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Fully Present: The Science, Art, and Practice of Mindfulness Paperback – July 13, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Lifelong Books; 1 Original edition (July 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738213241
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738213248
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,533 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

You wouldn't go through your day after having left your leg at home, so why are so many of us living lives with our minds left behind? Smalley, a former professor of biology, and Winston, a former Buddhist nun, answer this question and enable readers to remedy the absent-minded lifestyle. As founder/director and director, respectively, of UCLA's Mindful Awareness Research Center, the authors draw on their experience of bringing mindfulness to the masses and present the scientific side of mindfulness with an artful approach that results in a well-rounded synthesis accessible to scholars and laymen alike. Research studies, personal accounts, and practical applications illuminate mindfulness as a form of meditation; with activities as simple as breathing, listening, and walking, the practice can be easily incorporated into any lifestyle. Though a surprisingly extensive list of benefits from mindfulness is supported by what current research exists, the authors simultaneously acknowledge that more needs to be done and they find encouragement in positive results that reveal mindfulness as a simple yet profound solution to daily problems. Smalley and Winston will pique interest in living a completely present life, even if what that means has yet to be fully understood.
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Review

Library Journal, 6/22/10
“Excellent. Fully Present offers one of the clearest introductions to mindfulness in the field.”

Publishers Weekly, 8/2/10
“The authors draw on their experience of bringing mindfulness to the masses and present the scientific side of mindfulness with an artful approach that results in a well-rounded synthesis accessible to scholars and laymen alike. Research studies, personal accounts, and practical applications illuminate mindfulness as a form of meditation; with activities as simple as breathing, listening, and walking, the practice can be easily incorporated into any lifestyle…Smalley and Winston will pique interest in living a completely present life, even if what that means has yet to be fully understood.”
 
Cincinnati Parent, 8/13/10
“[The authors’] collaboration in Fully Present draws on their expertise and experience in ways that readers can totally relate to…Take your time with this one. It's that good.”
 
CurledUpWithAGoodBook.com, 10/14/10
“A comprehensive manual that explains in layman’s language not only the supporting science behind mindfulness, but also the art and the how-to…There are so many excellent reasons to develop mindfulness and an equal number of excuses for putting it off. Now that we have Fully Present as a gentle guide, we can no longer claim ignorance as one of those excuses.”

Mindful, January 2011
“Seamlessly combines easy-to-read reports on scientific research with first-person accounts and practice instructions…A lively read.”

Metapsychology Online Reviews, 12/13/10
“A good introduction for those who are not familiar with mindfulness and who would like a practical introduction to how it works, what it offers, and how to apply it in their lives.”
 
“Talk of the Town,” WTVF (Nashville, CBS), 1/11/11
“Enjoyable and useful.”

 

Inquiring Mind, Spring 2011
“An interesting book…Presents research findings in a splendidly organized, reader-friendly way.”

WanderingDhamma.org, 10/7/11
“This book offers practical guidance for those seeking to use mindfulness in a secular way to enhance their lives.”

 


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Customer Reviews

I couldn't finish the book.
Julio Andres Arriaga Rangel
This is a superb, authoritative guide to the practice of mindfulness and meditation.
Edward Hallowell
Interesting book that is easy to understand and well written.
Susan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

54 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Betsy on October 12, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When I began reading "Fully Present", I was amazed by its stunning amount of information and insight. The next day, after finishing the entire book because I simply could not put it down, I realized how READABLE it was as well. I am relatively new to the concept of "Mindfulness" (a mental state that can be learned about and cultivated by anyone with the desire to enrich the experience of living) and after reading this book, feel that I have a much fuller understanding of what it means, why it works and how it can be cultivated. I found the book's scientific information (particularly on the brain's plasticity - or ability to grow and evolve over one's entire life - a relatively new discovery) not just fascinating, but (for a non-scientist like myself) highly accessible. As for the book's "non-scientific" information (on everything from the practice of meditation to the cultivation of gratitude), it was explained and discussed in a way that would make sense to even the most scientifically minded reader. This book is a must-read for anyone interested not just in enhancing their life, but in enhancing the moment-to-moment, day-to-day joy of living it.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Roger D. Launius VINE VOICE on October 22, 2010
Format: Paperback
It's pretty difficult to write a credible study in social science and a useful self-help book. Authors Susan L. Smalley and Diana Winston have done quite well in accomplishing this task. Smalley and Winston are colleagues at the Mindful Awareness Research Center, and this well-written treatise helps to explain their ideas on meditation and wellbeing. They suggest that through mindfulness, essentially living life in the moment and taking full advantage of it, humans may help ease chronic pain, reduce stress, and assist all individuals in achieving their goals.

Authors Smalley and Winston emphasize that while Western medicine is closely tied to pharmaceuticals, there is a strain of Western medicine that also offers scientifically-documented approaches to well-being that emphasize non-pharmacological treatments. "Mindfulness, they write, "is a tool we can use to examine conceptual frameworks, to lessen the influence of preconceptions, and to experience `what is' by choice rather than through drugs" (p. 10). This is not living the life of a monk seeking self-realization through reflection and study; the authors believe a life fully lived may also succeed in this effort.

They argue for breathing exercises and body awareness, and they offer suggestions for how to achieve this. They also offer methodologies for overcoming depression, finding happiness, and moving beyond stress.

"Fully Present" is a tight read, interesting and insightful.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Maria Zecchetto on July 31, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The authors do a wonderful job combining practical guidelines with current scientific evidence, to understand the concept of neuroplasticity, the brain functions and the power of the mind. It is the perfect tool to learn the practice of Mindfulness, to lead a more joyful, healthy and meaningful life.
As an Occupational Therapist and a Certified Hand Therapist, the chapter "Working with Physical Pain" was most helpful. As a reader, I loved all the wonderful quotes.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Happy Amazon Customer on September 15, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book and I would highly recommend it for anyone who is looking to deepen their experience of life. I recently read Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness, the Program of the Stress Reduction Clinic a [FULL CATASTROPHE LIVING] [Paperback] by Jon Kabat Zinn. This covers some of the same ground on mindfulness and meditation but it has a thoroughly modern feel and speaks to our fast paced technology filled times. I enjoyed the dual approach of presenting the science of a particular topic then the art. And it presents many useful and easy to learn practices. It's a very accessible book and one that I think nearly everyone would get something out of to improve the quality of their lives.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Margaret Cochran on September 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Smalley on my show, who with her co-author, Diana Winston, wrote 'Fully Present'. Smalley and Winston do a beautiful job of explaining the science of the mind and how to 'care for and feed it'. I have this book in my office and recommend it to patients and colleagues alike. 'Fully Present' is a wonderful read and would make a fabulous gift.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Pig Pen on August 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is well written by 2 very knowledgeable professional people who not only explained the meaning of "Mindfulness" by reaching out to the readers but also gave the readers a clear understanding of why being "in the moment" is very important in our daily lives. This is a book that one can read over time while the practice is mastered and applied in all aspects of life; sports, profession, vocation, health, faith, psychology, emotions and general well-being.
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Format: Paperback
I want to thank the authors for this inspirational book that is full of heart. It combines the current science and the practice of mindfulness in a highly readable & easy to understand format. It offers comprehensive & user friendly descriptions so readers can put mindfulness into action in everyday life, right here, right now. The information has been a wonderful addition to my own mindfulness practice and to the classes I teach.
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