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Wherever You Go, There You Are Paperback – March 1, 2005
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This book shines with an exquisite simplicity and straightforwardness. Jon Kabat-Zinn is one of the best teachers of mindfulness you will ever meet * Jack Kornfield, Buddhist teacher and author *
About the Author
Jon Kabat-Zinn is the founder and former director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusettes Medical Centre. He lives in the Boston area.
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Take any given moment your in. I take it that you're sitting down somewhere right now reading this review. Focus on your breath. Notice how unaware of your own breathing you were before. Now, while reading this, expand the focus from your breath to the sensation of your body, your bottom against your seat perhaps, or the way the tip of your nose might feel cold or hot. Further expand the field of awareness to the sounds around you. Maybe you hear noise from other people. Maybe you hear nothing except the sound of your own breathing.
Project this mode of being aware into another setting. Perhaps you're at work, and someone is telling you how to do something. You might feel seeds of resentment growing inside you, asking the question in your mind how it is this person has the gall to tell you how do so something. You might feel personally attacked, a little nervous, your breath unsteady. Be aware of these sensations. Don't fight against them. But also listen to what the person says, as much as possible, without judgment. Is what this person is saying really a personal attack? Probably not. And if it is, does it really matter? Does he or she have control of your mind such that he could actually make you feel one way or another? Not if you choose to respond to it in a peaceful, proactive way and just take it for what it is, without judgment.
Maybe the above two paragraphs don't do it for you. Or maybe they do. The important thing is that mindfulness is about being aware and awake, and about choosing to make peace with the way you feel and the way you interact with the world. If you want to, you can always feel swept around by the winds of desire, or pulled around by anger or intense emotion as though there were a brass ring in your nose. Those are always options. But it's also another option to choose to practice inner tranquility. This is what this book is about.
Much like in college, you can skip the lecture if you master the corpus, but it's best to do both of you can. That said, anyone looking to really understand the methodology behind mindfulness and how it can be applied in a secular way to the suffering of the human condition, must read the aforementioned "Full Catastrophe Living". It's absolutely essential as the single book I would recommend to anyone for learning how to approach working with the present moment in ways that encourage insight and healing.
This book "Wherever you go , there you are" is nice but it won't provide the depth of instruction for practice as used in the medical setting or the science behind the mechanisms that make mindfulness so effective for many people.
I also got the audiobook and have been listening -- but I need a printed copy to refer back to. I am so glad I bought this. My friends are buying it, too!
I hope the rating draws people to give this a closer look.
If you're interested in mindfulness, especially without religious talk this is a great book. Even though I practice zen Buddhism, I found this to be extremely refreshing. He stays on point, he explains how to sit and ways to bring it causally into real life.....