I have been reading this book on a loop for the past two weeks. It is not a book to read. It is a book to absorb. It needs to sipped into the texture of one's life. I found it to be the case for all I have read by Jone Kabat-Zinn so far. The "Eastern" elements can be disorienting at times as they appear to contradict all we were taught about the American way of life--striving in particular. And try "non-judging" for size. But with each new reading, the "Western" resilience breaks down a bit more. The book will not make a Buddhist out of the reader. Or if it does, it was not JKZ's intent. But it will make you feel more alive. Just listen. And really pay attention to the words.
Yes, I would agree with the readers who found this book a bit dry. Both the format and the content read like the transcript of a symposium. The narrator has a blank tone to match the format. And indeed this book is basically the transcript of a five day symposium. But the readers who enjoyed Daniel Goleman's Social Intelligence, and Emotional Intelligence, and presumably the Dalai Lama's books (none of which I have read yet) will no doubt enjoy this read. I found the parallel between modern neuroscience and Buddhism, and the Dalai Lama's approach to science absolutely fascinating. It is not a how-to book. It doesn't offer practice, exercises, and self help strategies. It is a polyphonic dialogue between high level scientists and devout Buddhists. It is very respectful, enriching, and highly civilized. If the world listened to this group of people, both scientists and monks, it would be a much better place.