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Book Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat


Mindfulness for Beginners
Reclaiming the Present Moment - and Your Life
Jon Kabat-Zinn
Sounds True 12/11 Hardcover/CD $21.95
ISBN: 9781604076585

Jon Kabat-Zinn is the founding director of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, as well as a Professor of Medicine emeritus. He leads workshops on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for doctors and other health professionals and for lay audiences worldwide. He was featured on the PBS series Healing and the Mind with Bill Moyers and has appeared on Oprah. Kabat-Zinn is also profiled in Spirituality & Practice's Living Spiritual Teachers Project

Have you ever thought of mindfulness as a love affair with life, reality, the body, and the world? Jon Kabat-Zinn has and this book offers proof of the ardor and creativity of his love. Think of these brief but edifying chapters as pillow talk:

"Mindfulness as a practice provides endless opportunities to cultivate greater intimacy with your own mind and to tap into and develop your deep interior resources for learning, growing, healing, and potentially for transforming your understanding of who you are and how you might live more wisely and with greater well-being, meaning, and happiness in this world."

Kabat-Zinn has divided the book into five sections: entering, sustaining, deepening, ripening, and practicing. Here is a thematic sampler of the range of material in the these forty reflections:

• Mindfulness is universal
• Attention and awareness are trainable skills
• What is yours to see?
• The beauty of the mind that knows itself
• The attitudinal foundations of mindfulness practice
• Mindfulness brought to all the senses

This spiritual practice can open up new doors at any moment:

"Anything and everything can become our teacher of the moment, reminding us of the possibility of being fully present: the gentle caress of air on our skin, the play of light, the look on someone's face, a passing contraction in the body, a fleeting thought in the mind. Anything. Everything. If it is met with awareness."

Accompanying the book is a CD with five guided mindfulness meditations by Jon Kabat-Zinn.


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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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