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Beginning Mindfulness: Learning the Way of Awareness Paperback – February 4, 2004


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Beginning Mindfulness: Learning the Way of Awareness + The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: New World Library (February 4, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1577314417
  • ISBN-13: 978-1577314417
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Weiss, longtime Buddhist meditation student and teacher, offers an excellent 10-week course on meditation, its meanings and its applications. With clarity, kindness and care he forges a cohesive whole from many "handouts" he has created over the years to teach sitting meditation and walking, meditation. Emphasizing the need to take mindful awareness into everyday life, Weiss, who is an ordained brother in Thich Nhat Hanh's Order of Interbeing, highlights many mindfulness opportunities for modern people: facing cancer, washing dishes, walking to and flushing the toilet, exercising and waiting at red lights. While true to Buddhist principles, the book is gloriously free of the jargon that can alienate the average person. Weiss begins at the beginning, with posture and, most importantly, breath. Over the sequenced 10-week program, practitioners gain meditation and awareness basics and also explore mindfulness in their own bodies, feelings and mental processes. Weeks nine and 10 look at loving kindness (metta) and healing breathing to address the suffering of others (tonglin). Each chapter has formal and informal "Home Play" activities that extend the lessons into daily life, while a final section on "how to continue" and an annotated reading list increase the volume's usefulness. Weiss's voice is authentic, yet flavored with the sensibilities of Thich Nhat Hanh, known for his accessible, gentle, concentrated abilities to communicate the essence of mindfulness, especially to beginners.
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 12 customer reviews
He writes well, and his voice is welcoming and authentic.
Sue Bridge
The book reflects the same lessons, practical guidance and methods that Andrew offers in his own meditation classes.
Erik Carlson
Was recommended to me by a very knowledgeable lady in meditation.
Margaret Hoppus

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Quaker Annie on May 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book offers a structured, ten week course in learning the way of mindfulness as a spiritual practice. Because of this, I find it useful. It is good for the very new person, and for those like myself who are studying without yet having a teacher and who may not be naturally self-disciplined.

It begins with a four week section designed so the reader knows how to set up the basic elements - breathing, sitting meditatin, daily life practices and such, both formally and informally. After this phase is completed, the student will have the basics as part of a schedule and can move on.

In the fifth through eighth weeks, the student learns to focus on mindfullness of body, feelings, thinking and objects of mind (this last chapter focuses on thoughts, feelings, or object of perception which our mind is focusing on - and includes mindful conversation and deep listening).

In the third section, weeks nine and ten, one practices loving kindness and compassion.

At the beginning of each section there are two guided meditations you can use, breathing in, breathing out (and specific sentences to help guide you)

The final section has ways to continue this.

This book is very good as a help to those working alone. A good-sized book, it offers over 200 pages of instructions, not including introduction, appendix, index and other comments. It is a book I can use over and over...someday I'll grow out of it but not just yet.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
Accessible, simple, straightforward -- this is the sort of meditation instruction book that Andrew Weiss offers. It's not preachy, doesn't profess to offer answers. Rather, it offers a direct way into what some consider a difficult, even unattainable practice. Mindfulness is a miracle, Thich Nhat Hanh says and to be present to what is actually happening -- pleasant or unpleasant -- is a great accomplisment. To be present for another person is a great gift. It's what our partners, children and friends really want -- our true presence. Here's a guide about how to get here.
So, in this book, there is a path laid out, with infinite variations possible, for bringing more mindfulness into the lives of individuals, families and communities. Goodness knows we need guides like this in these times of fear, violence and uncertainty. They steady us on the path and allow us to discover our connections with all beings.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Erik Carlson on April 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
If you are a beginner to meditation, Andrew's book is an easy to read set of lessons, which will help you stay in the present and stay aware of your own body and the world around you. For those of you who have been practicing meditation for awhile and feel stuck or loosing interest in meditation; this book contains a wonderful set of tools that will improve one's meditation practice and in becoming more mindful and aware of every aspect of your daily life.
The book reflects the same lessons, practical guidance and methods that Andrew offers in his own meditation classes. I've found his lessons in Metta meditation and Tonglin breath very helpful in providing loving kindness, and healing to myself and others. He has changed my life and the book is a wonderful reference.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Tiernan on February 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have read this book several times and every time I read it, I find something new. It's a true gift! I use this book for my own practice and as the basis for a meditation class I teach. The simple practices have brought me peace and freedom and allowed me to live a more authentic life. This book has far-reaching effects. I can clearly see the positive impact my practice has on the people around me and how the exercises benefit those I teach. The lessons are designed to be incorporated into everyday life making it powerful, yet practical. This book offers you an opportunity to awaken to your true potential and participate in raising the consciousness of the entire planet!
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Sue Bridge on April 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
Beginning Mindfulness is a practical how-to manual based on the author's many years of teaching meditation and related skills: it is also a delight. Weiss, a senior practitioner in two Zen traditions, is open-minded, clear-eyed, at once amused and compassionate toward himself and toward the world. He writes well, and his voice is welcoming and authentic. This book is a flower of spiritual candor, rooted firmly in the mud of daily life; experienced meditaters will appreciate the light confessional tone, and newcomers to the path with find in it a guide they can trust.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Chris Berdoll on August 13, 2008
Format: Paperback
Weiss's sincerity and caring come shining through in this book, and he has some great ideas that he tries to synthesize into a structured program, but there are some deficiencies that in the end made me give up his program. Foremost is that the program he offers makes things WAY too complicated.

You are expected to remember numerous things to do throughout your day, as well as memorizing key words for "guided meditations" or hathas, and you are expected to remember different things to do in different parts of your meditations, in certain sequences. It is just too much, and eventually you feel like you are constantly forgetting something that you were supposed to be doing, or should have done.

For example: By the fourth week you are supposed to remember to do four different things throughout the day in a mindful manner, use a bell signal to stop and be mindful, do three different things in a certain order during your formal meditation, do mindful walking when you go to the restroom and after your sitting meditation, eat at least one meal mindfully, and use a hatha for at a least one activity throughout the day. This seems ridiculous to me. How could anyone possibly remember all of that? It eventually led to frustration and seemed contrary to one of the characteristics of mindfulness practice: that it should be a simple procedure.

The second problem, I felt, was poor explanations for the procedures. This is strange, because his explanations of the concepts of mindfulness were exceptional clear and practical, but when it came time to explain how to do something, it fell far short.
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