Science and Spiritual Practices

Science and Spiritual Practices: Transformative Experiences and Their Effects on Our Bodies Brains and Health
by Rupert Sheldrake 2018

About the Author
Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist and author of more than 85 scientific papers and 9 books, and the co-author of 6 books. He was among the top 100 Global Thought Leaders for 2013, as ranked by the Duttweiler Institute, Zurich, Switzerland’s leading think tank. On ResearchGate, the largest scientific and academic online network, his RG score of 33.5 puts him among the top 7.5% of researchers, based on citations of his peer-reviewed publications.

He studied natural sciences at Cambridge University, where he was a Scholar of Clare College, took a double first class honours degree and was awarded the University Botany Prize (1963). He then studied philosophy and history of science at Harvard University, where he was a Frank Knox Fellow (1963-64), before returning to Cambridge, where he took a Ph.D. in biochemistry (1967). He was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge (1967-73), where he was Director of Studies in biochemistry and cell biology. As the Rosenheim Research Fellow of the Royal Society (1970-73), he carried out research on the development of plants and the ageing of cells in the Department of Biochemistry at Cambridge University. While at Cambridge, together with Philip Rubery, he discovered the mechanism of polar auxin transport, the process by which the plant hormone auxin is carried from the shoots towards the roots.

About the Book
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. In this pioneering book, Rupert Sheldrake shows how science helps validate seven practices on which many 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.

A book for anyone who suspects that in the drive toward radical secularism, something valuable has been left behind.

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“I have personally adopted many of the practices Rupert describes in his book and experienced more love, joy, empathy, gratitude, and equanimity as a result. We are all indebted to Rupert, who has tirelessly brought us deep insights from both science and spirituality.” ―Deepak Chopra

“Rupert Sheldrake once again acts as a bridge builder between science and spirituality . . . Psychological and scientific studies are cited to underpin his findings, and an engaging account of his own life path helps to create a very accessible and authentic tone for the reader . . . It’s a testimony to his courage and integrity that he continues to harness the horses of both science and spirituality to pull the chariot, and he drives his vehicle well.” ―Quest: Journal of the Theosophical Society in America

“For readers wishing to follow his path, Sheldrake offers advice on seven ways in which we can begin to appreciate the transcendent world of the Spirit . . . We learn how to connect with the more-than-human world of nature; to respect plants and explore the benefits of small orchards; to value rituals and experience pilgrimages; to enjoy the power of music through chanting. All these practices can deepen the meaning of our lives and open our minds to a universe flooded with consciousness.” ―Church Times

“A simultaneously grounded and inspiring approach to appreciating the benefits of both science and religion.” ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“With accessible suggestions, clear arguments, and an encouraging tone, Sheldrake makes a good case for reincorporating bygone spiritual habits.” ―Publishers Weekly

“Rupert Sheldrake is not only a consummate scientist, but is a person alive to the spirit. I am personally grateful for the writing and publication of Science and Spiritual Practices, and not only endorse it wholeheartedly, but look forward to the support and depth it will bring to my own life.” ―Marc Andrus, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of California

“Science and Spiritual Practices is a breakthrough. It is a promise and sign of hope in a dire time, an apocalyptic time, but a potentially revelatory time also . . . Is it true that the modern age of antagonism between science and religion, psyche and cosmos, can be healed? Is it true that this is happening right now? That spiritual experience is available to believers and unbelievers alike? Read this important book and find out for yourself.” ––Rev. Dr. Matthew Fox, Progressing Spirit

“I love this book! For its clarity, its first-person stories and applications, its science and experientially based facts, its timeliness, its humor, its blunt questions and challenges put to the guardians of die-hard scientific materialism, its breadth of topics and depth of insights historical, philosophical, religious, and spiritual. Few living scientists have the courage and the chops to ask the questions Rupert does, research them, and deliver answers in language all can understand. Be prepared as you read this book for an exciting and free-ranging ride, a sort of scientific pilgrimage journeying into spiritual practices and how they have benefited and can benefit humanity.” ―Matthew Fox, author of Original Blessing

“This is a refreshing and reflective work, a great contribution by a scholar whose intellectual life has been dedicated to showing connections among practice and polity, science and Spirit. His Science and Spiritual Practices reminds us clearly that everything is connected.” ―Jeffrey Patnaude, author, teacher, priest

“Urgent, vital, gently devastating, and an exhilarating read. Buy it, read it, and give it to all your friends and all acolytes of scientism. Sheldrake will help us stay alive and be more alive. We all need his help.” ―Charles Foster, Fellow of Green Templeton College, University of Oxford, and author of Being a Beast