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Meditation Is Not What You Think: Mindfulness and Why It Is So Important
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Meditation Is Not What You Think: Mindfulness and Why It Is So Important

(Coming to Our Senses #1A)

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  533 ratings  ·  70 reviews
Welcome to a master class in mindfulness.

Jon Kabat-Zinn is regarded as "one of the finest teachers of mindfulness you'll ever encounter" (Jack Kornfield). He has been teaching the tangible benefits of meditation in the mainstream for decades. Today, millions of people around the world have taken up a formal mindfulness meditation practice as part of their everyday lives.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published May 1st 2018 by Hachette Books
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Apr 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Thanks to NetGalley for an advanced ebook in exchange for an honest review.

Whew! Flashbacks of Psychology courses from university are dancing in my head. Don't get me wrong, I loved those classes and I was curious to receive an in depth look at the whole mindfulness culture currently trending our Western society. But people, this was also one very dry read. Our author values meditation and his purpose is clear, but it's a very analytical and historical examination of meditation. Great for a pe
Jared McDonald
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
The whole idea behind this book is to try and bring the reader into a heightened self awareness of their true authentic selves. We often go through life almost as zombies,whether it be through work, our cell phones or any of the other countless ways we find to distract ourselves. Using a combination of Buddhist teaching and modern neuroscience the author challenges us to "wake up" and become aware of the life we're currently living and how we fit into that life not as a part but as a whole. It r ...more
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Meditation Is Not What You Think: The Case for Mindfulness, is the first part of the book, Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness originally published in 2005, updated with a new foreword by the author, Jon Kabat-Zinn. As research has proliferated and mindfulness has entered mainstream culture even more so since the original publication of this book and has become a water cooler topic, the title of this book is apt. As the pace of our daily life has only increa ...more
Sep 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
My take away:
1. The author founded a stress reduction program around meditation in a hospital before that was cool.
2. It did good stuff.
3. Meditation is good for you.
4. Modern life is bad for you.
5. Distracted parents are bad for you.
6. Multitasking is a sin.
7. You should meditate.
8. Everything you know is not that. Meditation isn't what you think it is. All that is, is not. All that has form has no form. "Me, My, I" is the enemy.

Was with you up to point 8 there pal...
Oct 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
Sadly could not finish this book. Even for a meditation book,this one was hard to follow and altogether boring. His other books are quite good and I recommend them but I don’t think this one was necessary at all
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
Way too many incredibly long and run-on sentences kept me from paying attention - had to stop.
Jan 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
The author goes on and on about why meditation is becoming main stream in the medical field, sports & business, but after hours of reading he still hasn't really said anything about meditation. Very tough slog. Didn't finish it. ...more
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: self-improvement
So much of the book is spent saying the same thing, over and over, that I'm not even sure what the point was anymore. To save you the time: Mindfulness and meditation could cure everything. ...more
Wrapped Up in Books
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
An in-depth look into the theory of mindfulness. The first book in a soon-to-be four part series. The second in the series will get more into the practice of mindfulness, which I think will be more my interest. However, as a novice to meditation and mindfulness, I found this book to be useful in explaining to me how simple and beneficial it can be to practice mindfulness. My favorite chapter was Awareness and Freedom, which highlighted bringing awareness to moments of emotional or physical pain ...more
Blaine Duncan
Dec 12, 2018 rated it did not like it
In honesty, I didn't finish this book. I started it but put it back on the shelf to do my yearly Halloween readings in October. I never went back to it due to its utter, desert-like dryness. It's all written very matter-of-factly with no flourishes or fun, which is a shame because I've enjoyed Kabat-Zinn's other writings on meditation. It just read too much like a textbook. I'll leave it on my shelf for the time being in case I see a need to try to finish it, but for now, this one was a bust. ...more
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Reads like a corporatized Ted Talk
Meryl Landau
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
So many great insights, albeit written in the dense prose to be expected from an academic.
Epifania Rita Gallina
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“While meditation is not all about sitting still on the floor or in a chair, taking your seat both literally and metaphorically is an important element of mindfulness. We could say that in essence, it is a direct and very convenient way to cultivate greater intimacy with your own life unfolding and with your innate capacity to be aware—and to realize how valuable, overlooked, and underappreciated an asset that awareness actually is.”

This book was what I needed at this moment in my life, right no
Ben Worsley
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved “Wherever You Go, There You Are.” This was not as good and the author got way out of his lane and went a little “You whipper-snappers get offa my lawn” when discussing ADHD.
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was ok
Interesting but not really useful.
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, re-read
This was a philosophy book rather than a how to meditate book. I figured out quickly that it was better taken in small chunks so that's what i did, reading a chapter or 2 every day.

This was my first book on mindfulness and I thought it was a good introduction. Some of the concepts here i had come to on my own through life experience and my yoga practice (and of course through my reading of Winnie the Pooh as a child :-)). I have used awareness as a pain management tool though i did not know tha
Mar 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: spiritual
Meditation is not actually just to make yourself comfortable and peaceful, it is everywhere. Jan Kabat-Zinn portrays that we ought not to be attached to things as attachments take us away from mindfulness. So What is mindfulness? It is moment-to-moment non-judgemental awareness about yourself. It is keeping yourself with the emptiness. The same emptiness you belong to as a whole.

He elucidates, mediation is a demonstration of love and it makes you aware of yourself otherwise your karma comes back
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a good book (and much needed updated version of the authors work from my previous reads) on the importance of mindfulness in the world we live in today - especially seeing how it’s progressing at present with an even faster pace than before.

It really highlights the problems we face and what’s coming in terms of unique challenges that can only tackled by such a unique practice of meditation and mindfulness - this fact makes the practice of this skill more important now, than ever conside
May 26, 2021 rated it did not like it
It was good at talking about the practice of meditation and how it can positively impact your life. The 1 star was due to the antiquated statements about ADHD. ADHD is not a lack of focus and just an issue of mind over matter. It is an issue of brain chemistry. While I have used mediation to help with some of the issue like anxiety from my ADHD, nothing will cure it. When he started talking about how there is rise in ADHD diagnosis. And that it was as a result of a cultural issue. It was ridicul ...more
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
I read this book because it was the featured Hot Coffee Hot Book promo at Barnes & Noble and I wanted to give an informed description of it to my customers when the coupons started rolling out. As for a Good Reads review, let's just say that this was not my cup of tea.

I have no personal opinions on Jon Kabot-Zinn himself as I am not familiar with him or his other works, so if you're reading my review and considering this book: give it a shot. The author clearly values mediation and teaching the
Jul 26, 2018 rated it liked it
I will preface this review by sharing that this is the first book I’ve read about meditation. I found the chapters on meditation for stress reduction (MBSR) especially informative. Especially the concept that meditation does not refer to a specific activity but is everywhere at any moment that one is present. It gives the reader much to contemplate and presents meditation as less of a mystery and more of a state of being. It is not a quick read and I must admit I was a little lost in a couple of ...more
Saurabh Tripathi
Jun 21, 2020 rated it did not like it
This book is all over the place, it talks from topic of global warming to ethics & deontology in Buddhism. It has a mystic flavor with poetry and ambiguous/vague statements which can be interpreted in number of ways. And it has a lot of repetition.

The book preaches a philosophy with absolutely no critical point against it.

Book miss to address it’s title in scientific and structured way, or simply in a meaningful way where reader may take away some practical points.

I kinda mad at it and me for w
Apr 11, 2021 rated it it was ok
Meditation is a constant struggle for me. I think I have it only to realize I was only taking a nap.

This author was meditating before it was cool. He took meditation to a clinical setting and helped others to heal. He also points to flaws with modern-day technology and dysfunctions leveraged by social media and 24/7 news cycle.

This is NOT a book on how but rather a story of why we should practice meditation and mindfulness.

If you want a book on helping with improving your meditation practice th
May 14, 2018 rated it liked it
More than a how- to learn and begin to meditate book, this starts out with a history of the practices of meditation. The writing is not meant to be entertaining or light. It is straight forward, perhaps a bit intimidating at times.
I suggest it more for those who meditate regularly already , especially for those who use it in a practice or are teaching others.

This makes for good additional reading in a Psychology or Sociolgy course.
May 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction, religion
This just didn’t sit well with me. Too much moralizing, too much explanation as to how this book fits into a larger project (it was about the first sixth of the book), and while there were occasional helpful insights and explanations, there was no systematic development or follow through, such that the result read as personal wanderings and reflections rather than as an attempt to communicate the author’s views on mediation.
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was ok
I have read a lot of books on Mindfulness and meditation and this author has approached
the subject a lot better. This book was a little disappointed because I thought that it would
hit on doing meditation maybe better or better suggestions. It's OK for someone who is
new to meditation and mindfulness
Laura Hoffman Brauman
Decent introduction to the topic, but I was bought in to the benefits a couple of chapters in and wanted more on getting started. To be fair, the author was very clear that this was a "what" and "why" book and not a "how" one. I will pick up some of his other work to get the how to start and sustain info. ...more
Colin Gilreath
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
A good beginners manual for mindfulness. Kabat does a good job of telling you how not to approach mindfulness in a way that you are seeking something from it but rather as just a way of being. He has a writing style that is calming in itself and does a good job of simplifying the very abstract and difficult practice of mindfulness.
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Gratefully detached from "how-to's" and claims of "fixes", this book ventures instead into delicate consideration of embracing the full capacity of heart and mind. Kabat-Zinn writes less like a PhD and more like a philosopher with each page offering poetry-like musings and intricate thoughts that would be best spoken out loud to catch the intonation, pace, and tone. ...more
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020
I read this because I think Karena from Tone It Up recommended it. I did listen to this on audio. It may have been better in print.

It was not informative for me and came off repetitive.

Mindfulness is awareness. Intentionality is key. Be wary of dualistic thinking. Meditation is not nothing actively paying attention to the being of life.
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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

Other books in the series

Coming to Our Senses (1 books)
  • Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness

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“While meditation is not all about sitting still on the floor or in a chair, taking your seat both literally and metaphorically is an important element of mindfulness. We could say that in essence, it is a direct and very convenient way to cultivate greater intimacy with your own life unfolding and with your innate capacity to be aware—and to realize how valuable, overlooked, and underappreciated an asset that awareness actually is.” 0 likes
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