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In this pioneering work Sheldrake shows how science helps validate seven practices on which all religions are built, and which are part of our common human heritage: meditation, gratitude, connecting with nature, relating to plants, rituals, singing and chanting, and pilgrimage and holy places. The effects of spiritual practices are now being investigated scientifically as never before, and many studies have shown that religious and spiritual practices generally make people happier and healthier.
Sheldrake summarizes the latest scientific research on what happens when we take part in these practices, and suggests ways to explore them for ourselves. For those who are religious, Science and Spiritual Practices will illuminate the evolutionary origins of their own traditions and give a new appreciation of their power. For the non-religious, it shows how the core practices of spirituality are accessible to all, even if they do not subscribe to a religious belief system. This is a book for anyone who suspects that in the drive towards radical secularism, something valuable has been left behind. By opening ourselves to the spiritual dimension we may find the strength to live more wholesome and fulfilling lives.
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