Jon Kabat-Zinn makes it clear that the essence of meditative practice lies in how one lives one's life from moment to moment, in all its aspects and relationships, and not merely in formal meditative practices. This program offers an experience of mindfulness that is entirely congruent with our lives in the 21st Century: It is effective, portable, and easily adopted - a perfect antidote to life in the fast lane. Bonus: "Exercises and Meditations". In this follow-up to Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life, Kabat-Zinn adds a decidedly American flair to the elusive art of living fully in each moment as it unfolds. This segment includes guided instruction in mindful walking, sitting meditation, mindful hatha yoga, and also Kabat-Zinn's responses to questions from workshop participants, which may help deepen both one's understanding and commitment to the cultivation of mindfulness.
©2013 Jon Kabat-Zinn (P)2011 BetterListen! LLC, all rights reserved
trying to see the world with my ears
You can find similar material from Zinn in pieces on the Internet; you can get more detail in better sound quality in his other more recent publications; but for an accessible overview at a peanut price, this is a good bargain.
It is a workshop, however, conducted primarily for the attendees and happened to be recorded rather than scripted for audiobook purposes. You can hear rustling and other crowd sounds. You can hear Zinn breathing during yoga and he may have a cold. For me the sound quality was acceptable but not up to that of, say, a Sounds True current production.
This is a 1.5-hour intro to mindfulness talk with exercises (like raisin eating) and Q+A, lots of Q+A. Zinn handles the questions skillfully. This is followed by sitting (following breath with alternating periods of silence and guidance/commentary, including the mountain meditation included in Zinn’s “series 2” audio). There is about an hour of mindful yoga, similar to his “series 1” audio first yoga session - then more sitting, brief walking meditation and yet more Q+A. The program is more useful if listening with an app that permits bookmarks – and if you’re not planning on meditating with the audio, a fast forward function.
As usual, Zinn presents mindfulness in a secular/nonsectarian way and cuts through the dualistic thinking that divides secular/sacred. Because Zinn refers to his “tapes”, I assume this is an older workshop, but it stands the test of time. He refers to the “Open Centre” in New York but the exercises take place in a in a hotel space not really suitable for the work being done, and that sometimes gets in the way of the content. I felt annoyed by the context at the outset, but ended by enjoying the listen (and it’s almost worth the download just to hear Zinn say "just f*'ing do it!" to a live group).
This would be most useful to those interested in this inclusive flavour of mindfulness who maybe do not want to invest more time or money in other programs. For me, it's probably the closet I'll ever come to hearing Zinn in person, so it was worth the listening time, warts and all.
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