From Publishers Weekly
Doctors Weil and Kabat-Zinn uncover myths and realities surrounding the often intimidating art of meditation. Frequent television appearances, a newsletter, a Web site and a bevy of bestselling books have made Weil (Eating Well for Optimum Health) America's most prominent defender of holistic medicine, and his fans will appreciate his calm, knowledgeable coauthor/reader, University of Massachusetts Medical School professor Kabat-Zinn (Full Catastrophe Living), who has practiced meditation since the 1960s. Defining meditation simply as "directed concentration" and "dropping into stillness" with breath as the natural object of focus, the authors recommend comfortable clothing, a dignified sitting position, turning off the phone and not getting discouraged. Honing "mindfulness" through repetitive activities like dishwashing or walking, and at times of pleasure and pain (lovemaking, recovery from illness) increases meditative skills. Freedom from addictive thoughts, a sense of ease and inhabiting the present moment can result from practicing Christian prayer or Tibetan, Hindu or Buddhist meditation. The authors back up their findings about meditation's ability to ease pain, lower blood pressure and slow heart rate with medical research. Kabat-Zinn systematically guides the listener through various meditation sessions, with reminders to stay aware of breathing, physical sensations and thought patterns. The authors' warm, articulate presentation and clear instructions make this the perfect meditation primer.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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From Library Journal
In this relatively short program, Weil and Kabat-Zinn present a very user-friendly and nondoctrinal introduction to a basic meditation technique. As is usual with Weil's "Optimum Health" series, the information is offered in a very understandable format, which will appeal to teens and adults. His explanation of what meditation is, the various types, and his personal experiences (how he doesn't do it perfectly) are very valuable. Kabat-Zinn has practiced meditation for 40 years and currently employs it to help people with various diseases including chronic stress and/or pain. While he offers some background, his chief contribution is to lead one through the basic meditation and some permutations. Like Weil, he is careful to be inclusive rather than rigid. Kabat-Zinn explains his recommendations for certain methods and encourages listeners to do what they can to see meditation as an adventure, a gift to themselves, rather than just "one more thing to do." Highly recommended. Kathleen A. Sullivan, Phoenix P.L.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.