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Mindfulness for Beginners: Reclaiming the Present Moment--And Your Life

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  6,776 ratings  ·  403 reviews
We may long for wholeness, suggests Jon Kabat-Zinn, but the truth is that it is already here and already ours. The practice of mindfulness holds the possibility of not just a fleeting sense of contentment, but a true embracing of a deeper unity that envelops and permeates our lives. With "Mindfulness for Beginners" you are invited to learn how to transform your relationshi ...more
Hardcover, 120 pages
Published December 28th 2011 by Sounds True (first published 2006)
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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Apr 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meditation, 2013
Easily the best book on meditation that I've read. For people like me, who have really struggled with meditation, are extremely suspicious of new-age speak and approach meditation from a very analytical rather than an emotional or free-spirited way of thinking, it's perfect. Kabat-Zinn is really good at outlining the rational justifications for mindfulness and the practical applications of it, as well as explaining how lack of mindfulness can impact and rule one's life, and as much as I hate to ...more
MrsJoseph *grouchy*

Awarenessing. Awarenessing is what Jon Kabat-Zinn calls the act of being aware and present.

I suck at mediation. I've tried it in the past but it's always been difficult for me. I have a very active brain. Very, very active. It's the reason why I'm not really into watching TV/movies - I don't need any additional stimulation. O_O

I first learned about Mindfulness via a televised interview of Jon Kabat-Zinn. My husband was intrigued and immediately started re
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't recommend the audiobook of this highly enough. It's short, simple, surprisingly funny at times, and a great introduction to mindfulness. Even if you're already familiar with the concepts, it is always helpful to bring a "beginner's mind" to the practice. ...more
May Ling
Mar 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual
Summary: Great book about mindfulness. It left me with a lot of questions. But this is a good thing.

Please consider my vlog at: IG: WhereIsMayLing or Youtube: Diary of a Speed Reader

p. 43 - We do not ever learn awareness. This is despite the fact that it colors our critical thinking and our experience.

p. 54- We do not learn the separation of thinking and the emotions that are visiting.

p. 56 - Proprioception - "Sense of knowing and feeling the body's position in space both statically and in motio
Leslie Reese
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
"We are very much in the habit of thinking of ourselves in small, contracted ways---and of identifying with the content of our thoughts, emotions, and the narrative we build about ourselves---based on how much we like or dislike what is happening to us. This is our default mode. The power of mindfulness is the power to examine those self-identifications and their consequences and the power to examine the views and perspectives we adopt so reflexively and automatically and then proceed to think ...more
Jan 28, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I give up. One can only read so many pages before the constant stream of meaningless babble wear you out. 50 pages in and all this book has done is think of different ways of stating, "slow down and pay attention to your thoughts". ...more
Iona  Stewart
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
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
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who want to learn more about mindfulness and meditation
interesting quotes (page numbers from edition with ISBN13):

"If you're breathing, you have more going right for you than not."

"Seven attitudinal factors that are really foundational in mindfulness practice:
1. Non-judging
2. Patience
3. Beginner's mind
4. Trust
5. Non-striving
6. Acceptance
7. Non-attachment"
(p. )

"...we can learn how to step out of time. Through mindfulness. That gives us a lot more time, actually, because when you're mindful and you catch your moments...Well, we have an infinite numb
Jun 09, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
This is a good introduction to mindfulness and meditation practice, especially for absolute beginners or people who are curious about exploring meditation without getting heavily into any associated religious practice. If you've read or listened to much other material on Buddhism or meditation practice, a lot of the concepts in the first half are going to seem pretty basic and familiar, although you might still get value out of the meditation exercises in the second half.

From reading other revi
Dec 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is great. I finished reading it, but it comes with a CD of guided meditations, so I am not done with the experience. In fact, I might return this copy to the library where I found it, and buy a copy so I always have the CD.

I had tried to read another book by this author (Full Catastrophe Living), but I was reading it on my kindle and the experience was so bad I finally gave up. I read this book on paper, and enjoyed it and appreciated it, and learned from it, and would consider readin
Dec 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a quick read for me.
But I enjoyed the honesty of it. "Those who try to pick up meditation thinking they will be like the Dali Lama might as well stop. They have no chance in Hell of pulling that off."
And the fact that if you try meditation, don't tell people about it. If you feel the need to brag about meditating, you really need to meditate some more.
This is a beginning book. More steps to follow latter.
There is no Cliff notes for meditating. There is only doing.
Aug 11, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book
Eh.. That's how I feel about it. I think part of the problem is listening to the man. His voice is a bit more droaning than it is enjoyable to listen to. BUT, when trying to be mindful I could be mindful of his voice so maybe I actually acomplished something. Not a favorite. I would have rather the first CD been a book with the second CD as a part of the book. ...more
Lisa Butterworth
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brain-books
I recommend this book all the time, so it seemed like time for a reread 2 years later, and turns out, it's still a five star.

I'm not sure if this audio book is 5 stars, or if I was just in the exact mood for it. but the audio version of the meditations hit my sweet spot and I loved loved loved.

May 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual-stuff
No bullshit book on awareness.
Polly Millet
Oct 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Make sure to get an audio book. The whole second half is an hour long mindfulness session. Great book, and great start to mindfulness.
Dec 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Maybe it’s me, but I felt this was too cult-y.
Justin Tapp
I provide a bit more to this than a normal book review. I give this book 4 stars, it is exactly as advertised.

Pray. Meditate. Don't worry. Relax. Breathe. Have a quiet time. These are all things we know we're supposed to do but neglect to do. They require intentional desire and discipline. This book is about how to practice being intentional about it.

This book is a short summary and introduction into the exercise of mindfulness. The author has a PhD from MIT. I became intrigued by mindfulness af
jess  (bibliophilicjester)

I really like the idea of mindfulness, and I appreciate what this audiobook is trying to do. I especially liked all the reminders during the guided practice bits that it's okay if your mind wanders as long as you re-focus on whatever you've chosen (breathing, whatever). That's definitely a thing I didn't understand about meditation, which I've unsuccessfully tried many times. I really struggle with sort of corraling my thoughts and wandering and such. This hasn't changed my life or anything, bu
Mack Hayden
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion, psych
I listened to this on audio and, aside from the Headspace app, I really think this'll be my go-to recommendation for anyone interested in mindfulness or meditation. Kabat-Zinn comes across as so approachable, humble, and down-to-earth—as someone who can get turned off by most super New Agey things, he's the ideal teacher for someone like me. The idea of mindfulness as a verb—"awarenessing"—is so simple, but it really anchored the practice even more for me. Would definitely recommend the audio sp ...more
Dhiraj Kumar
May 30, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is good as it answers most of the questions that any beginner has when they start their meditation journey. Some of the answers don't become apparent so easily but as time progresses and you ruminate over them you see why it all makes sense. Meditation is not easy as you might have experienced while meditating but this book explains why it's not about easy vs difficult, why meditation is not about anything in particular but one, why meditation worth your time and many other questions. ...more
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was ok. As an audiobook, the second half was weird because it had really long stretches of silence. I guess you are supposed to be meditating during the silence. But, like, I could have just paused the audiobook. The silent stretches are so long, I would frequently check my app to make sure it was still on. Then I'd kind of drift off and then the author would start talking again and scare me! ...more
Mar 28, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a fantastic intro to meditation. Would definitely recommend as a precursor to starting a meditation program like heads pace or calm.
Erica Clou
Just the basics. I like that it's short but there wasn't too much you can't find in all the other mindfulness books. ...more
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-to-buy
Very well written book. A lot of information to digest for such a simple concept. I want to purchase this book so that i can read portions daily.
Apr 15, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Mindfulness is advertised as a scientific and practical approach to meditation. Actually Kabat-Zinn recycles unjustified claims and vacuous platitudes.
“And as the Navajo like to say, ‘To walk in beauty,’ they say, ‘As a blessing, may you walk in beauty.’ I like to say, ‘May you recognize that you already do. That you already are.’”
Feb 17, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
Just what I needed right now. I almost skipped it because I've read Kabat-Zinn before, but he's so good and you can't hear it too many times. ...more
Dec 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
I was drawn to this book as a means of controlling stress. The first part talks about mindfulness and the second part gives you exercises to practice the art. It will take some practice but it appears to help.
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
U ever just want to “relax”? U ever crave feeling “chill”? This audiobook may be the one for u
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
Pretty good. The first half is an attempt at explaining meditation and validating it from a medical perspective. That's all well and good, but that part felt like a podcast with a lot of "you know"s and "interesting"s. Part of the reason I listen to audiobooks when I do rather than podcasts is for that well thought out, polished, completeness quality rather than the wing it mentality. Both podcasts and audiobooks have their charms and positives, but they're distinct from one another and I like t ...more
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Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D., is founding Executive Director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is also the founding director of its renowned Stress Reduction Clinic and Professor of Medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He teaches mindfulness and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) ...more

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