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Mindfulness for Beginners

por Jon Kabat-Zinn

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3801250,889 (3.71)4
"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."--Jacket.… (mais)
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Ah, I get it; I think. I couldn’t help but think of a hybrid Mr Rogers and Bob Ross reading. ( )
  evil_cyclist | Mar 16, 2020 |
Apparently, Jon Kabat-Zinn is an, or the, expert within the field of mindfulness.

A CD containing guided meditations accompanies the book. I have to say I was unable to meditate while listening to these though Jon Kabat-Zinn seemed to be saying some sensible/inspiring things. I was not disturbed by any thoughts as he suggested I would be, but I was disturbed by his bla bla blabbings (that’s what they felt like when I was attempting to meditate).

When beginning the book I was seeking some practical/precise instructions about how to “do” mindfulness but didn’t feel these were provided. At the end, however, we were given the texts of the meditations on the CD, which was what I was looking for in the first place. They just came too late. I had needed these instructions BEFORE listening to the CD. But how is one supposed to meditate quietly with mindfulness while listening to someone bla bla blabbing, no matter how insightful the content of what is said?

The book is well-written and interesting though more abstract, cerebral and philosophical than what I was looking for. The chapters were pleasantly short.

The author mentions opening to “an interior stillness”. Again, why would he think one could do that with someone constantly talking in one’s ear?

A basic exercise of mindfulness is paying attention to the sensations of breathing in the body. What is important is not the breath, but awareness of the breath.

I recall when I was four that I suddenly became aware of my breathing and thought that I needed to consciously breathe, otherwise I would die. Nobody had ever talked to me about breathing and nobody ever did.

But I didn’t die and I eventually realized, as the author states, that “we are being breathed”– the body breathes itself.

We are given a definition of mindfulness – “paying attention on purpose in the present moment and non-judgmentally”.

Mindfulness is “what arises when you pay attention --- in the present moment”. “And what arises is nothing other than awareness itself.” We need to learn “the being mode of mind”.

We should avoid being “more of a human doing than a human being”.

Mindfulness reminds us that it is possible to shift from a doing mode through the application of attention and awareness.

For years I have been doing Holosync meditation, which involves listening to a series of special mp3s that help to synchronize the two halves of the brain. The purpose and effect of doing this form of meditation , reportedly 8 times as strong as ordinary meditation, are the obtaining of more AWARENESS.

And now I got hold of this book on mindfulness which also turns out to be all about AWARENESS.

“What is most important --- is the awareness that feels and knows directly, without thinking, that breathing is going on in this moment, that hearing is going on in this moment, that thoughts are moving through the sky-like space of the mind at this moment.”

We’re informed about Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) for those facing stress, pain, illness and disease. This is something one can do oneself instead of relying on a lacking health care system.

We are advised to bring an affectionate quality to our attention.

The author reminds us that “there is no place to go, nothing to do, nothing to attain”.

The guided meditations consist of 1) Eating Meditation (which I gave a miss) 2) Mindfulness of Breathing 3) Mindfulness of the Body as a whole 4) Mindfulness of Sounds, Thoughts and Emotions and 5) Mindfulness of Pure Awareness.

The final meditation is sometimes referred to as “objectless attention”, “choiceless awareness” or “open presence”. We do nothing but rest in choiceless awareness, moment by moment. This practice of choiceless awareness is “an occasion to let yourself be invited into the receptive, empty, spacious, knowing quality of awareness”. It is an invitation to “dwell --- in this timeless moment we call ‘now’ --- and wake up to the actuality of who we are”.

As stated, I didn’t get anything out of the spoken meditations, but learnt how to do them through the texts.

Altogether, this book introduces us to the practice of mindfulness and tells us, finally, how to “do” it. It is a deep book and, personally, I would need to re-read it at least once.

I may also take a gander at some of the author’s other books.
  IonaS | Jun 25, 2019 |
This is a book I often see recommended as a gateway to Mindfulness, a first taste so to speak, and it works well enough for that purpose. [a: Jon Kabat-Zinn|8750|Jon Kabat-Zinn|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1348913704p2/8750.jpg] takes the reader step by step through the process of cultivating mindfulness, why it is generally seen as being helpful, who it might work for, who it wouldn't. While the practice is rooted in Buddhism, and the book touches upon it a fair bit, it is still secular enough to appeal to non-spiritualists in my opinion.

I would especially view this book as valuable for the extensive bibliography at the end of the book for further reading, most of it categorized well by topic, and some with more information by the author as to why he recommends it.

All in all, this was a very interesting read and a book I would like to pick up again. I will be reading more by this author for certain, as well. ( )
  Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
Jon's voice is so calm and relaxing. I think this is a good and kind introduction that lets you know this practice is easy and hard at the same time. He promotes being kind to yourself, and that difficulty in focusing is normal and should be noted, but not admonished, then bring the attention back no matter how many times it takes. a good listen if you're needing some calming and reassurance in general. ( )
  shaunesay | Jun 21, 2017 |
Mindfulness para principiantes es una invitación para que el lector modifique su relación con el modo en que piensa, siente, ama, trabaja o juega; y despierte y encarne de forma plena lo que realmente es. Mindfulness para principiantes proporciona las respuestas apropiadas para lograr que conectemos de un modo más claro, duradero y amoroso con nosotros mismos y el mundo.
Este libro incluye CD con cinco meditaciones mindfulness guiadas por Fernando Torrijos, seleccionadas del programa de audio que inspiró este libro.
  bcacultart | Jan 24, 2017 |
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"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."--Jacket.

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