A valuable, no-nonsense guide through the maze of conflicting instructions and information about meditation. The focus is on ""practical meditation,"" the nonreligious kind increasingly used by ordinary Westerners to enrich their personal experience. Dr. Carrington, a clinical psychologist, lecturer at Princeton, and pioneer in scientific meditation research, critically evaluates various techniques--TM, Benson's Relaxation Response technique, her own CSM (Clinically Standardized Meditation)--and discusses the ways they can be beneficially practiced. She finds no one technique right for all, and suggests that people try several and adopt the one that works best. She reviews the spectrum of scientific research to date, teaches four forms of meditation (mantra, breathing, moving, visual), analyzes the nature and causes of meditation's physiological and psychological effects, and treats many of the practical problems that arise. The evidence clearly shows that meditation yields verifiable results and can be useful in combating anxiety, reducing tension, overcoming addiction. More generally, it can promote a more self-possessed, controlled life that issues in clearer thinking, increased productivity, even heightened creativity. Most meditators will probably be content to ply their mantras uncritically and measure the worth of the exercise by their own experience. But those seeking more information, clearer guidance, and wider options will welcome this expert, far-ranging introduction.