Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment–and Your Life

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We may long for wholeness, suggests Jon Kabat-Zinn, but the truth is that it is already here and already ours. The practice of mindfulness holds the possibility of not just a fleeting sense of contentment, but a true embracing of a deeper unity that envelops and permeates our lives. With Mindfulness for Beginners you are invited to learn how to transform your relationship to the way you think, feel, love, work, and play—and thereby awaken to and embody more completely who you really are.
Here, the teacher, scientist, and clinician who first demonstrated the benefits of mindfulness within mainstream Western medicine offers a book that you can use in three unique ways: as a collection of reflections and practices to be opened and explored at random; as an illuminating and engaging start-to-finish read; or as an unfolding “lesson- a-day” primer on mindfulness practice.
Beginning and advanced meditators alike will discover in these pages a valuable distillation of the key attitudes and essential practices that Jon Kabat-Zinn has found most useful with his students, including:
* Why heartfulness is synonymous with true mindfulness* The value of coming back to our bodies and to our senses over and over again
* How our thoughts “self-liberate” when touched by awareness
* Moving beyond our “story” into direct experience
* Stabilizing our attention and presence amidst daily activities
* The three poisons that cause suffering—and their antidotes
* How mindfulness heals, even after the fact
* Reclaiming our wholeness, and more.
The prescription for living a more mindful life seems simple enough: return your awareness again and again to whatever is going on. But if you’ve tried it, you know that here is where all the questions and challenges really begin. Mindfulness for Beginners provides welcome answers, insights, and instruction to help us make that shift, moment by moment, into a more spacious, clear, reliable, and loving connection with ourselves and the world.
Includes a complete CD with five guided mindfulness meditations by Jon Kabat-Zinn, selected from the audio program that inspired this book.

Part I Entering
Beginner’s Mind
The Breath
Who Is Breathing?
The Hardest Work in the World
Taking Care of This Moment
Mindfulness Is Awareness
Doing Mode and Being Mode
A Grounding in Science
Mindfulness is Universal
Stabilizing and Calibrating Your Instrument
Inhabiting Awareness Is the Essence of Practice
The Beauty of Discipline
Adjusting Your Default Setting
Awareness: Our Only Capacity Robust Enough to Balance Thinking
Attention and Awareness Are Trainable Skills
Nothing Wrong with Thinking
Befriending Our Thinking
Images of Your Mind That Might Be Useful
Not Taking Our Thoughts Personally
Our Love Affair with Personal Pronouns—Especially I, Me, and Mine
Awareness Is a Big Container
The Objects of Attention Are Not as Important as the Attending Itself
Part II: Sustaining
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
A World-Wide Phenomenon
An Affectionate Attention
Mindfulness Brought to All the Senses
Proprioception and Interoception
The Unity of Awareness
The Knowing Is Awareness
Life Itself Becomes the Meditation Practice
You Already Belong
Right Beneath Our Noses
Mindfulness is Not Merely a Good Idea
To Come Back in Touch
Who Am I? Questioning Our Own Narrative
You Are More Than Any Narrative
You Are Never Not Whole
Paying Attention in a Different Way
Not Knowing
The Prepared Mind
What Is Yours to See?
Part III: Deepening
No Place to Go, Nothing to Do
The Doing That Comes Out of Being
To Act Appropriately
If You Are Aware of What Is Happening, You Are Doing It Right
Non-Judging Is an Act of Intelligence and Kindness
You Can Only Be Yourself—Thank Goodness!
Embodied Knowing
Feeling Joy for Others
The Full Catastrophe
Is My Awareness of Suffering Suffering?
What Does Liberation from Suffering Mean?
Hell Realms
Liberation Is in the Practice Itself
The Beauty of the Mind That Knows Itself
Taking Care of Your Meditation Practice
Energy Conservation in Meditation Practice
An Attitude of Non-Harming
Greed: The Cascade of Dissatisfactions
Aversion: The Flip Side of Greed
Delusion and the Trap of Self-Fulfilling Prophecies
Now Is Always the Right Time
The “Curriculum” is “Just This”
Giving Your Life Back to Yourself
Bringing Mindfulness Further Into the World
Part IV: Ripening
The Attitudinal Foundations of Mindfulness Practice
Beginner’s Mind
Letting Go
Part V: Practicing
Getting Started with Formal Practice
Mindfulness of Eating
Mindfulness of Breathing
Mindfulness of the Body as a Whole
Mindfulness of Sounds, Thoughts, and Emotions
Mindfulness as Pure Awareness

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Sounds True; Har/Com edition (January 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604076585
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604076585
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces

Customer Reviews

Foundation and Practice – the basics for Westerners

417 people found this helpful.
 on April 22, 2007
By Patrick D. Goonan
This CD is an introduction to mindfulness that is aimed at an audience of Westerners who are not familiar with Eastern philosophy. This audio provides the foundational concepts necessary to have a meditation practice and gives a taste of several different types of practice.

Philosophy & Practice for Improved Health

252 people found this helpful.
 on August 17, 2006
By Rebecca of Amazon
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a program used in hospitals and medical clinics around the world. Jon Kabat-Zinn teaches a foundation for mindfulness that encourages healing. He is the founding director for the Stress Reduction Clinic and Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.

Not Just for Beginners

79 people found this helpful.
 on January 9, 2012
By Bill Gallagher
In the introduction to Mindfulness for Beginners (p.4) Jon Kabat-Zinn tells us he has covered material on mindfulness in greater detail in other books such as Full Catastrophe Living. But as anyone who has read FCL knows, that’s a big thick book which was published enough years ago that a fair bit of it had to focus on justifying meditation and mindfulness as a worthwhile endeavor. In Mindfulness for Beginners, JKZ assumes you know the value of bringing greater awareness into your life, allowing him to focus on inspiration and instructions.

Life changing

109 people found this helpful.
 on August 11, 2007
By Jill
I have been lucky enough to take two Mindfulness courses and they have changed my life. Both were run by excellent course leaders but nothing compares with hearing Mindfulness founder Jon Kabat Zinn discuss the philosophy and methodology behind it. His wit, compassion and way with words themselves make CD1 compulsive listening as well as explaining the reasons for CD2 which are the practices themselves. I cannot recommend this highly enough to anybody who wants to learn about themselves and especially those seeking release from troubled mind states such as anxiety and depression. Buy it- Mindfulness practitioners will tell you honestly that they make no promises to ‘fix things’ but it might change your life too…

Wonderful and Gentle Guide to Inner Peace

53 people found this helpful.
 on January 29, 2012
By Freudian Slips
OK, he had me at “Often our lives become so driven that we are moving through our moments to get to better ones at some later point. We live to check things off our to-do list, then fall into bed exhausted at the end of the day, only to jump up the next morning to get on the treadmill once again.” (p.18)

This is a very good CD.

83 people found this helpful.
 on May 23, 2007
By JoAnn
I bought this CD at the recommendation of a social worker. I’m a perfectionist, which frequently leads me to experience anxiety. I’ve lived this way for 50+ years but it’s not healthy. However, it has been the norm for my life. Yes, I’ve done some counseling over the years, which has been extremely helpful but I constantly battle with trying to do too much, making it all perfect and then dealing with the anxiety that follows.

Strongly reccommend this product

30 people found this helpful.
 on April 22, 2008
By 🙂
While going through classes to try and grasp this concept I still could not grasp the practice. This CD made things so clear. It is extremely helpful & informative. I appreciate the authors tone and easy to follow language!

Comparison with Jack Kornfield’s "Meditation for Beginners."

25 people found this helpful.
 on April 6, 2011
By Joel Shiver
I have been looking for a way to explain mindful meditation to my deeply religious friends, who, here in the southeast, tend to put up a wall against anything they think may be asking them to challenge their faith in the Lord. Of course, one cannot speak of mindfulness meditation without mentioning the Buddha, and Kabat-Zinn does so by placing him in the context of the great thinkers, e.g., Einstein, Newton, who have innovated ideas of such profundity that they dramatically altered our understanding of what’s going on here. This is a wonderful cd for that. However, it is based significantly in an intellectual discussion and requires full attention and replaying it over and over to understand everything he is saying here. In that regard, it is exactly what I had been looking for.

If you have tried meditation and have failed at it, try this

29 people found this helpful.
 on September 25, 2009
By Amazon Customer
If you have tried to meditate only to discover that it’s extremely difficult, this CD can get you going on the right path. If you are an experienced meditator, you may find this CD unnecessary.

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