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Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  1,642 ratings  ·  130 reviews
The mind contains the seeds of its own awakening--seeds that we can cultivate to bring forth the fruits of a life lived consciously. With Mindfulness, Joseph Goldstein shares the wisdom of his four decades of teaching and practice in a book that will serve as a lifelong companion for anyone committed to mindful living and the realization of inner freedom.Goldstein's source ...more
Hardcover, 480 pages
Published November 1st 2013 by Sounds True
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Martin Pozor I am also an atheist and in this regard it was not pushing much irrationality. The only thing which is notable is brief mention of reincarnation few t…moreI am also an atheist and in this regard it was not pushing much irrationality. The only thing which is notable is brief mention of reincarnation few times but with explicitly said the reader is not expected to believe it.

There are some beliefs in Buddhism which are irrational, but vast majority of the philosophy (and the book) is perfectly acceptable to atheists.(less)
rsmania No, it's long and tiring for beginners.…moreNo, it's long and tiring for beginners.(less)

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Karan Bajaj
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't believe this book when I first came across it. Buddhism and meditation has become so populist and simplistic in the West with mantras and chanting and "just let go" instructions that I was blown away to find this rare gem of the book which doesn't flinch away from the hardcore intellectual components of Buddhist philosophy. One of the few books that has greatly deepened my meditation practice. Something switched on in me after reading the book and I evolved from a concentration based ...more
Dan Harris
Mar 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A treasury of practical advice and insights.
May Ling
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Summary: This is a pretty deep book that will take more than 1 reading unless you are already far into your journey. I did not realize what precisely mindfulness was in relationship to meditation. If you are interested in meditation, you likely should read this as well.

This was suggested to me by someone who has practicing meditation for quite a long while. It was to answer the question of whether or not I'm doing it correctly. Although some of it is addressed, not all of my questions are answer
May 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
Five word review: Failed to keep me awake.
Mar 20, 2022 rated it it was amazing
What an incredible read, also added this to my favourite books of all times. Why? There is so much perceived truth in here — my heart, mind, entire being wanted to scream for the entire duration of this almost 500 pages reading journey — yes, yes, yes!! Learned so much about mindfulness, buddhism, how important it is to actually take control of one‘s mind. Feel like this should be an essential read for everyone, would for sure bring forward more peace in this world. 🤍✨
Frank Jude
Joseph Goldstein read the amazingly good and extremely detailed Satipattana: The Direct Path to Realization by the monk, Analayo and was inspired to offer a long series of talks and discussions based upon it that became the basis of Goldstein's book under review. I have assigned Analayo's book to students of mine who are involved in dharma training to become a dharma teacher and it is brilliant. However, it is also very academic/scholarly and not an easy read, especially for anyone not already f ...more
Nov 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Meh. The long silences are good for guided meditation, but it's a pretty empty book. The same sentences over and over as if repetition would help. I had enough of the droning of "look directly at your own mind"... ...more
Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Excellent supplement for serious mindfulness meditators. This can take your practice to the next level.

Reading this book will be more useful if have already been practicing mindfulness meditation for sometime and have some familiarity with its literature.
Flynn Heiss
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is a serious tome. He dives (400 pages) deep into a discourse by the Buddha, the Satipatthana Sutta. I would recommend this to people who have been meditating for a bit and know some of the basic concepts behind Buddhism, and have some interest in learning more about the philosophy to strengthen and guide their practice. I don't think I'd recommend it to a beginner to meditation or Buddhist thought.

This could easily be used as a weekly study guide. I borrowed from the library so didn't
Jon Bash
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, paperback
Wow. An excellent primer on Buddhist thought derived primarily from a single sutta by the Buddha, but also with Goldstein's years of knowledge and experience to supplement the seemingly archaic text, providing context and additional insights, or simply additional perspectives on the same material.

And the content itself is kind of mind blowing. He rarely mentioned anything metaphysical, and when he does he gives fair warning. But largely everything suggested can be directly practiced and experien
Roger Whitson
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a life-changing book. I hesitate to recommend it to people just beginning on their meditation journey, because some of its wisdom would have been difficult for me to hear when I was not more comfortable with the spiritual aspects of meditation. Yet Goldstein's book is simultaneously so practical and so transforming that I will no doubt return to it sometime in the future. ...more
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
Phew, a deep dive into the Satipatthana Sutta. This is not for beginning meditators nor should it be the first introduction to this Sutta. It is quite dense and reads almost like a textbook for the most part - and this is coming from someone who has sat a number of long retreats with Joseph and has already heard most of the ancedotes in the book at his talks (which BTW, if you ever have a chance to, is an experience not to be missed!!). I could not (or maybe did not want to?) read more than a fe ...more
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing

This not only deepened my meditation practice, it also guided my understanding of the ‘big picture’ of the mindfulness practice as a way of training the mind to experience the world in a certain way - and encouraged me to seek out the lessons offered by the book through deepening my awareness of experiences.

The practice of being mindful is not isolated to sitting time meditating, but is available to me at any time when I am awake and mindful.

This book is a solid reference point to a prac
Deb Schum
I really like Joseph Goldstein's meditations and I have taken his classes which I also recommend. But I could not get through this book. It reads like a text book. It is very dry and seemingly repetitive. I am going to spend some more time on the pillow and tackle this again in the future. ...more
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a detailed exploration of the Satipatthana Sutta - one of the core suttas for Insight Meditation practice in the Vipassanna tradition of Buddhism. I found this very valuable and helpful. But you really have to be ready for it, I think. This is NOT for beginning meditators. If you are new to meditation and mindfulness, this will most likely confuse you more than help you. If you have been meditating for a while, though, and want to explore in detail some of the deeper concepts and practic ...more
Kalpesh Mange
Dec 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is not a beginner's starting point. Now that we've got that off the chest, this book is a gold mine!
Nothing makes things relatable and as realistic as what this book helps you do with your practice in real life.
This book draws a tonne from Analayo's Satipattana Sutta, and it shows 💙
Recommended for people wanting to practice meditation off their cushion.
Christopher López
Jun 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is the best book for Buddhist practitioners. I loved the author included Buddha's text and tried to explain what he meant.
I think this book will now be a reference book when my meditation practice goes odd.

The only thing I disliked was the fact of repetitive of concepts. I know Buddha use this technique and the author try to exemplify, but for me is a lot of unnecessary text.
Larissa Vidal
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A clear and meaningful exploration of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path. Goldstein frames the dharma in contemporary settings without watering it down. I read the book in five page increments to give myself time to absorb. I may start right over again from page one.
Ben Payne
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Maybe a little long but a pretty good read.
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful, rich source of support for my mindfulness practice. Helpful especially for those who already listen to guided meditations by the author.
Bobby Jett
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Easily the best book I have ever read on mindfulness, meditation and the teachings of Buddha. Very accessible. I will go back to this book for reference, motivation and guidance again and again.
Mar 13, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Without true awareness, humanity is trapped in a cycle of suffering caused by attachment to the self and its endless cravings. But, with awareness developed and honed into mindfulness, you can break loose. You can become vigilant of the inner phenomena that hold you back, and work on the inner strengths that liberate you. The path to peace and freedom is simple yet challenging, and it begins wherever you are.

Actionable advice:

Summon lovingkindness in the style of the Dalai Lama.

As you move thro
Tom Cummings
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As the word “mindfulness” increasingly comes to be featured in the titles of books, blogs, apps, websites, online courses, corporate seminars, and meditation retreats, one might wonder whether there is room in the marketplace of ideas for even one more such entry bearing this remarkably overused, and perhaps somewhat misused, word. Renowned meditation teacher and Buddhist scholar Joseph Goldstein’s latest book, simply but confidently entitled “Mindfulness”, answers this query with a resounding “ ...more
Don Kaiser
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
On July 5, 2010, at a medium-sized church near my house in a middle sized town in the middle of the Middle West--to quote an old Alabama lyric--there was a free lecture. It was hot. It was a holiday. Nothing much to do, really. So I stopped in to check it out. It was a Unitarian chapel, not important, with air conditioning, important. Plenty of seats. Some guy named Joe Goldstein talking about mindfulness. Never heard of him but I brought my reporter's notebook and took notes. Glad I did. He was ...more
Mark Monroe
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
most of what I've learned about Mindfulness meditation has been through a western-psychology lense. I often would prioritize scientific insights into how the human mind works over the effects Mindfulness and it's home culture of Buddhism have significant ethical and psychological effects on people.

this book has really challenged my worldview, and might have given me something I didn't know I was looking for. Atheist is a passive claim about ones worldview and doesn't produce much enthusiasm, or
Clive F
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the longest-running programmes on radio in the UK is a thing called Desert Island Discs, where the guest picks eight records (remember them?) that would be the eight they'd be happy to be stuck on a desert island with. In addition to the vinyl, you get to pick a book to be stuck on the island with for years - The Bible and The Complete Works of Shakespeare are already there, to save you the bother (perhaps left by a previous inhabitant?).

Well, now I know. This is my Desert Island Book. I
Feb 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Bringing mindfulness back to its Buddhist origins, Goldstein opens up the Satipatthana Sutta in a comprehensive, interesting and practical manner that informs and inspires. Sharing insights and many helpful hints that have helped shape his own practice, this will help others make mindfulness a life practice. Deserves to be read more than once and will be referred to again and again.
Kimberly Nilsson
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Lengthy but wonderful. Now more than ever we get to be Mindful. We get to be mindful of our hygiene, personal space, how we interact with others either by phone, zoom, and/in person. We each get to be a force for good. Share some love and light today. Thanks Jospeh for your book.

May 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Not really a book to write a review of; but one I'll go back to many times. An invaluable resource for understanding one of the most basic and foundational Buddhist texts and the vast depth of knowledge and practice that underlies the term "mindfulness". ...more
May 21, 2014 rated it it was ok
Honestly, I only got through a third of the book. I think it is good for what it intends to do, but it could NOT keep my attention!
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Joseph Goldstein (born 1944) is one of the first American vipassana teachers (Fronsdal, 1998), co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS) with Jack Kornfield and Sharon Salzberg, contemporary author of numerous popular books on Buddhism (see publications below), resident guiding teacher at IMS, and leader of retreats worldwide on insight (vipassana) and lovingkindness (metta) meditation.


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