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Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  10,433 ratings  ·  630 reviews
2005 15th anniversary edition reprint

Kabat-Zinn, founder of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, is perhaps the best-known proponent of using meditation to help patients deal with illness. (The somewhat confusing title is from a line in Zorba the Greek in which the title character refers to the ups and downs of family life as "the
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Kindle Edition, Revised, 722 pages
Published September 24th 2013 by Bantam (first published 1990)
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Mihai Rosca The content is pretty much the same. If you are a beginner in mindfulness, either could work. If you seek further improvement in your practice, probab…moreThe content is pretty much the same. If you are a beginner in mindfulness, either could work. If you seek further improvement in your practice, probably the revised one would provide a slightly better experience.(less)
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Patricia
Jul 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book as part of my "get rid of psorisis in 2009" campaign. In my research, I read about a study where patients undergoing UV treatment for psorisis who listened to the body scan meditation associated with this book showed more improvement than patients who didn't. I'm not undergoing UV treatment, but I thought it couldn't hurt to see what this book has to say. Plus, I was intrigued by the title.

This is not a thin book. It is very, very long and as my library due date approached, I ha
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David Sasaki
October and November were my months of self-help. I don't think I've ever read a self-help book in my life, but within four weeks I had read three.

I discovered Jon Kabat-Zinn after receiving dozens of messages of concern about my recent sleeplessness. Various types of meditation and breathing exercises were the most popular recommendations. Some suggested retreats, others classes, and others audio CDs. I figured I'd start with a guided audio CD, and if it didn't work then I'd enroll in a class
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Laysee
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: five-star-books
Full Catastrophe Living is a 650-page practical guide on how to cultivate a mindfulness-based approach to life. It is very well written. I have long wanted to learn about mindfulness as an adjunct to other forms of psychotherapy. I read it slowly and took notes over the past six months during my sabbatical from work. This review is for myself as a way of summing up my thoughts on mindfulness. Please do not feel obliged to read it.

Mindfulness is defined operationally as the awareness that arise
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Ruby
Feb 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a real mixed bag for me - simultaneously profound, moving and frustrating! I think it is a bit like eating a wholesome meal that is good for your body but not particularly tasty. You eat it, you know it is doing you good, but you secretly think a bit of extra flavour wouldn't go astray. The fact that I have given it four stars is testimony to the good aspects of this book, which were very, very good.

I will start with what I did NOT like. The book was more than 1000 pages long; I ca
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L
Jan 19, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeanette (Again)
Dec 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jeanette (Again) by: Myra
I'm assigning five stars based on the book's content and thoroughness. The real value remains to be determined after consistent practice of the program.

Most people will only be drawn to a program like this after a health crisis or other major life stressor. There is a significant daily time commitment, especially for the first 8 weeks of practice. I've had to eliminate some non-essential activities from my life to make time for this work.

The book gives you a chance to simulate the 8-week progr
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Magdelanye
This book found me just after I returned to the city after a long intensive retreat, living in the mountains. I knew I couldn't stay in the city and I was overwhelmed with decisions. JKZ introduced to me to a new way of integrating my life. I will be forever grateful.

here is a link to a recent talk
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2efO...

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Jeff
Tough book to review.

I've taken a mindfulness class or two through my medical provider and Kabat-Zinn is clearly THE man, and this book THE reference for everything going on there.

And I think it's likely some, if not many, of the epiphanies and insights I experienced in the class I would've experienced here if I'd come to the material cold.

But since I didn't...

If you are interested in pursuing mindfulness/meditation but are worried about dealing with religious cant of one sort or another, JKZ ha
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Brad Harkins
Nov 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Health problems? Traditional medicine has let you down? Curious about meditation and it's benefits on your health? This book may be for you. It helped me in various ways and will continue to. It outlines and guides you through the 8 week stress reduction program that Kabat-Zinn teaches at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Case studies are included on people who suffer (sometimes horribly) from a wide range of health issues. Anything from just stress, to panic attacks, to heart dise ...more
Bri
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My therapist recommended this book to me and it was SO SO SO helpful.
Mario the lone bookwolf
On the core areas of meditation, yoga and mindfulness focused laying the foundation stone of a new form of therapy

Please note that I put the original German text at the end of this review. Just if you might be interested.

An understandable guide to an intensive, 8-week program to treat a variety of mental, psychosomatic and physical ailments can be found in this work. The "mindful-based stress reduction" program allies traditional relaxation techniques, yoga exercises, walking meditation, mindfu
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Bloodorange
I was intimidated by the bulk of this book, but unnecessarily so. Some reviewers say it's repetitive - I agree but I think the point of the book is to read it and then refer to parts that apply to your specific situation, without having to brush up on basics covered elsewhere.

The book is divided into five parts:
* Part I deals with mindfulness techniques - I really appreciate the fact that it gives detailed pointers on how to raise your meditation practice from satisfactory to deep
* Part II deal
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Arimo
Apr 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ei-fiktio
Great content, less impressive presentation

Jon Kabat Zinn's Full Catastrophe Living is one of the most recommended mindfulness books out there. It's easy to see why. Besides an excellent 8-week mindfulness program, the book offers thorough guidance for all fields of life. There's a lot of information stored within the covers.

The 8-week mindfulness program is easily worth 4 stars or more, but the presentation drops my rating. First of all, Jon Kabat-Zinn is not a very engaging writer. He leaves n
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JDK1962
It took me a long time to get through this book. Not because I disagree with any of it (I don't), but because this book, IMHO, desperately needed an editor, or at least a more assertive editor than it had. The material is excellent, but probably could have been presented in half the number of pages. The organization seemed poor, and consequently, there were many times where I felt like I was being told something I had already been told...and had not just been told twice or three times, but ten t ...more
Lisa Vegan
Oct 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in mindfulness, meditation, stress reduction
This is the book that got me started on a mindfulness meditation practice.

Of course, at around the same time I was reading it, I took a MBSR (mindfulness based stress reduction) class and was working with a mindfulness psychotherapist, so it’s hard to review the book on its own; the class was essential for me as just reading the book might not have spurred me on. Meditation is very difficult, especially at the beginning, at least it was/is for me. And, even though Kabat-Zinn says it's not at al
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Michelle
Sep 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing book! I've read several books on mindfulness and meditation over the years, but none of them were actually practical. This book explains clearly not only the reasons why you should train yourself to practice mindfulness but also how to do it. It lays out Kabat-Zinn's 8-wk meditation immersion from his stress reduction clinic associated with UMass medical center, where physicians send their patients with the most difficult chronic medical conditions for relief that can't be had with medic ...more
Aubree Deimler
This was a long 600 page journey filled with such wisdom. Jon Kabat-Zinn's words are divine. He beautifully describes the magic of mindful living and how this greatly benefits those living with chronic illness, pain and stress.

He goes into great detail about the mindfulness stress reduction program and includes many stories of success from past participants. I've noticed big shifts in my own life since I started reading this one. I highly recommend this to anyone dealing with chronic pain and/o
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Carol Peacock
I am a huge proponent of mindfulness, but felt this book needed a strong editor. I found many parts of it highly repetitive.
Tash
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Four weeks after starting MBSR, I broke multiple bones and had a compound fracture while rock climbing. It took two hours for a helicopter to pick me up and during that whole time, I was cool and collected while I focused on my breath and the sensations across my whole body.

MBSR helped me through three surgeries and six months of not being able to walk unassisted. It gave me a framework on how to think about pain, emotions and what it means to be able-bodied.

I've been practicing and learning ab
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Gregory K.
May 09, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: counseling
The title of this book is a little bit misleading. When you see the word "Catastrophe" you might think that this is a book that will help you in a crisis. In reality though this book is more about gently changing your perspective so you are better able to handle future problems. And even these goals are also loose and unfocused (as the rambling subtitle might suggest), so it may be best to tackle this book when you have lots of time and emotional energy to spend on a reading project. You will ne ...more
Julie
Life can be crazy and hectic. It seems like there are never enough hours in the day and that 'To Do' list grows ever longer. So it sounds pretty crazy to dedicate 45 minutes of an overly scheduled day to yoga and meditation. But Kabat-Zinn gives compelling evidence that we really do need to clear our minds, not only for our sanity, but for our physical well being. I am convinced that he is right. But, still have not incorporated either into my life... Another thing to add to that To Do list.
Katie Curlee Hamblen
Drags at times because it's just so long, but the lessons are invaluable. This was totally indispensable when I became seriously ill. And really, although he's pretty wordy, Jon Kabat-Zinn's special combination of kindness and rationality shine through.
Chandana Watagodakumbura
“This is the path of insight, of wisdom, and of healing. It is the path of acceptance and peace. It is the path of the mind-body looking deeply into itself and knowing itself. It is the art of conscious living, of knowing your inner resources and your outer resources and knowing also that, fundamentally, there is neither inner nor outer. It is profoundly ethical”

“Full Catastrophe Living – Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness” by Jon Kabat-Zinn (Emeritus
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Amy
Though there was a lot in this book that I skimmed over, there were a lot of true gems that will particularly be useful in developing a practice of mindfulness and meditation. Some of the information helped me to overcome some of the blocks I've formed and approach in a different way.

I will admit that the title initially made me wary -- not one I wanted to be reading in public, but in the intro, the author relates the story behind it:
In groping to describe that aspect of human condition that pat
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Falina
Oct 31, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have trouble writing reviews for self-help books. I'm not sure what I'm actually reviewing -- the format and the way the information is presented, or the information itself. I find myself trying to review the system the books are pushing, rather than the books themselves, but I'll try to review Full Catastrophe Living as a book. I think it's complete -- I don't see how you'd would really need another book on mindfulness and meditation if you have this one; this is a book that can keep you busy ...more
stephanie
May 13, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to stephanie by: dr. susan evans.
smart, excellent review of the ways in which mindfulness better your life, can reduce stress and pain. I found it a little long and repetitive for a 15th edition, but that might also be because i've gotten most of the good stuff through his other writings/audiobooks/other authors.

i would recommend this a wonderful place to start for people who aren't sure what mindfulness is really about. i didn't like how often he used the word "meditation", for true mindfulness isn't meditation at all, but a
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Elizabeth Theiss
This book was the beginning of a long path toward compassion and understanding. Kabat-Zinn is a researcher at UMass Medical Center who works with and studies people with chronic pain problems and how meditation eases the effects of pain. His focus is in the individual reader and the book is essentially a sophisticated self-help guide for living "the full catastrophe," that is, life in a normal context. The subtext is Eastern philosophy as a way to cope with the challenges of daily life.

I read F
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Holly Socolow
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Actually, I'd read this years ago, but picked up the 2nd edition recently to read the updated research and see how JK-Z's views had evolved since publishing his groundbreaking work. If you've ever experienced Jon's teaching, you will hear his distinct voice on every page. If not, you may find it verbose. The book details the 8-week program, MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction), which has now been replicated internationally and is the gold standard upon which thousands of research papers hav ...more
Sandee
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books
This is an excellent book for someone relatively new to mindfulness and meditation. However, I am a practitioner of both. I bought this book looking for more insight to using these practices in my changing life. I found lots of inspiration and reminders of things I had forgotten. I found some sections unnecessarily complex to read and to understand. It also requires lots of time to think about and practice the concepts. This is a book you may be reading for years to come. Some sections may not a ...more
Thomas
Jan 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was recommended to me by a friend who heard me yammering about yoga and psychology (and cetera) after my India trip two years ago...and I am finally getting around to it! I'm pleasantly surprised to discover that instead of the schmaltzy bullshit with the accompanying subway ad, such as one might expect from the burgeoning self-help industry, this is a serious book. Zinn is an *actual* doctor, writing about methods and results garnered from his practice. His straightforward, mysticism- ...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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