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Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2004
Mindfulness should be an exercise all beings participate in practicing, not simply exclusive to our Buddhist traditions; a point Kabat-Zinn makes in this wonderful book. What it truly encompasses is a kind of awakening (yes, cliché) where we begin living in accord with not just all people but, also with ourselves.
Jon Kabat-Zinn is the director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, a clinic which likely has helped innumerable beings. Mindful meditation is a letting go practice, a practice of non contriving and ultimately - endurance. It is an acknowledgement of who we already are, beneath the layers of attachments and aversion; that is of course that we are loving and generous people.
This book offers a plethora of meditative exercises and mindfulness applications to employ in our daily routines. Zinn suggests utilizing sitting, walking, and even "on your feet" meditation. Metaphors of mindful actions are here using topics like parenting or even washing the dishes. This work will hopefully motivate all who read it. Great book.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2002
In today's world the everday person experiences incredible amounts of stress. Since 9/11 we have had to deal with watching innocent people jump out of burning buildings, airplanes explode midair, and now the recurrent fears of bio/chemical attacks. These are stress factors that we can only add to the previous ones we already had to deal with such as family, work, home, and school. Basically, we are a VERY stressed nation.
Fortunately, we do have several anti-stress options at hand and this book features several including seated meditation, walking meditation, and mindful yoga. Even if none of these methods work for you personally, this book features some very simple, very effective advice: everday take some time to just lie silently on the floor and breathe. It's that simple.
However, if meditation is of interest to you, you have come to the right book. Jon Kabat-Zinn has taken the study of meditation seriously with the Western practioner in mind. He has done studies and research on the awesome powers of meditation to help patients with both psychological and physical ailments. The results are astounding and encouraging. Best yet, Kabat-Zinn's work with patients has helped him establish specific suggestions that will help you gain the tremenous benefits of meditation.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who is in need of stress relief, but may not be ready for an spiritual journey inward.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2002
This has long been a best seller and justifiably so. Kabat-Zinn works clinically with people who are stressed and his earlier book, Full Catastrophe Living, was written for people who are almost pathologically stressed, to bring them the beneficial effects of meditation. The present book is written for average people on the street, who may not need so urgently the therapeutic effects of meditation, but in the belief that we can all of us use a healthy dose of it. It is written with no religious strings attached, and even avoiding the word "spiritual," and yet it has the ability to open up the spiritual realm for us, no matter what we wish to call it. It is an introduction for the beginner and a source of good advice for the practitioner of meditation. It's written in bite-sized chapters, in clear, easy and very readable prose. It is a delight to read. The book's three parts explore the why and how of meditation and its many applications in daily life. Many chapters conclude with suggestions for reflection or meditation. It is concentrated wisdom that deserves much rereading and a permanent place on your library shelf.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2003
Dr. Kabat-Zin's work is deceptively simple. In order to learn about how to be mindful, this book must be read in a mindful way.
Each page, each thought, each phrase is to be read and savored. Don't think about it too hard, or you will squeeze the magic out of his words. Read, but let the words talk to you; don't use mental faculties to reason, ponder over, intellectualize.
A masterpiece.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on December 12, 2005
While some people have difficulty understanding what meditation is and why one might do it, just as many meditators hold on to misconceptions about meditation. Jon Kabat-Zinn leads us gently into insight meditation with a clarity and conciseness of language that anyone can understand. This book leaves one feeling: "How could I not meditate?" This book makes a wonderful addition to any meditator's library or gift for someone new to meditation.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2004
The messages in this book, the significancy of mindfulness, resonated so strongly in me it is as if the author wrote it specifically to me. Kabat-Zinn's writing style, knowledge and common sense attitude were refreshing in a world that often to me seems full of New Age mysticism. His advice that it is "best to meditate without advertising it" made me holler, "Hallelujah!"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2010
This brief guide to mindfulness meditation was first published in 1994, but remains irreplaceable. It is much more beginner-friendly than Kabat-Zinn's excellent "Full Catastrophe Living" (1990) and much more concise than his more recent, lengthy "Coming to our senses. Healing ourselves and the world through mindfulness" (2005). "Wherever You Go There You Are" seems to be the perfect first book for those starting mindfulness training, be it on their own, or preferably with guidance from someone with MBSR-teacher training. The book covers, in a fluid, easy writing style, all the highlights concisely. Ageless instruction: read less, meditate more - this concise classic is perfectly suited to help the reader do just that.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2007
Jon Kabat-Zinn is an excellent and highly trained scientist and it shows in this book. He definitely has a very wide variety of knowledge not just on meditation itself. I just love how he relates to quotes from buddhism, taoism and other famous classics throughout the book. It impresses me a lot because these quotes are deep but very suitable and are there to help your understanding but NOT to show off his knowledge. It takes very high level of expertise and effort to make things precise and accessible like this. Definitely a 5 star work!

PS. A quote from Lao Tzu he chose in this book has impressed me so much that I choose to live a very "taoist" life myself!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2001
Insightful and easily adaptable is my description of the authors suggestions in this book. Jon Kabat-Zinn describes simplistic methods on self awareness in a mellifluous writing style that is pure pleasure to read. As a meditating novice I found the information to be practical and extremely helpful in diminishing the stessors of daily life. However, with any self awareness or motivation book, to realize benefit the reader must challenge himself or herself to incorporate the learned material into their lives. I suggest highlighting inspiring points so they may be easily read again and again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2002
Jon Kabbat-Zinn is a man of remarkable insight and integrity. His previous book "Full Catastrophe Living" was a gem of clinical wisdom. This book is briefer and gives a sound overview of the value and practice of mindfulness meditation. Let us all be where we are, and the world will be a better place for it.
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