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Mindfulness [Unabridged] [Audible Audio Edition]

by Ellen J. Langer (Author), Bernadette Dunne (Narrator)
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

Ellen J. Langer, Harvard professor of psychology, determines that the mindless following of routine and other automatic behaviors lead to much error, pain, and a predetermined course of life.

In this thought-provoking audiobook, her research has been "translated" for the lay listener. With anecdotes and metaphors, Langer explains how the mindless (as opposed to the mindful) develop mindsets of categories, associations, and habits of thought born of repetition in childhood and throughout schooling. To be mindful, she notes, stressing process over outcome, allows free rein to intuition and creativity, and opens us to new information and perspectives.

Langer discusses the negative impact of mindsets on business and social relations, showing special concern for the elderly, who often suffer from learned helplessness and lack of options.

Encouraging the application of mindfulness to health, the author affirms that placebos and alternative, mind-based therapies can help patients and addicts move from unhealthy to healthy contexts.

©1989 Ellen J. Langer, Ph.D.; (P)2007 Gildan Media Corp.

Product Details

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 5 hours and 37 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Gildan Media, LLC
  • Release Date: January 24, 2007
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000MV8X24
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
172 of 177 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book can change your life! September 13, 1999
I purchased this wonderful book back in the 80's! I had quite a few bad habits, and really wanted to change not only my life but my attitude.Mindfulness not only enabled me to quit smoking without suffering any withdrawals, but woke me up from the sleep ofcomplacency. I began to look at the world differently. I learned to let go of destructive ideas.I learned how to slow down, and to be grateful for the moment.Over the years I have given this book to anyone seeking advice. Miss Langer writes in an easy to understand style as if she is your best friend who has just discovered some amazing insights that she is going to share with just you.I have not re-read this little gem in years, but can still remember certain paragraphs and sentences that were so true then as they are now. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking to put the zest & joy of living back in their life.Even those that are truly happy will find this book riveting & a fun read.
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62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can be a positive life changing book August 5, 2009
I've been listening to this book on my MP3 while I walk in the mornings and one realization so surprised me I had to run and tell my husband. Ms. Langer talks about the premature cognitive commitments we make. Which means we often make a decision about how life is and become trapped by it.

I'm 63 and, and, after listening to one particular passage in her book, I realized that I had made a decision very young that life is a burden to bear. It wasn't a complaint I had, it's just the way life was. I had no idea I even felt that way. What's odd is that most people think I'm an unbridled optimist. They see me as full of energy. One person even said to me one, "My gosh, you bring such cheer into a room with you." And it's true, I do have a lot of energy, but there has always been an undercurrent of depression. In fact, when I take those depression tests they always tell me to get help immediately because I come out so high on the depression scale. I never knew why and nothing I ever did changed it (and I've done lots of things, including writing a book on happiness.) Now I have an understanding of why that despair was always there and why nothing I did could change it.

I'm not even sure which passage woke me up to this. However, my life has changed, dramatically since that moment. I no longer look at the future as something bleak I have to put up with. I've started practicing the piano again and stopped watching television incessantly. I am in strong positive action on my projects. That pebble of despair is out of my shoe.

A quote in the book by Florida Scott-Maxwell has also given me the possibility of a passionate future -- "Age puzzles me. I thought it was a quiet time. My seventies were interesting and fairly serene, but my eighties are passionate... To my own surprise I burst out with hot conviction." Who ever thinks of old age as "bursting out with hot conviction." Thanks so much Ms. Langer. I owe you a huge debt of gratitude.
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142 of 160 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book several times. January 10, 2000
This book is still selling well after ten years because Langer is a first-rate researcher who can write. And not only that, the subject she chose to study is extremely valuable and important.
The book is basically about mindLESSness: What causes it, what we can do about it, and what difference it makes. If you would like to be more creative in your work, if you would like to be more alive and awake, if you would like to stay mentally young for your entire life, read this book. I'm the author of the book, Self-Help Stuff That Works, and I'm an expert on what is effective and what is not. Ellen Langer's work is effective and extremely important, both for you personally and for society at large. I highly recommend this book.
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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
You don't have to sit in meditation or try various techniques of

mindfulness to acheive mindfulness....mindfulness is always there, if you see it...her book is an amazing book that needs to be reread and is truly a psychological study whose premise needs to be advertised to those who are afraid of adopting mind sets which can make them happier human beings.

The implications can have far reaching benefits in all spheres of life..awareness of the obvious is the key to mental health.

The clarity of perception is always present if we eliminate the conditioned hindering filters that hamper one's creative energy.
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45 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mindfulness and Mindlessness June 27, 2009
Michael Hogan, National University of Ireland, Galway:

This review is based on my reading of all 4 of Ellen's books, which I was inspired to read after meeting Ellen in Harvard recently.

Ellen Langer is one of the most vivacious women I have ever met. Upon arriving to meet her in Harvard's William James Hall, I was actually extremely ill, but mindlessly ignoring the symptoms. The painful and yet irrelevant swelling in my right leg and the weak and feverish state that led me to sleep through a very stimulating lecture by Daniel Dennett, was in fact a serious blood infection that would later result in my hospitalization. Little did I know that my conversation with Ellen Langer would be the thing that completely transformed my hospital experience from a potentially stressful, painful nuisance into a very interesting and rewarding experience. And notwithstanding the fact that I could hardly talk, in our short walk from Ellen's office to the Harvard clinic (where Ellen was going to get a cut in her hand seen to, the cause of which she transformed into a very interesting story) we designed three experiments and I experienced firsthand, in vivo, decades of research on social and developmental psychology, and on mindfulness, creativity and decision-making.

To understand the transformative power of Ellen Langer's perspective, and to better understand her creative action, I believe it is useful to experience firsthand her version of mindfulness -- the act of noticing new things -- which is actually very easy to practice, if for no other reason than it energizes and engages us and opens us to new possibilities.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Inspiring and has changed my world view. Thank you Ellen!
Published 2 days ago by John Grasso
5.0 out of 5 stars Opened My Eyes in New Ways.
For you lovers of Jon Kabat-Zinn and MBSR, you may want to forgo this approach toward mindfulness. It's not self-help, not a guide, not a set of tenets or steps. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Rosh
5.0 out of 5 stars Langer is awesome and her research is truly fascinating.
Customer Video Review
Length: 10:45 Mins
Published 23 days ago by Brian Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius
In meditation we are taught that it is important to sit with a solid base and back straight. This book is that solid base for the study and practice of Mindfulness and Langer's... Read more
Published 1 month ago by G
4.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening
Very thought provoking book that reminds us of the power of the mind in particular the enormous power of thought.
Highly recommend everyone read this book.
Published 1 month ago by Robert bonaccorso
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great seller.
Published 1 month ago by Mariela Gabela
3.0 out of 5 stars An informative book, but probably not for everyone
There are many books on mindfulness available. This seems very clinical in its approach to mindfulness and its opposite, mindlessness. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Chrome-rookie
3.0 out of 5 stars Over-rated
The powerful concept of mindfulness and the needed contrast with mindlessness was voluminously expounded but tediously narrated. Read more
Published 2 months ago by heartofshepherd
4.0 out of 5 stars Not finished
Haven't finished reading it.
Published 4 months ago by Mariah E. Deforest
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
this book has left me with a lot to think about pertaining to my life
Published 4 months ago by Margaret M Holmes
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