Saturday, December 17, 2011

Book Review: Mindfulness for Beginners by Jon kabat-Zinn

I went send this book by for my honest review.

In college I read Wherever You Go, There You Are (hyperion, 1995) by Jon Kabat-Zinn and found it so accessible for understanding mindfulness.  I then proceeded to go years, at least fifteen, without really meditating as a practice.  I have returned to it at 38 years old and  I yearned for guidance as a "new" beginner.

Here an interview here!

Sections of the book are divided as Entering, Sustaining, Deepening, Ripening, and Practicing.  I find this book so easy and simply laid out that I could pick it up and let the book fly open at any point and receive a rich word of wisdom.  The pages hold so much more than a quick commentary.  I wouldn't even consider it a devotional book as I've read many of these.  I find this to be liken to sitting next to a wise man and getting the wisdom collected over many years.  Jon does not use deep parables or riddles to convey his points but a straight-forward common sense style approach.  Frankly, I think the last section on Practicing would be one to read first.  Jon covers how to sit, what kind of cushions on which to sit, sleepiness, posture, what to do with the eyes, and protecting the time.  This little how-to chapter gave me some great ideas and made me want to go meditate!

I have been meditating for a few months now and am so surprised at the spiritual growth budding.  I was encouraged with the quick thoughts on page 103, "Taking Care of Your Meditation Practice" where our time to practice is to be guarded, like that of growing plants or a garden.  "So it makes sense to take care of your nascent meditation practice, especially for the first thirty or forty years and can easily be trampled or washed away by all the competing demands of the day."
Order here!         

This books comes with 4 audio meditations.  I am a picky person when it comes to guided meditations.   Prior to this, only two guided meditations could I follow without being distracted by their voices: Caroline Myss & Doreen Virtue.  I know add Jon Kabat-Zinn to this list!  In the guided meditations he is sort of coaching you along, it doesn't sound like he is just reading it off a piece of paper.  He also gives beautiful moments of silence in addition to three tiny chimes so you know you are done at the end.  I noticed when I meditated alone afterwards, my ability to be mindful was much improved.

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