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The Great Courses: Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation Audio CD – 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: The Great Courses
  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: The Teaching Company; DVD and Book edition (2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1598037919
  • ISBN-13: 978-1598037937
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 5.4 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #447,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Jon K. Newkirk on July 23, 2013
Format: Audible Audio Edition
The advanced student will find little here and those with a very Western view of the world may sometimes wonder what is going on, but for most people this will be a delightful journey into the mind you have always had and never got acquainted with. Dr. Muesse speaks clearly and maintains a pace which keeps your interest without being too fast. Early in the course, he gives reasons to listen to what he says and outlines the benefits of meditation, before going into complete detail about how it is done.

I have attempted meditation over the years and find it boring, annoying and hard to fit in to a busy schedule. I hoped that this course could motivate me. It was moderately effective, I added practice sessions based on the insights and potential personal gains Dr. Muesse provided.

I do not think this will be offensive to most Christians, though the frequent use of Buddhist insights might rub some conservatives the wrong way. Dr Muesse is neither Buddhist nor Christian and is careful to separate his emotional and intellectual insights from any religious beliefs.

For the most part, mainstream Americans will not bridle at this essentially Buddhist psychology journey. However, sometimes it becomes very Zen - I still do not understand how 'You' can only be happy if 'You' realize that there is no 'You.' He may not have said that, I really don't know what he was getting at, the sound of one hand clapping perhaps.

I give Dr. Muesse five stars, the course four stars, down one for excess length, but I'll round up to five stars and say I'm glad I listened!
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Format: Audible Audio Edition
This was a long listen, 12 hours is a lot to take in for Mindfulness Meditation. A few of the techniques as he warned are just not for me, some though I'm trying out. I'd say this audio really comprehensively covers a wide range of techniques and there's got to be one of them that resonates well with you. If this was not audio and if I was not listening to this every day, I think I'd struggle to complete it from cover to cover.
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Format: Audible Audio Edition
This is absolutely an amazing course. If you want to learn about mindfulness and become more mindful, then Professor Mark W. Muesse is the person you want to learn from. Exercises and lectures are so powerful that they truly turned me into a mindful individual and "forced" me to practice mindfulness.

Once I started introducing new habits based on this course, my life changed. This course was actually a base for my research on Habits and Happiness and it helped me tremendously to complete my book. Not only did I use the material from the course in my book, but I applied the knowledge and practice that helped me be mindful throughout the entire process of writing and finally publishing my work.

I highly recommend this course. If you implement even one single practice from this course your life will change for better. I guarantee it.

Braco Pobric, author of Habits and Happiness: How to Become Happier and Improve Your Wellbeing by Changing Your Habits
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Format: Audio CD
I recently completed a 12-week course in Mindfulness that was offered at a local college. Afterwards, I found this video course at my local library. The video course covered all the main points that were covered in the classroom course. So, if you need an option to a classroom setting, this video course should suffice, although it is an expensive option.

For me, the main differences between the classroom and video course were 1) the interaction with other students and the instructor in the classroom, and 2) the instructor for the video course isn't very dynamic; I thought he was a bit stiff and rather mono-toned, and seemed to drone on rather than get you excited about the subject.
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By Bill on October 20, 2013
Format: Audible Audio Edition
If you have a religious practice, grab this and listen carefully. If you don't have a religion, grab this and listen carefully. If you want a complete review of all aspects of being awake, aware and open to life and existence, grab this and listen fully. I have one other piece of advice: grab this and listen!
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Format: Audible Audio Edition
This series is a wise investment. Unlike many audiobooks, many of these 24 lectures will reward replaying more than once. After all, the plot line is yours. You must make the talks your own, by trying out the approaches taught, and by doing rather than by listening, to test out the truths herein.

Dr. Mark Muesse draws on thirty years of teaching, a Harvard Ph.D. in the philosophy of religion, a specialty in Asian faiths, and experience in meditating in various traditions of Buddhism for many years. He enlivens his approach to what may seem to the newcomer musty thoughts or flimsy concepts with casual but relevant references to George Carlin and George H.W. Bush, Target and Starbucks, airport security and road rage, to make his points clear. This overlaps basic tenets attributed to the teaching of the Buddha with an understanding of how they relate to us nowadays.

His style is folksy but erudite, as his Texas accent softens and may even slow somewhat his delivery. But I learned to like his voice, and the pace helps me take in better his advice, rather than listening to the romanticized expectations a more, say, British or Eastern accented timbre might convey. He takes you, as the ToC shows, through understanding and then applying mindfulness (and meditation, but it's a broader approach here advocated and inculcated, as eating, driving, and facing dying all enter the wider scope of lecture topics) to daily activity, on and off the meditation cushion.

He handles the three main teachings in Buddhism, of no-self (anatman), impermanence (anicca) and dukkha ("pain" or "suffering" as often rendered but I prefer unease, dissatisfaction, out-of-joint). For this last concept, Muesse makes a striking phrase.
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