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Mindfulness for Beginners Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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—JACK KORNFIELD, author of A Path with Heart
"Jon Kabat-Zinn provides access to the essence of meditation and its applications for both the beginner and those who wish to deepen and expand their practice. He embodies what he describes."
—DEAN ORNISH, MD
About the Author
Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, is the founder and director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and associate professor of medicine in the Division of Preventative and Behavioral Medicine. His clinic was featured in 1993 in the public television series Healing and the Mind with Bill Moyers. Jon Kabat-Zinn is the author of Wherever You Go, There You Are and Full-Catastrophe Living: Using Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness.
Top customer reviews
Although the entire book can be read in an hour (most chapters are only one or two pages), I don't think there would be much benefit from reading it in one sitting. The book seems designed to be read a brief chapter or two at a time, followed by reflection. From my perspective, the chapters do not always seem sequentially or logically linked. They are more like mindfulness devotionals. I found some of the chapters thought-provoking, but not consistently so. I would have preferred a more organized book that started by laying out a foundation for how and why meditation is helpful, followed by instruction for getting started.
The enclosed CD is a very nice bonus. I used it to guide my first-ever attempt at meditation, and I felt very good about the process and the outcome. If I continue to meditate, I may refer to various chapters in this book for inspiration, but I am more likely to use the recommended reading list to find books that help make meditation more accessible to a true beginner.
It is no doubt one of the most difficult challenges you could possibly impose on yourself, it will require a sense of dedication, discipline and persistence, however, the rewards are unquantifiable.
Living mindfully will allow you to inhabit a new dimension through which to live life, a dimension conducive to living a richer and more fulfilling life. Most of all it'll help you realize the actuality of who you are.
The book is divided into very small chapters, each just two or three pages. The lack of an index and the poor organization of the material is a killer. The CD is a disappointment, too. It's not relaxing to listen to. The tracks are really bare-bone and ultimately your impression of the CD depends a great deal upon whether you find the author's voice soothing and enticing or not.
A other reviewers have said, it's more of a book about mindfulness rather than a book about how to practice mindfulness. For the average person, this has a usefulness approaching nothingness.
The package includes two CDs. In the first CD, the author starts by explaining what mindfulness is: "paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, as if you life depended on it, non-judgmentally". It explains how the mind is always busy thinking about one thing after another, incessantly. I have listened to this CD more than once, and every time I get something more out of it.
In the second CD the author gives you several guided mindfulness exercises that allow you to quiet the mind in a progressive way. This is perhaps the most valuable aspect of this CD, that it guides you, through baby steps, down the path of meditation.
The author leads you first to focus on a simple task: eating a raisin. As you discover that you can focus on that, the CD then takes you to focus on other things like sounds, and sounds only. As you do the sound exercises, you begin to witness your thoughts, how you judge the sounds, how you interpret the sounds and so forth.
The last exercise is mindfulness as pure awareness. You no longer focus on anything but experience life by witnessing everything: sounds, thoughts, emotions, and anything else that comes in and out of your awareness. This step has the odd effect of giving you extreme peace of mind.
I have bought other products by the same author: a book called "Wherever you go, there you are", "Coming to your senses" and a "Mindfulness Meditation" CD. I recommend getting the Mindfulness for Beginners first and if you find it useful, then read these other books and get the meditation CD. I have also bought several copies of this CD as a gift to friends and family, not everyone has taken to it, but those that have spent the time going through the exercises have told me that the exercises have helped them become more relaxed and "at ease in their own skin".
On my end, mindfulness has completely turned around my life. I went from worrying about the future, worrying about what people thought of me, to enjoying life as it unfolds. Kabat Zinn was recommended to me by an organizational consultant that saw me stressed out worrying about my job and my life in general. Up until then, I had tried meditation multiple times by focusing on my breathing, but I failed miserably at it. When I started listening to this CD, I began to break through a wall of thoughts, thoughts, and more thoughts, circling in my head.
If you have been curious about meditating but struggled to do it, this CD can get you unstuck and on a journey of self discovery that will completely transform your life.