We may long for wholeness, suggests Jon Kabat-Zinn, but the truth is that it is already here and already ours. The practice of mindfulness holds the possibility of not just a fleeting sense of contentment, but a true embracing of a deeper unity that envelops and permeates our lives. With Mindfulness for Beginners you are invited to learn how to transform your relationship to the way you think, feel, love, work, and play-and thereby awaken to and embody more completely who you really are.
Here, the teacher, scientist, and clinician who first demonstrated the benefits of mindfulness within mainstream Western medicine offers a book that you can use in three unique ways: as a collection of reflections and practices to be opened and explored at random; as an illuminating and engaging start-to-finish read; or as an unfolding "lesson- a-day" primer on mindfulness practice.
Beginning and advanced meditators alike will discover in these pages a valuable distillation of the key attitudes and essential practices that Jon Kabat-Zinn has found most useful with his students, including:
* Why heartfulness is synonymous with true mindfulness
* The value of coming back to our bodies and to our senses over and over again
* How our thoughts "self-liberate" when touched by awareness
* Moving beyond our "story" into direct experience
* Stabilizing our attention and presence amidst daily activities
* The three poisons that cause suffering-and their antidotes
* How mindfulness heals, even after the fact
* Reclaiming our wholeness, and more.
The prescription for living a more mindful life seems simple enough: return your awareness again and again to whatever is going on. But if you've tried it, you know that here is where all the questions and challenges really begin. Mindfulness for Beginners provides welcome answers, insights, and instruction to help us make that shift, moment by moment, into a more spacious, clear, reliable, and loving connection with ourselves and the world.
Includes a complete CD with five guided mindfulness meditations by Jon Kabat-Zinn, selected from the audio program that inspired this book.
Part I Entering
Who Is Breathing?
The Hardest Work in the World
Taking Care of This Moment
Mindfulness Is Awareness
Doing Mode and Being Mode
A Grounding in Science
Mindfulness is Universal
Stabilizing and Calibrating Your Instrument
Inhabiting Awareness Is the Essence of Practice
The Beauty of Discipline
Adjusting Your Default Setting
Awareness: Our Only Capacity Robust Enough to Balance Thinking
Attention and Awareness Are Trainable Skills
Nothing Wrong with Thinking
Befriending Our Thinking
Images of Your Mind That Might Be Useful
Not Taking Our Thoughts Personally
Our Love Affair with Personal Pronouns-Especially I, Me, and Mine
Awareness Is a Big Container
The Objects of Attention Are Not as Important as the Attending Itself
Part II: Sustaining
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
A World-Wide Phenomenon
An Affectionate Attention
Mindfulness Brought to All the Senses
Proprioception and Interoception
The Unity of Awareness
The Knowing Is Awareness
Life Itself Becomes the Meditation Practice
You Already Belong
Right Beneath Our Noses
Mindfulness is Not Merely a Good Idea
To Come Back in Touch
Who Am I? Questioning Our Own Narrative
You Are More Than Any Narrative
You Are Never Not Whole
Paying Attention in a Different Way
The Prepared Mind
What Is Yours to See?
Part III: Deepening
No Place to Go, Nothing to Do
The Doing That Comes Out of Being
To Act Appropriately
If You Are Aware of What Is Happening, You Are Doing It Right
Non-Judging Is an Act of Intelligence and Kindness
You Can Only Be Yourself-Thank Goodness!
Feeling Joy for Others
The Full Catastrophe
Is My Awareness of Suffering Suffering?
What Does Liberation from Suffering Mean?
Liberation Is in the Practice Itself
The Beauty of the Mind That Knows Itself
Taking Care of Your Meditation Practice
Energy Conservation in Meditation Practice
An Attitude of Non-Harming
Greed: The Cascade of Dissatisfactions
Aversion: The Flip Side of Greed
Delusion and the Trap of Self-Fulfilling Prophecies
Now Is Always the Right Time
The "Curriculum" is "Just This"
Giving Your Life Back to Yourself
Bringing Mindfulness Further Into the World
Part IV: Ripening
The Attitudinal Foundations of Mindfulness Practice
Part V: Practicing
Getting Started with Formal Practice
Mindfulness of Eating
Mindfulness of Breathing
Mindfulness of the Body as a Whole
Mindfulness of Sounds, Thoughts, and Emotions
Mindfulness as Pure Awareness