It is an excellent primer for mindfulness training. Dr. Cabot-Zinn presents the work in a straightforward way that is thoughtful, compassionate, and, most importantly for this reader, woo-free. In other words, Cabot-Zinn does not engage in inducing or inculcating unvalidatible principles into the work, such as references to gods, mystical forces, etc. Those elements are present in many other books on Audible, despite some of them being presented as training manuals for professionals.
This is the book to get if you are interested in understanding/developing mindfulness either for yourself or as an adjunct to treatment for psychotherapy clients. It appears to proceed from the unspoken tenant that mindfulness development can and should be based in scientifically-based principles and not from culturally-based, illogical, and oppressive principles rooted in fad, fashion, and feel-good fantasy.
With the exception of his statement at about the 9:33:00 mark that he sees no reason to put more weight of evidence into his belief system based on science than the Buddhist does based on meditative proofs, Batchelor completely nails the task of providing a thorough and clear understanding of the strengths and weaknesses that Siddhartha's ideas have developed into. Apparently, he does not believe that his beliefs would stand up to the scrutiny of one who did not already share his belief system. Perhaps one day I will be fortunate enough to explore his position. Perhaps his position as stated in the book has already been altered. In either case, this book is a treasure and a soothing antidote to the injections of unvalidated dogma heaped onto the unknowing by those Buddhists who appear to have married their mind to mindlessness.
If you never went through a cavalcade of studying the works of people who called b!?&sh@/ on religion, then this is the book for you. What a great education in the scope of these works. I really felt grounded around the issue of doubt through time as a result of reading it. It also upset me in that I was left with an overall feeling of hopelessness of safe coexistence with religion. Religion seems to come back with a vengeance and kill off or at least destroy the careers of people who say "No" to the delusions of its unvalidated precepts. It seems as though doubting ends up being a game of Whack-a-Mole.
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