that we are being told is real. loved the wrap up at the end of each chapter.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Tristan
  • 05-01-19

Couldn't wade through it

It is strange that one of the authors is a journalist, because the writing does not flow. The stories feel like a distraction rather than something that pulls you in. I skipped forward a bit to try to get to the meat and then just gave up. Other reviewers are right that when the authors write about themselves in the 3rd person, it doesn't work. Instead of sounding personal and engaging, it sounds jarring. It'd be ok if it were for just a moment, but the whole book is written that way.

18 people found this helpful

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  • lisa
  • 14-02-19

infomercial stroke session

Actual information if present at all is buried so deep in this disjointed infomercial you can't get to it. The repeated "we're so great and we were beyond our time" makes this book tedious and unbearable. Who published this self- serving tripe? Don't waste your time. So disappointed.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Jimaudible Beasley
  • 02-04-20

Nailed It!!

It's a good book. He summarizes in a nice way the scientific literature on contemplative practices. He is brutally honest about why a lot of the science isn't solid, suggest areas for additional research, and points out the limitations of what we actually know. He makes a compelling case that what we do know is sufficient to take the next step - help humanity wake up to the possibility of actually solving a lot of our big problems.

3 people found this helpful