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Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life Hardcover – January 13, 1994


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; 1st edition (January 13, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3548221297
  • ISBN-13: 978-3548221298
  • ASIN: 1562827693
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (363 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #322,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

In his follow-up to Full Catastrophe Living--a book in which he presented basic meditation techniques as a way of reducing stress and healing from illness--here Jon Kabat-Zinn goes much more deeply into the practice of meditation for its own sake. To Kabat-Zinn, meditation is important because it brings about a state of "mindfulness," a condition of "being" rather than "doing" during which you pay attention to the moment rather than the past, the future, or the multitudinous distractions of modern life. In brief, rather poetic chapters, he describes different meditative practices and what they can do for the practitioner. The idea that meditation is "spiritual" is often confusing to people, Kabat-Zinn writes; he prefers to think of it as what you might call a workout for your consciousness. This book makes learning meditation remarkably easy (although practicing it is not). But it also makes it seem infinitely appealing. --Ben Kallen --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Kabat-Zinn ( Full Catastrophe Living ), founder of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, here urges readers to practice "mindfulness," a more than 2000-year-old Buddhist method of living fully in the present, observing ourselves, our feeling, others and our surroundings without judging them. Free of trendiness, the book presents meditation as a natural activity that can be practiced anytime and anywhere, without props or trappings. Kabat-Zinn explains how to live in the moment by taking up such techniques as "non-doing," trust and concentration. He shows readers meditation postures and ways to meditate, including visualizing mountains and lakes, and concentrating on walking or standing. Amusing anecdotes illustrate applications of mindfulness in everyday life, including "Cleaning the Stove While Listening to Bobby McFerrin," "Cat Food Lessons" and two chapters on parenting as a form of meditation (children as "live-in Zen masters"). This warm, witty and wise guide should bring relaxation to stressed-out people. Author tour.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, is internationally known for his work as a scientist, writer, and meditation teacher engaged in bringing mindfulness into the mainstream of medicine and society. He is professor of medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and author of numerous books, including Full Catastrophe Living, Arriving at Your Own Door, and Coming to Our Senses.

Customer Reviews

This book has changed my life.
J. Casey
Even if you don't want to sit and meditate every day or every other day you should read this book.
KV Trout
Very enjoyable book, easy read.
brandon day

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

727 of 747 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
A family member bought this book. I found it sitting on a shelf, glanced at the cover and involuntarily thought to myself "uh oh, granola time," and came within a heartbeat of dismissing the book out of hand. Luckily, I did not. Instead, I read the introduction, and then found myself -- almost in a state of disbelief -- reading on and on. I was amazed to find that the book is not just one more new age book muttering away about a world none of us really lives in. To the contrary, the book is written by someone with a profound understanding of everyday reality, who is astonishingly good at sharing that understanding. This is simply a beautiful little book, beautifully written. I would be curious to know if others are reacting to this book the way I am: I feel compelled to rave about it. I read the book for the first time weeks ago, yet tonight in the grocery store I found myself slowing down, marvelling at the sight of my daughter gaily picking out tomatoes, and consciously basking in the moment. And I'm a middle-aged Republican, not particularly predisposed to spiritual impulses! The author of this book has something timeless and important to impart, and he does so with unusual intelligence and grace. I really like this book -- indeed, I hope I'm forgiven for suspecting that it is a work of genius. I also hope that the author happens to read this review, because he should know how much his work is appreciated!
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214 of 226 people found the following review helpful By L. Quido VINE VOICE on June 8, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
a way to slow the pace of your busy world, Jon Kabat-Zinn can express the "out of body" concepts of meditation in a way that no one else can.
You get to choose: "Wherever you go...." is a book that can be explored over and over, that can start you on a path to a new habit to find within yourself what you need to survive today's busy world; that can help you find a new habit to renew the life you lead. Or, utilize its message just as a brief "chapter read" to jump start the positive if you are not looking for a lifelong habit.
It is very difficult to express, in words, the inner activities that result in becoming comfortable in your own skin. Kabat-Zinn writes thoughtfully and honestly about how he has accomplished this, and what things might work for you. There are many treasures in this book. For me, his ability to describe the rewards one gets from practiced patience, and to impress upon the reader the simplicity of the "body scan" and how it can lead to the habit of lying down meditation are two examples of things that readers can take away at any given time from his book.
Many self-help readers today are looking for the "quick fix" or some small coping practice they can employ to keep their days positive. In some ways, in addition to helping you understand why meditation works and why it can change your life, Kabat-Zinn writes a poetic and illuminating version of the "one minute help" chapters that the "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" series provided to these readers in the busy working world.
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60 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Nischal Prajapati on December 17, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I don’t profess to be some kind of meditative expert. In fact, a few years, I wouldn’t have even called myself a proponent of the practice. I was caught up in the millions of distractions that modern life affords us, never realizing that life is so much more than a long string of “doing things.” I don’t think I had ever attained a sense of simply “being” until I came across Wherever You Go, There You Are. This book isn’t some new age mumbo-jumbo regurgitation. Instead, it’s a practical book on how to attain mindfulness despite the vagaries and obligations of our daily lives. Jon Kabat-Zinn writes in a way that most of us can relate to. But, the short chapters are still beautiful and provide deep insights on how to best lead one’s life.

I have paired this book with another one called 21 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy. The title may sound like a kitschy “listicle” piece, but the advice you’ll find here is worth every penny. Sometimes happiness comes from a sense of emptiness rather than a sense of fullness. The book talks about numerous thought patterns and ideas that can lead us into lives filled with unnecessary stress and strife. For instance, many of us concern ourselves with the opinions of others. We sometimes fail to act because we’re never sure how our actions might be received by people. The truth is, there is no way to please everyone. The book talks about how pleasing everyone is an unrealistic goal. It also dispenses valuable advice on how to give up that thought pattern.

With both of these books, I’ve been able to keep mindfulness on my mind. It’s led to a much calmer and happier day-to-day life for me and those around me.
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109 of 114 people found the following review helpful By Enigma on July 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
My best friend tends to take life slowly and accept it on its own terms...and that facet of his personality has always driven me crazy! :-) The words "slow" and "languid" could never be applied to my lifestyle. I have always hurried through life at such a frantic pace...regretting yesterday and dreaming of tomorrow, yet never truly living in the moment. A year ago I happened upon this book, and it has made an enormous impact on my life. This literary jewel took me to a place I'd never visited before: the realm of 'moment mindfulness.' As the author so eloquently writes,

The lack of mindfulness "...scavenges to fill time, conspires with my mind to keep me unconscious, lulled in a fog of numbness to a certain extent. It has me unavailable to others, missing the play of the light on the table, the smells in the room, the energies of the moment. Stillness, insight, and wisdom arise only when we can settle into being complete in this moment, without having to seek or hold on to or reject anything."

Learning how to immerse myself in this moment, and this moment alone, has been incredibly difficult. Yet the serenity, peace and soul satisfaction experienced therein are priceless. The "Non-Judging" chapter alone is worth the price of the book. Realizing my propensity to constantly evaluate my experiences and hold them up against expectations and standards that I create, often out of fear, has been tremendously liberating. I largely thank this book, and my best friend, for that lesson learned. :-)

I enthusiastically recommend this book to everyone. I find it especially useful to my clients who struggle with childhood abuse issues. Therapy clients who suffer from bi-polar, COPD or Borderline Personality disorders could also be helped significantly from learning the meditation techniques in this book.

We exist as we are, on this plane, in this realm, at this moment in the timeless here and now. And that is enough....more than enough.
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