1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking
This is a book rich in provoking thought. While I have read it more than once through cover to cover, I still keep it handy to read sections of again. It approaches mindfulness from a Western thought perspective and avoids the comparisons with Eastern thought. This is not a detriment. It helps to focus the material. It is also the source of much of the ongoing playing...
Published on Nov. 16 2003 by Stephen Sherlock
3.0 out of 5 stars mindful?
Ellen Langer can write really well. She can also speak really well. However, if one is truely mindful they will realize that you must become nervous about applying one theory to everything.
Published on Dec 4 2002
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking,
This review is from: Mindfulness (Paperback)This is a book rich in provoking thought. While I have read it more than once through cover to cover, I still keep it handy to read sections of again. It approaches mindfulness from a Western thought perspective and avoids the comparisons with Eastern thought. This is not a detriment. It helps to focus the material. It is also the source of much of the ongoing playing with ideas that I still find with this book. By now, you may have realized that Ellen has not presented us with a silver bullet. But she does provide much insight in the relationship between the physical and the mental. The third party view or that of an outsider coming into a group, are both inherently examples of mindfulness. Without pre-set notions, anything is possible. Read and enjoy!
5.0 out of 5 stars Brief Applications of Ground-Breaking Research into Improving Thinking,
This review is from: Mindfulness (Audio CD)"This I recall to my mind,
Therefore I have hope." -- Lamentations 3:21 (NKJV)
I recently had the pleasure of sitting in on a class led by Professor Langer. As she referred to so many ground-breaking studies that have become part of the foundation of how we consider improving thinking processes, I realized it was time to read more of her work. She recommended I start with this book.
Since I like to learn while driving, I opted for the unabridged audio CD set, which was perfect for my purposes. As someone who often conducts experiments to increase mindfulness, I was pleased that overviews of her methodologies were included along with descriptions of the results and their practical implications.
The book opens with compelling examples of how we categorize things in such ways that we cannot easily access helpful knowledge, even when the potential rewards are great. I see this problem all the time, and it made me smile to listen to this material. She then turns to other reasons we behave without considering our options, such as automatically deferring to "authority" even when such authority is based only in appearance. From there, Professor Langer makes a compelling case why we should seek to do better.
In Part Two, the book explains how to be more mindful. I thought that Chapter 5 was especially helpful in addressing the need to create new mental categories, welcome new information, seek more than one view, seek control over the context, emphasize method over result, and grasp other perspectives on what mindfulness is.
Anyone over the age of 45 will find Chapters 6 and 10 (Mindful Aging and Minding Matters: Mindfulness and Health) to be worth the price of the book.
Chapter 9 on prejudice will be an eye-opener for most people. It should be required reading for all.
If you haven't read any of her works, you've probably heard them described in other books. Why not learn from the source?
Read this book ... It's a mindful action!
4.0 out of 5 stars Extensive, yet limited.,
This review is from: Mindfulness (Paperback)Langer is a good writer and her research on the subjectis very volumnous. However, the book suffers from a number of irrelavant and misplaced examples that sometimes do not at all support her points. What Lange failed to do, in my opinion, is integrate the concept of mindfulness into the larger trends in Social Psychology. The most glaring ommision is the fact that mindlessness, as Langer calls it, is derived from the naturally limited human attention abilities, has many benefits that outweight the limitations. Langer's mindlessness is better known as automaticity, and while using automatic patterns of behavior and judgment has its pitfalls, it is also responsible for making our lives run smoothly. In great majority of situations, you would much rather act automatically according to preset patterns instead of having to actively consider every option every single time.
What langer succeeds in accomplishing is making her readers aware of the way our mind works (which is always intuitive) so that they can be mindfull of our natural limitations in the instances when it could help them avert negative effects on their quality of life.
5.0 out of 5 stars REframing mindfulness,
This review is from: Mindfulness (Paperback)Ellen Langer's mind first reached my ears at an international conference on thinking at MIT, 1995. One year later (inspired by her talk and my reading of her breakthrough book), I created the developing mindful leaerners model: an ecological approach for the 21st century. This became a paper for the World Future Society conference in Washington D.C. For the last seven years, my work has been to connect mindfulness, vision, framework, and content into a whole for 21st century schools. Recently, the topic of Langer's mindfulness has become a centerfold for my dissertation in educational psychology. In brief, the question is to what degree are teachers mindful of their teaching? This question creates a problem: what instrument measures mindfulness? In the case of Langer's two books, she mostly infers mindfulness from her studies rather than spell out the specific instrument she used. That does not keep her book from offering timeless insights: mindful people welcome new ideas, create new categories, hold multiple perspectives, see life as a process, reframe situations to see the positive. Such qualities tell us what we want to become as human beings creating a more mindful world.
3.0 out of 5 stars mindful?,
By A Customer
This review is from: Mindfulness (Paperback)Ellen Langer can write really well. She can also speak really well. However, if one is truely mindful they will realize that you must become nervous about applying one theory to everything.
5.0 out of 5 stars My professor,
By A Customer
This review is from: Mindfulness (Paperback)Ellen Langer is my professor at Harvard this semester for the Social Psychology course. Not only is she a wonderful lecturer, she's also a great writer and researcher. I'm really impressed by the volume of research her lab does and the way they extrapolate the data.
Her book is a real treat!
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book several times.,
This review is from: Mindfulness (Paperback)This book is still selling well after ten years because Langer is a first-rate researcher who can write. And not only that, the subject she chose to study is extremely valuable and important.
The book is basically about mindLESSness: What causes it, what we can do about it, and what difference it makes. If you would like to be more creative in your work, if you would like to be more alive and awake, if you would like to stay mentally young for your entire life, read this book. I'm the author of the book, Self-Help Stuff That Works, and I'm an expert on what is effective and what is not. Ellen Langer's work is effective and extremely important, both for you personally and for society at large. I highly recommend this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars This book can change your life!,
This review is from: Mindfulness (Paperback)I purchased this wonderful book back in the 80's! I had quite a few bad habits, and really wanted to change not only my life but my attitude.Mindfulness not only enabled me to quit smoking without suffering any withdrawals, but woke me up from the sleep ofcomplacency. I began to look at the world differently. I learned to let go of destructive ideas.I learned how to slow down, and to be grateful for the moment.Over the years I have given this book to anyone seeking advice. Miss Langer writes in an easy to understand style as if she is your best friend who has just discovered some amazing insights that she is going to share with just you.I have not re-read this little gem in years, but can still remember certain paragraphs and sentences that were so true then as they are now. I recommend this book to anyone who is looking to put the zest & joy of living back in their life.Even those that are truly happy will find this book riveting & a fun read.
5.0 out of 5 stars Stimulating And Easy Reading,
This review is from: Mindfulness (Paperback)I bought this book because I needed to read it for a class. I didn't expect to like it as much as I did! The first couple of pages made you really think and wonder about how mindless one really is. The book did wonderfully in keeping the psychological jargon out, and the examples helped me understand the concepts. I would definately say that this book is a must-read for everyone.
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking and Eye Opening,
This review is from: Mindfulness (Paperback)This book presents a new look into mindsets, routine and habits. It shows how many individuals can become completely mindless. The book shows creative ways to change attitudes and behavior.
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Mindfulness by Ellen J. Langer (Paperback - Jan. 22 1990)
CDN$ 19.50 CDN$ 14.08