Most helpful positive review
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
I recommend The Mindfulness Workbook
on August 14, 2010
Even though I've read lots of good books on mindfulness this book stands out in several ways. First, I appreciate how the author links mindfulness with a basic understanding of the nervous system. When we're reacting mindlessly it's because we've activated the sympathetic nervous system. The book provides practices and ideas for how to work with our bodies and minds so we can stay open to the experiences of our lives, not getting so caught up in fear-based protective responses and "Big Deal Mind."
Second, I like how the book frames the common obstacles to mindfulness (illusion, delusion, attachment and aggression) and provides practices for working with them. Although the presentation of these four obstacles is clearly rooted in Buddhist teachings, the book has very little Buddhist jargon, thus making it useful for anyone interested in cultivating more spacious and compassionate ways to be present in one's own life.
Finally, I appreciated the author's ideas for applying mindfulness practices in daily living. He includes ideas you'll find in other books (mindful eating, walking, driving) but goes further. I especially liked the activities using haiku awareness (which added a fun element to an evening out with a friend when we did them together) and the chapter on spacious relationships, which covers a number of useful ideas, including how to explore protective strategies that get in the way of being more fully present in relationships, and how to speak with a "heart tone in your voice." Tom Roberts speaks in that tone throughout the book: kind, encouraging, and understanding of the need to keep starting over and not give up on ourselves when we find ourselves - once again! - under the influence of Big Deal Mind.