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The Mind's Own Physician

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  247 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
In Washington, DC, the Dalai Lama met with Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Full Catastrophe Living, Richard Davidson, and other leading meditation researchers to explore the intersection between ancient meditation techniques and modern neuroscience. The result is a fascinating and revealing conversation about the potential of the human mind to heal itself through mindfulness med ...more
ebook, 290 pages
Published 2012 by New Harbinger Publications (first published January 1st 2011)
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The Mind's Own Physician is a fascinating book. The text is an edited collection of transcripts from a conference where the Dalai Lama listened and responded to various presentations (from what I can tell) on the intersection between meditation/mindfulness and empirical brain research. Moderated dialogue and questions from the audience followed each presentation. I'm not a neurologist (they're the ones who study the brain, right?) but I could follow along with the science pretty well and compreh ...more
♥ Ibrahim ♥
The first 20-page introduction is completely boring and useless. The book is laid like a set of lectures, sessions and everyone is speaking pompously, academically as one. Also, this shot the sense of unity of thoughts, the flow of the book, straight in the foot. It could have dealt with the subject in more simple, plain terms, and thus given us ideas of how we can train our brains in the right direction. Sadly, the book failed in that! It is ostentatiously boring!
Dec 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'The Mind's Own Physician' is a dialogue in five sessions between the Dalai Lama and a set of physicians and researchers before an audience at the Mind and Life Institute. If you would like more information about the past or future sessions, here is the web address:

The dialogue in this book was aimed at finding meditation and mindfulness practices that could be incorporated in medicine. There are very many ways to meditate as HH Dalai Lama states. He didn’t have an e
Apr 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very interesting look into a growing research interest: How meditation can affect the brain and body.

The book is drawn directly from a conference among scientists and contemplatives -- people who practice or teach meditation for spirituality or therapeutic purposes.

"Meditation" here mostly focuses on Buddhism or on the "mindfulness" techniques that are drawn from/similar to certain Buddhist practices.

It may not be an easy read for all -- the neuroscience parts can be a little dense.
M. Jane Colette
I love the topic, I usually enjoy Jon Kabat-Zinn's books, and -- well, it's the Dalai Lama! This should have been a fabulous book. Unfortunately, as a written collection of essays + conversations presented at the Mind & Life Institute conference, it does not work. I guess you had to be there in person? Or the editors should have reworked the material more substantially to work in the written form.
Jim Parker
Sep 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For centuries those of us in the west have treated the mind/brain and body and two separate entities. Most modern research shows this to be folly. This book while not providing the answers does provide a fertile ground for exploring how to resolve that divide.
Jun 24, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
First read 24 Jun 2014

Sangha (community) is the whole of the practice
This emphasizes that we are not practicing in isolation. It is extremely important to cultivate environments, in terms of both human communities and harmonious relationship with one’s general environment.

Read again 5 Jun 2017

One of my least favorites of Jon Kabat Zinn and Richard J Davidson's works. I was mainly interested in His Holiness Dalai Lama's words, of which there are few in this book.

HH Dalai Lama: As for my participa
This book is an edited transcription of a 2005 conference with the Dalai Lama about meditation, the brain, and both physical and metal health. It included both spiritual and scientific experts and has an epilogue that summarizes achievements in the next 5 years, through 2011.

I found it quite interesting, and learned a great deal about how the brain functions and saw some very convincing evidence on how the use of certain types of meditation can reduce our experience of pain, prevent the relapse
Dec 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Title: The Mind's Own Physician:
by Jon Kabat-Zinn
A Scientific Dialogue With the Dalai Lama on the Healing Power of Meditation....

I won this book on Goodreads Giveaway!
Edited by world-renowned researchers Jon Kabat-Zinn and Richard J. Davidson, this book presents this remarkably dynamic interchange along with intriguing research findings that shed light on the nature of the mind, its capacity to refine itself through training, and its role in physical and emotional health.

If you are looking for
Kim Heimbuch
This was a surprisingly good book, but I only give it three stars because I felt it could have done more to press the need for natural medicine in our overly medicated Western society.
Bringing together the worlds of Eastern medicine and Western medicine together, including the Dalai Lama and leading Western medicine scientists many questions were asked and brought to the attention of a wide audience and given the opportunity to share, learn, and change the way we think in the modern world. Only
Dec 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this, as I do most things that are written by His Holiness the Dalai Lama. I have nothing but the utmost respect for him, and am constantly taken aback not only by his unwavering devotion to his spiritual ideals, but also his impressive intellect and curiosity about the world we live in. I only wish that every religious leader could approach the real world with the openness and willingness to learn and accept change that the Dalai Lama has shown. In other words, dude is wicked sma ...more
Nov 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful book, so interesting that's amazing, I will keep on reading again and again. Based in a conference held in 2005 in which HH Dalai Lama spoke with scientist and neurologist about the healing power of meditation, and has a full update on the state of the art at the end.
Starting form the possible biological substrates of meditation and its relation with healing either the body and the mind we have a full review about last research in this field.
Adam Sprague
This book is pretty darn cool. However, His Holiness, despite being the center of the meeting's attention, is more or less talked at rather than talked to. Even during discussion His Holiness is often only a light participator. This could be for any number of reasons, but I didn't enter to win this book to hear what Catholic Priests thought about meditation -- I entered to win this book to hear what HH thought!

That said, the presentations are quite interesting and I enjoyed this book quite a bit
Jul 11, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A multilogue among those steeped in neuroscience and spiritual leaders provides much food for thought. . . especially if you are highly curious and willing to stick with it even when it seems esoteric or slow (just like some psychology conferences I've attended!) The very fact that these sectors are speaking to each other is heartening as it shows that there need not be a split between science and spirituality.
Feb 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Mind's Own Physician" had a lot of really interesting perspectives. The science of meditation is still in its early stages, and only time will tell whether it is truly as powerful and positive as many of this conference's participants believe. But for anyone who is interested in this intersection of eastern and western intellectual traditions, I would highly recommend reading this book.
Dec 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I thourghly enjoyed reading the science behind the "faith". I have practiced meditation for years and it has changed my life and my HEALTH. Even my Western doctor has acknowledged that my mind over ruled my body, and he became a believer. I am giving my copy of this book to him, so now he can see the science behind it.
Dec 30, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one that took a while to read just because some discussions were less interesting than others for me. With that aside, this is an excellent and informative book. It offers well-developed studies and thought-out explanations. Truly interesting for anyone who is curious about mindfulness/meditation and the benefits of the two.
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-loan
Interesting for me in that I somehow can't resist when scientists try to explain things that aren't really explainable by them. But the interview has plenty of things I would like to ask the Dalai Lama and his answers are quotable and great food for thought. I just might refer to this one often for inspiration.
Jen Bojkov
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful book recording one of the conferences on meditation and mindfulness with the Dalai Lama and other experts in the fields of contemplation and various medical specialties. Discussing the affect of meditation on health- both physical and mental. Bottom line- I will continue my attempts at adding meditation into my daily routine.
Chris Laws
May 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review of existing research on how meditation reduces stress, improves cognitive abilities, and heightens the immune system among other benefits. Transcribes the presentations from the 2005 Mind and Life Conference. Compelling evidence that meditation is a good supplement to modern medicine.
Apr 19, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
wayyyy to scholarly to be anything close to readable, in my opinion. it's basically a transcript of a meeting. and while i usually can absorb anything written by the Dalai Lama and Kabat-Zinn, I abandoned this book after only a few pages. Disappointed!
Michelle Mason
Oct 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating to hear from these learned people from various walks of life about the potential and possibilities of healing through the power of the mind. Both science and medicine as well as contemplatives have much to offer in this arena. This is only the beginning....
Serena Long ﺕ
It may not be an easy read for all. This book does still have a lot of religious and medical terminology that you need to learn in order to understand the concepts so it is not a book that you can read quickly. I recommend reading about one session and then letting the book sit for a while.
another of the excellent Mind & Life series-- this has the ever awesome Robert Sapolsky, plus Wolf Singer and of course, Jon Kabat-Zinn & Alan Wallace (& H.H., natch).
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read if you're interested in scientific research and the discussion of, since I'm psych ED I enjoyed it.
Jan 09, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting but probably only understood fifty percent.
Josiah Miller
Dec 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an edited transcript of of a conference. Each section provides a brief introduction/broad overview into various topics, without going into much depth.
Kevin Mcgovern
Dec 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self, to-purchase
amazing read on the meeting of east and west. must read
Tim Lund
rated it really liked it
Apr 24, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Aug 05, 2017
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The mind's Own Physician 1 4 Jan 01, 2012 06:23PM  
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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
More about Jon Kabat-Zinn...

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