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Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  1,170 ratings  ·  103 reviews
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What is meditation? For thousands of years, human beings have practiced refined techniques of mental focusing, designed to change the habitual conditioning of the mind. Central to many spiritual and philosophical traditions and known in English as "meditation," these practices are considered a major means for enhanced awareness and self-mast
Audio CD
Published 2011 by Teaching Company
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Mark Ja, dieser Kurs wird von Great Courses angeboten. (Google Translate)

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Tiana Warner
Sep 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a fantastic audiobook on mindfulness. I feel like several areas in my life are benefiting from these practices -- work, hobbies, relationships, sleeping, eating more slowly, and most importantly, dealing with anxiety. I highly recommend this audiobook. With one warning. In the last couple of chapters, he gets into more serious stuff like meditating on pain and illness, culminating in a chapter about meditating on death. Oh man, those were depressing. I don't think I've ever done somethi ...more
Jan 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ttc
This was an impressive course on mindfulness that covers a wide range of techniques and basics on how to lead a wholesome life. Initially I thought the course would focus only on how to practice meditation, but it offered more than that. It is a complete package that teaches you techniques and skills that can aid you on how to lead a wholesome life.
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I didn't do every mindfulness practice while listening to this Audbile course, but I went back and re-listened (and will do so again, I'm sure, as needed) when I felt I wasn't concentrating as much as I could have in the moment. Iwas traveling during the last few chapters and listening while not fully mindful (while flying, etc.) and so know these are the chapters most important to re-visit (e.g. the mindful walking and eating chapters). Most of these courses were enlightening and those I found ...more
May 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was my second Great Courses series and I loved it much more than the first. Each lecture is about 30 mins long and is basically a meditation in itself. I loved the professor's slow southern voice—it inadvertently encouraged me to slow down as well. Bookmarked several points in the course and plan to refer back to them in the future.
August-November 2018: This past August seemed like a good time to give meditation yet another try. Major angst was just part of my daily life and had been for an awfully long time, with no relief in sight, having tried every blessed thing, seemingly. Kind of annoying, that. I wanted to try Mindful meditation, I should specify, which according for Professor Mark W. Muesse has nothing to do with what my preconceived notions of meditation were (thought at this point I couldn't exactly say what thos ...more
Yelena Dubovaya
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So much of this resonated with me and helped me gain a deeper understanding of incorporating mindfulness into much more than just meditation.

The lecture on death was probably my favorite. Muesse asserts that mentally comprehending our impermanence isn’t enough - one must be able to really embrace death in order to live a more fulfilling life. He makes a great many points about the discomfort our (western) society has with the idea of death and the inability to embrace it - as demonstrated by ou
Phong Vu
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a course consists of 24 lectures, teach about a specific kind of meditation, that help us practicing mindfulness. There are other kinds of meditation too, which are not subject of this course. Also, it is not a book about religion, although there are insights we can get from religious quotes and practices, introduced from time to time.
This course teach about the what, why, who, when, where and how to use meditation to practice mindfulness while sitting, walking, eating, to pay more att
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
Got stuck at
"It's probably no coincidence that individuals who choose to end their lives by gunshot almost always put the bullet through their heads."
(The implication being that because they have reached a "mind-driven point of despair" they want to shoot where the mind is)

This lecture series is not for me
Feb 19, 2017 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
I've heard some good things about The Great Courses audiobooks that are offered at Audible and mention in the Audiobook group here at Goodreads. When I saw this audio, I thought I would enjoy it, but I really didn't. It reminded me of some of the boring lectures I had in college. The professor narrating this course droned on and on saying what he's going to cover in this course, which really annoyed me; why not just say what you have to say, not what you're going to say in a future chapter! The ...more
Jan 05, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: great-courses
The one persistent take-away for me that Dr. Muesse mentioned in these lectures is that some people find meditation to be boring. That suggestion is an apt summation of my feelings toward these lectures.
Feb 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This probably should have had the word "Buddhist" in the title somewhere, since it was very much about Buddhist ideas. It did have a Buddha on the cover, so that should be a hint. While there were occasional nods to other traditions, there were also whole lectures on Buddhist ideals. That concern aside, this is a succinctly presented and helpful program on Buddhist meditation. It was an excellent introduction to Buddhist thought bundled with a good introduction to meditation. There are, of cours ...more
Himanshu Modi
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Maybe I am getting old or something, but of late, it's been hard to handle all the clutter in my thought. It's not that the clutter did not exist before. It always did. It's just that my tolerance for it has steadily been decreasing. Or maybe the coping mechanisms - cigarettes, alcohol, general and endless media consumption - I used before are things I try to refrain from these days. I have been increasingly drawn to some of the meditative practices. It's not that I dedicate a chunk of my day to ...more
Dec 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My personal favorite introduction to mindfulness. Although religion is mentioned in some chapters, it's not a religious book at all.

I know that the style of the author doesn't suit everyone. He's a university professor and therefore he might at times be perceived as pedantic. I'm still a big fan of his courses. I find them to be deep, yet simple to follow and very lively.
I don't think I could ask for a better introduction to Mindfulness. The narrator is captivating and mixes theory with exercises (included guided meditation). I'm going to let this sink in and then listen to it again.
Sep 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A road to a different world, mindfulness reveals a way to balance your life through meditation and being aware of your surroundings. The author doesn't label himself with any religion because he wants to stay open. I agree with him when he says that once you take a religion and advocate for it, it's hard to switch sides. He does mention God and Budha but doesn't pressure the reader to believe in any of them, just to learn from their teachings.

I did mostly listen to this audio book while in the g
Derek Peffer
I enjoy much of what I read here. Regarding the structure of the text you could say their was a lot of redundancy since before every transcribed lecture was all organized something like bullet points from much of the main ideas from the lecture and then afterwards was a transcription of the lecture which the bullet points were taken from. This could get annoying for readers but I found it helpful that it would recommit to memory the bullet points as you breeze through the transcription. Also, th ...more
Jim Brown
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have read a lot of books, attended a lot of courses, seen a lot of doctors and can say that a great many of the authors/instructors/doctors have said that practicing medication is a very good thing to create a sense of calmness and even promote good health. None of these people ever gave instructions on HOW to meditate. I tried teaching myself but frankly was not very good at it.

When I saw this 24 lesson course offered on The Great Course web site it was like providence sent me to the site and
Matthew Kern
Aug 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio, non-fiction
This is a phenomenal introductory course to mindfulness and meditative practice.

Muesse produces a potent mixture of theory, wisdom, and practice that is accessible for all levels of those looking into mindfulness. I was inspired by his passion for the practice as well.

Well worth your time if you are interested in finding some serenity in this life or are just interested in what this whole "mindfulness" thing is all about.

My Key Takeaways

* The most important thing about practicing mindfulness is:
Jamil Haddadin
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This audible book (not available as a book or kindle) deserves 5 stars as per my view.
This book works for a beginner & intermediate meditation practicer, it builds up your knowledge about the meditation tradition after convincing you why you might need it & answers many questions around it.
The writer has touched upon an important psychological, ethical & philosophical topics that helps you in the practice & ensuring your success in the journey.
The book is extremely rich; Meditation, Eating, dri
May 07, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, own, psy-meditation
I have listened to the Audible version of this course. Unfortunately, I could not get into this at all. It reminds me too much of extremely boring lectures taught by well-meaning yet extremely mundane professors at college. I do not think it is the content that is the issue. The lectures are delivered in a very monotonic fashion as if they are read directly off scripts (I'm sure they are). On the good side, the accompanying PDF provides a useful, extensive summary of the overall content, which m ...more
Jan Snyder
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a well written book on beginning a journey of mindfulness through meditation. While the author refernces the Buddist practice, he was resolute in recognizing that in our Western culture all faiths and belief systems may benefit from practicing mindfulness. A mindfulness practice can improve our health and well being by making us more aware of our physical environment, speech, eating habits, driving, grief, pain and impermanence. The author walks the reader through the basic tenets of me ...more
Oct 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As it turns out, I'm far too cynical to start meditating at this point in my life. Someday, I hope that will change, but for now this was just a tad too thick for me. Not in terms of complexity. The course itself was easy to follow, simple, clear and even enjoyable. But I couldn't help shake the feeling that everything I really needed to know could have been condensed into an article. That's on me. I chose to keep reading.

This course is comprehensive, but easy. It's the sort of thing I will feel
Lucky Bradley
It adds some detail to mindfulness, but isn't a breakout.

I have understood the importance of meditation, mindfulness and especially in the Buddhist outlook and this definitely helps underscore that tradition of thought.

I firmly believe this is a good resource to those new with mindfulness and might give explanations in a way that makes more sense and perhaps is more accessible.

That being said, if you are already comfortable with the idea of mindfulness, you probably don't need this book.
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the best book I read about mindfulness. With the anecdotes of the author's personal life it is very easy to understand it. The style of the author makes the practice very approachable. I had hard time to practice again mindfulness meditation but this book helped to practice daily again. I just finished the book and it has been now 2 months that I am practising without interruption.
4.5 stars

I think I listened to this course off and on for two years as a way to help me sleep before I decided to really LISTEN and try to absorb the information. Not very mindful of me was it? 😁 I very much enjoyed the course and found many aspects to be inspiring. I'm sure this is one I'll listen to again, and I'd absolutely recommend it.
Scott Thigpen
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-reads
I started this book a few years ago and put it down but decided to finish it this year. Not sure why I put it down, it's fantastic and very worth reading. I gained a lot of perspective and will carry some teachings with me for life.
Nick Armstrong
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
I've been meaning to read this for a looooong time. It's a pretty good, entertaining read with some guided meditations - it does delve into "how-to" early on, but also the when, why, how, why it's important/why it applies, etc. Definitely worth the read.
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a great introduction to meditation and mindfulness. There are guided meditations for different aspects of life, experience level of meditators and types of meditation. If you're looking to get started in the practice, I recommend starting with this course.
I thought this was a very nice introduction to a healthy practice to allow more awareness and peace in our daily living. Topics are in a digestible size, yet cover a fair amount of related topics. Well thought out and nicely presented.
Karin Snortland
Mar 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This very insightful guide helped me both understand and learn the art of mindfulness. It explores the many facets in which one can practice mindfulness as we go about our day. I was infused with energy and excitement to put these principles into practice as I go about my daily life.
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