Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Don't Just Do Something, Sit There: A Mindfulness Retreat with Sylvia Boorstein” as Want to Read:
Don't Just Do Something, Sit There: A Mindfulness Retreat with Sylvia Boorstein
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Don't Just Do Something, Sit There: A Mindfulness Retreat with Sylvia Boorstein

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  158 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Get away from doing and into being with this lively, down-to-earth guide to your own meditation retreat by beloved mindfulness meditation teacher Sylvia Boorstein. Presenting what Jon Kabat-Zinn has called "endearingly personal mindfulness wisdom," she offers a three-day retreat plan accompanied by timeless lessons -- always grounded in real life -- on how anyone can achie ...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published February 16th 1996 by HarperOne
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Don't Just Do Something, Sit There, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Don't Just Do Something, Sit There

Siddhartha by Hermann HesseThe Art of Happiness by Dalai Lama XIVZen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu SuzukiWhen Things Fall Apart by Pema ChödrönThe Heart of the Buddha's Teaching by Thích Nhất Hạnh
A Buddhist Reading List
229th out of 589 books — 765 voters
Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind by Shunryu SuzukiYoga and Vipassana by Amit RayThe Myth of Freedom and the Way of Meditation by Chögyam TrungpaInstruction Manual for the 21st Century Samurai by Alexei Maxim RussellNothing Special by Charlotte Joko Beck
Eastern Mindfulness comes West
76th out of 93 books — 77 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 312)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Mindfulness cultivates the habit of not getting angry with life because it isn’t happening in the way we’d like
the mind becomes confused and fatigued chasing pleasant experiences and running away from unpleasant experiences
the chasing and running creates tension in the mind. that is suffering

pay attention: attentive sitting and alert walking

keep everything simple:

Paul Revere had the words “Live Contented” inscribed on the wedding ring he gave to his spouse.

The real work of mindfulness is accomm
David Glasgow
The title of this book is excellently chosen. "Don't Just Do Something" is a challenging, encouraging, caring book about nothing—which is an excellent find for someone whose days are much, much too full of "something."

The book presents itself as a manual for a three-day mindfulness retreat (arrive, sit, walk, sit, tea, sleep, etc.), so I was at first tempted to put the book down and scan the library shelves for another alternative. (I don't have TIME for a three-day retreat on mindfulness! I'm t
Nice book on how to hold your own self-directed retreat. Great tips on practices, schedules, things that might arise when one is doing serious practice. Feels much more directed to the new yogi, or one who might be interested in deepening things.
This was one of the first mindfulness books I read and it made an impression. It just came back to me while I was in meditation in yoga class.

Highly recommended; I have learned from and enjoyed much of Sylvia Boorstein's writing.
A word of warning, this is really a book about meditation retreats. I did not use it that way but more as a book for reflecting on the process of meditation. Although it worked for me in that way, I think it would be more useful for a person planning a retreat. This author writes from the Buddhist perspective, soit that offends you you may want to avoid it. That said, I think anyone, not just a Buddhist, will find value in the insights the author shares.
I LOVE Sylvia Boorstein! She is one of the most accessible Buddhist teachers I know. This book is full of useful, practical advice for doing a solitary retreat. Now if I could just find time to go on one... Thank goodness it is also completely applicable to one's regular meditation practice, too!
Barbara Newhall
This is another of my big favorite books of all time. Boorstein tells great spiritual truths -- usable by Christians, Jews, atheists, and, of course, Buddhists -- through down-to-earth stories. She's very much present in this book. And she's great company.
Laura Lee
I am not a big meditator but this was on my shelf, I must have thought I would be! That was back in 1996! It was interesting, with some good advice on how to meditate. Made me want to go on a retreat! The best message: live contentedly.
This book lends itself to be read a bit at a time. I am so inspired by Boorstein's descriptions of a do-it-yourself meditation retreat that I am excitedly planning mine. I highly recommend this to anyone exploring mindfulness and meditation.
This is a wonderful little book.It's recommended for anyone who would like to establish a meditation practice, or who needs to come back to basics after letting their practice slide.
Very helpful. Boorstein's descriptions of the processes and focal points of mindfulness meditation are some of the clearest and most encouraging I've come across.
Lovely, simple, accessible. I'm planning to follow her guidance for meditation exercises and things to consider while sitting and not thinking. :)
Jul 13, 2008 Satia rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: buddhist, mediation
Actually one of those 3.5 star books. For the full review:
Rita Jensen
Sometimes "doing nothing" does more than all the busy ness that we fill our lives with in order to feel important.
This has several exercises you can sneak in everyday. I'm looking forward to trying a full weekend sometime though!
Andd Becker
Instructions for meditation are given. The reader can learn principles of mindfulness and attentiveness.
A quick read with great advice and thoughts concerning mediation techniques and mindful living.
A good guide for a self-directed Vipassana/Insight Meditation retreat/relaxation weekend.
Laura Siegel
Simple reflections on meditation and staying present. A lovely little book.
Randy marked it as to-read
Jul 26, 2015
Michael marked it as to-read
Jul 24, 2015
Erin marked it as to-read
Jul 11, 2015
Betty Capellan
Betty Capellan marked it as to-read
Jul 06, 2015
GW added it
Jun 02, 2015
Louise is currently reading it
May 24, 2015
Ronnie Brockman
Ronnie Brockman marked it as to-read
May 14, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • This Is Real and You Are Completely Unprepared: The Days of Awe as a Journey of Transformation
  • Breath by Breath: The Liberating Practice of Insight Meditation
  • Meditation for the Love of It: Enjoying Your Own Deepest Experience
  • Gardening at the Dragon's Gate: At Work in the Wild and Cultivated World
  • The World's Healthiest Foods: Essential Guide for the Healthiest Way of Eating
  • Trusting Yourself: Growing Your Self-Awareness, Self-Confidence, and Self-Reliance
  • Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness: Walking the Buddha's Path
  • Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness with Children
  • Unfinished Business: One Man's Extraordinary Year of Trying to Do the Right Things
  • A Still Forest Pool: The Insight Meditation of Achaan Chah
  • Awakening to the Sacred: Creating a Personal Spiritual Life
  • Lost in America: A Journey with My Father
  • When the Well Runs Dry: Prayer Beyond the Beginnings
  • The New Secrets of Charisma
  • The Heart of the Buddha: Entering the Tibetan Buddhist Path
  • Voluntary Simplicity: Toward a Way of Life That is Outwardly Simple, Inwardly Rich
  • The Women's Bible Commentary with Apocrypha (Expanded Edition)
  • The Pema Chodron Collection: The Wisdom of No Escape: Start Where You Are: When Things Fall Apart
Sylvia Boorstein (born 1936) is an American writer and Buddhist spiritualist.
More about Sylvia Boorstein...
It's Easier Than You Think: The Buddhist Way to Happiness Happiness Is an Inside Job: Practicing for a Joyful Life Pay Attention, for Goodness' Sake: Practicing the Perfections of the Heart--The Buddhist Path of Kindness That's Funny, You Don't Look Buddhist: On Being a Faithful Jew and a Passionate Buddhist Solid Ground: Buddhist Wisdom for Difficult Times

Share This Book

“Mindfulness meditation doesn't change life. Life remains as fragile and unpredictable as ever. Meditation changes the heart's capacity to accept life as it is. It teaches the heart to be more accommodating, not by beating it into submission, but by making it clear that accommodation is a gratifying choice.” 16 likes
More quotes…