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Fully Present: The Science, Art, and Practice of Mindfulness

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  448 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
Mindfulnessthe art of paying attention with an open and curious mind to present-moment experienceshas attracted ever-growing interest and tens of thousands of practitioners, who have come to the discipline from both within and outside the Buddhist tradition. In Fully Present, leading mindfulness researchers and educators Dr. Sue Smalley and Diana Winston provide an all-in- ...more
ebook, 289 pages
Published May 14th 2014 by Not Avail (first published July 13th 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Erica
Aug 15, 2012 Erica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I like the idea of presenting the research that backs up the utility of mindfulness along with information on how to practice it. I think it could have been edited down a lot though. Because it tried to appeal to rational and irrational parts of the mind it included a lot of examples of scientific studies and anecdotes that covered the same ground. I also felt that there was a bit too much of both. Studies were often described even if the author admitted that they were not rigorous enough to su ...more
Jay
Feb 14, 2017 Jay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
Pretty good overview of the benefits of mindfulness and strategies to put to use. Pay attention to the stories you tell yourself....always good advice.
Alison
Jun 20, 2013 Alison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I particularly enjoyed the higher dose of science and rigor in this book, compared to my other brushes with mindfulness and meditation instruction. The format is really solid, and progresses through explaining the science and arguing for the usefulness of a given practice (with data!), then to outlining how one might most effectively pursue it, and then each chapter gives a few practice exercises and suggestions for integrating a given technique into your routine.
I listened to this as an audiob
...more
Tiffany
Ironic that the only time I have ever missed Emily's bus was while I was reading this book...
Waco Glennon
Feb 09, 2017 Waco Glennon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The subtitle of this book is an excellent description of how this book approaches the subject of mindfulness. The book explains the current science around meditation. And there is an increasing amount of it. The authors make this science lucid and demonstrate how it can be applied.

The art section is more of a case study that shows how one of the authors applied mindfulness in her own life. She explains the difference it made and the growth she experienced.

Finally, the practice section gives us
...more
Alissa Thorne
A great broad overview of mindfulness for a secular audience. As advertised, each chapter is broken into three sections. The first section touches on the relevant scientific evidence, often pointing out when it is in the hypothesis stage, or when there are only early studies. The "art" section seems to usually discuss how it can be applied to day-to-day life, and the "practice" section describes a mindfulness technique for the specific are that is being discussed.

Mindfulness has come up in many
...more
Sarah
Jan 06, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: personal-growth
Until recently, if offered a book on meditation, I would have expected it to come with a free Enya cd and a bag of fair trade chai. ;) I have always considered myself too logical-minded for stuff like navel-gazing. This book, however, written by researchers at UCLA, compiles some very convincing data on the benefits of meditation; benefits to the quality of one's daily life, stress level, and longterm physical health. The best part is, the techniques described are ridiculously simple. Not necess ...more
Jeff Yoak
While I appreciated the attempt to secularize and describe this topic, it still has a flavor difficult for me to connect with it in a practical way. I picked up nuggets here and there in the roughly half of the book that I made it through and continue to believe that I might find something useful in this topic, but I lost faith that I'd find it here.
Ginny Pennekamp
Sep 13, 2015 Ginny Pennekamp rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you're interested in meditation but afraid of the mumbo jumbo, this is a great book. If you're not afraid of the mumbo jumbo, it's still a fantastic book because it grounds everything in physical details rather than it being experimental thought.
Rebecca
Nov 11, 2016 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Informative and helpful.
John Lussier
Dec 31, 2015 John Lussier rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-reads
Great read on mindfulness. Easy, understandable, practical, and the science portion gives it an edge many introduction don't have.
ACRL
Feb 19, 2016 ACRL added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: motw
Read by ACRL Member of the Week Lindsay C. Sarin. Learn more about Lindsay on the ACRL Insider Blog.
Amy
Feb 19, 2017 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh to achieve this goal. Loved this book and pray to apply more and more of the principals.
Xtine
Jun 08, 2016 Xtine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good, practical overview of common problems that may be helped by mindfulness practice. Especially good for skeptics and people not searching for spiritual guidance.

While reading the section on pain, I did become mindful of violent, book-stabby anger when told (again) that while pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. I experienced severe, chronic pain for several years, and this section reminded me of my alternative pain management counselor, who told me that I was having pain because I jus
...more
Ken Parkinson
Nov 29, 2016 Ken Parkinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fully Present provides a good overview of the science, art and practice of meditation and mindfulness. Each chapter is divided up into sections describing the art science and practice of mindfulness. The format seems a bit contrived at first but it grows on you as you continue.

The authors give several references to recent studies but are careful to avoid overstating their conclusions. While most of the studies appear to be preliminary, there is a growing body of evidence supporting beneficial ef
...more
Mark
Mar 07, 2011 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good introduction to mindfulness and meditation, with the admirable goal of including scientific studies as evidence for the benefits of meditation. At this point, the evidence out there is so sparse that studies cited here are often uncontrolled feasibility studies that cannot really provide solid conclusions, but there are notable exceptions as there are a number of research groups around the country getting into this line of work (including the author's own Mindfulness Awareness Research Ce ...more
Bworm
I bought this book after following Diana Winston's weekly podcast and listening to some of her talks on dharmaseed.org. The book recapitulates Diana's teachings, which are nicely complemented by the review of the (unfortunately still) fairly scarce scientific literature on the measurable effects of mindfulness. To be fair, the stars go more to Diana than to the book per se, for her way of teaching mindfulness, which is very clear and simple, reassuring and encouraging.

It's a detail, but I leave
...more
Patrick J.
Apr 07, 2011 Patrick J. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really appreciated this book because it was a scientific approach to mindfulness. I have been practicing mindfulness for a while now but this book illuminated some of the health and wellness benefits that are associated with that practice. Seeing scientific studies regarding a mindful approach to certain subjects really helped me realize how helpful mindfulness is beyond its everyday usefulness.

While not a great guide for those who already practice mindfulness, this is a perfect guide for a be
...more
Merrily
Aug 02, 2013 Merrily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2013
Simply put, this is a fantastic book about mindfulness and mediation. Anyone who is new to mindfulness should find this book a great entry point into understanding mindfulness, the science behind it, and how it is applicable and relevant on an individual level and societal level. I read this book as an accompaniment to the UCLA Marc MAP class and everything we learned in class was covered in this great book. Highly recommend this book to anyone who is curious about mindfulness.
Debbie Jacob
Dec 07, 2016 Debbie Jacob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've tried several different books about mindfulness and found this one to be the best because it feels like the most realistic way to incorporate meditation in our lives. It doesn't try to sell meditation as something religious. It's simply about becoming more attuned to your body. The exercises are simple and practical and they follow short, concise explanations about the mind/body connection. The book provides anecdotes, but they don't take over the book.
Rob Hermanowski
This a really nice entry-level book on the increasingly popular practice of mindfulness. Susan Smally and Diana Winston present the scientific aspects of mediation and mindfulness, while also discussing the more artful and spiritual aspects of the practice. This balanced approach should be useful for both practitioners and clinicians. Elizabeth London does and beautiful job with the unabridged narration in the audiobook format.
Colin
Dec 04, 2016 Colin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, non-fiction, audible
This book contains many helpful practices to becoming more mindful. Unfortunately I chose to listen to the audiobook version and found that I missed out on a large portion of the value in this book, mostly in those moments in which the distractions of life interrupted and I wasn't mindful of the book. If I were to go back to this book, I would do so in the paper copy so that it would be easier to go back over the areas I miss due to distractions.
Jo Anne
Feb 25, 2013 Jo Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have gone to a few presentations by Diana Winston, and find her amazing. I am very happy that I read this book, which she co-authored. I think the book is an excellent introduction to the science behind mindfulness. Additionally, there are "how-tos" about meditation and ideas for your practice. Overally, is an excellent book. Personally, I'm not as interested in the science as in the practical aspects of meditation, which is why I didn't give it a higher rating.
Hannah Kim
just by looking at the cover- you'd think it's about the environment, growth, and animal farm. in some ways it is..

most of all- it's about reaching the state of mindfulness in everything, eventually leading to growth within yourself and with that, helping shape and change the world positively. great book. find yourself and highest potential- don't live routine (unless it's for a healthy lifestyle), be fully present in all that you do and stay open-minded for opportunities.
S.N. Arly
Aug 25, 2014 S.N. Arly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
When you mentally refer to a book as "that crappy meditation book," it's time to stop renewing it and let the library have it back.

After four months slogging through wordy unclear writing and a bizarrely apologetic yet pedantic tone, I was only halfway through. There were some useful pieces of information, but it wasn't worth spending more time on this.
Sanjay Singh
Jan 01, 2012 Sanjay Singh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book on mindfulness. The book is written by a scientist and a mindfulness teacher. The book cites a lot of evidence that mindfulness improves well being. There is also guidance for doing mindfulness meditation. Anyone who thinks scientifically will be impressed by the book. I specially liked the chapter on stressful thinking.
Anne
Mar 12, 2013 Anne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
nice guide to implementing mindfulness in daily life. Authors made effort to back up suggestions with results from scientific studies which I appreciated. I also appreciated their honesty regarding shortfalls/challenges in some of the studies they cited. Not perfect, but nice to see science integrated with practice.
Jessica
May 16, 2014 Jessica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Good information, but the book could be edited to provide more essential and less peripheral facts and ideas. I actually did not finish the book (which is rare for me ) because I felt that by Chapter 7, I was beginning to hear the same thing over and over again. I skimmed through the end of the book and found that it contained the same principles applied to different specific problems.
Simon
Sep 18, 2013 Simon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a terrific, very helpful book on mindfulness. It is pretty comprehensive, easy-to-read and easy to follow. What I would like to see, however, is a book specifically and professionally tailored to victims of childhood trauma (which would require a modified approach and modified language). But that's a whole other book.
Andy Pederson
Dec 13, 2016 Andy Pederson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the art sections a little more than the science sections. Some of the brain science stuff either goes over my head or bores me to tears. Otherwise an interesting read and something to consider reading if you think the world is falling apart and you need an incentive to be more mindful (who hasn't been feeling that way lately?).
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“Our bodies are like vast landscapes, revealing hidden stories and emotions through their physical changes, both external and internal.” 1 likes
“A large and growing body of research demonstrates that mindfulness practice changes subjective and physiological states. The immune system gets stronger, as reflected by an increase in the number of cells fighting infection. Brain activity changes, moving toward patterns that coincide with calm yet focused states of attention. Brain structure itself seems to change: Among longtime meditators, gray matter (the tissue containing neurons) is thicker in certain brain regions compared with nonmeditators. Lastly, even gene expression patterns seem to differ with the induction of a mindful state of mind. On a more subjective level, feelings of anxiety and depression lessen, well-being improves, and relationships toward self, others, and the planet are healthier. Taken together, this evidence indicates that mindfulness can be learned like any other skill and that the practice of mindfulness may be a powerful way to affect neuroplasticity—the brain’s ability to form new connections in response to the environment—as well as epigenetics, the regulation of genes (turning on and off their expression) in response to the environment.” 0 likes
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