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Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation Lecture

Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation

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Publisher's Summary

Meditation - the technique of mental focusing for enhanced awareness and self-mastery - offers deep and lasting benefits for mental functioning and emotional health, as well as for physical health and well-being.

This practice is closely related to "mindfulness," which Professor Muesse defines as "a deliberate way of paying attention to what is occurring within oneself as it is happening. It is the process of attentively observing your experience as it unfolds, without judgment or evaluation."

"Meditation," he adds, "refers to certain exercises that can be used to enlarge and refine mindfulness." Meditation cultivates mindfulness by training you to develop deep attention to the present moment, allowing the mind to become settled and centered. These 24 detailed lectures teach you the principles and techniques of sitting meditation, the related practice of walking meditation, and the highly beneficial use of meditative awareness in many important activities, including eating and driving. You will also learn how to use the skills of meditation in working with thoughts and emotional states, in deepening sensory awareness of the body, and in becoming deeply attentive to the operation of your mind.

You'll come away with a solid basis for your own meditation practice and for bringing meditation's remarkable and empowering benefits to every aspect of your life.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2011 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2011 The Great Courses

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Bead lover Linda 02-01-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "can't relate to delivery"
    Would you try another book from The Great Courses and/or Professor Mark W. Muesse?

    No I would not try another of Professor Muesse's lectures/courses. Although I am very interested in the topic, the overall performance & delivery style was not something I could listen to and absorb information from.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Professor Mark W. Muesse’s performances?

    NO


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Krista Smith 04-16-16
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    "His accent was so distracting"

    His voice and accent made me want to shove an ice pick in my ear drums. Wish this was not an audio book or they would have chosen someone with a soothing voice

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick 07-14-14
    Patrick 07-14-14

    Et tu, Brute?

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Might Require Multiple Listens"

    I very much enjoyed learning about mindfulness and the concepts that entail with the practice. In this lecture, you'll learn how to practice simple basic meditation and how to do so while eating, walking, and sitting as well.

    I've studied various types of meditation throughout the years and this was still a learning lesson. The professor was great, as he had an almost "gentle" approach. When I practiced applying some of the methods he lectured on, I could hear his voice in my mind instructing what to look for and how to observe your thoughts while experiencing simple everyday life tasks such as taking a walk. He mentions several Buddhist concepts along the way, but doesn't emphasize that it's mandatory to embrace them. No pressure.

    I highly recommend if you're interested in learning more about meditation and mindfulness (living in the present moment)

    11 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Guilherme 10-19-13
    Guilherme 10-19-13 Member Since 2013

    You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take. —Wayne Gretzky

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Best book on meditation I've read"

    this is an incredible book about meditation in general and a new way of seeing the world as it is not as a construction of your self. I recommend this listen to everyone who is like me always anxious for no reason, like the world is about to end at any instant.
    I'm planning to listen to it many times, probably two or three times a year.

    22 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pauline Colorado Springs, CO, United States 02-02-14
    Pauline Colorado Springs, CO, United States 02-02-14 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The information is good but delivery is pedantic"

    If you have no problem listening to a professor whose delivery is more pedantic than spontaneous, this is a fair medium to learn from. Otherwise, I'd recommend that it be read from a book. Tweezing out the jewels while listening to someone speak in the fashion Tim Conway used to drive his audience nuts by doing his slow talk routine is a tough job. I did manage to finish the course but I had to deliberately choose when to listen such as days I was particularly patient. As mentioned in the title, the suggestions are good. Getting to them is not.

    20 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    steven 08-23-13
    steven 08-23-13

    I like skiing, golf, gardening, and fitness.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent narrator who speaks from experience."
    What made the experience of listening to Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation the most enjoyable?

    I learned so much about Buddhist meditation.


    Which character – as performed by Professor Mark W. Muesse – was your favorite?

    The Buddha


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The book made me want to learn more.


    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    augustine 09-17-14
    augustine 09-17-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Close your eyes, breathe and stay focused"

    My headline says it all, unless you want to hear a religious angle to Mindfulness, complete with Budha quotes.

    A bit too preachy sounding, although I am not questioning the lectures sincerity.

    It did get me back to meditating again.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stardog77 TX 11-02-14
    Stardog77 TX 11-02-14

    Stardog77

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This is great!"

    I'm listening to a bunch of different stuff to get over this experience during which I was treated horribly by a very bad man. I listened to this as an introduction to mindfulness with the aim of having more control over my mind so I can stop thinking about this dastardly character. I am finding the techniques really helpful. Moreover, the idea that I can practice mindfulness and control distressing emotions in the future is extremely empowering. I recommend this lecture series particularly if you are suffering from repetitive thoughts that are affecting your enjoyment of life.
    The only thing wrong with this book is that, when the professor puts on his "quiet and relaxing" voice for guided meditation stuff, he sounds exactly like Hank Hill, and it gives me the giggles pretty bad (I don't know how familiar y'all are with meditation, but giggling is supposedly counterproductive).

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diana 02-08-14
    Diana 02-08-14 Member Since 2013

    Practicing Idealist, Dabbling Realist ;)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Whew! Hard to pay attention to the speaker"

    because I kept daydreaming while listening to this. Suddenly the day's To Do list became more important, or remembering something that happened, ANYTHING but having to listen to the speaker go on and on . . .

    Because this audio book cost so much, I thought "it must be me . . . keep at it". But, I've bought so many other audio books by now that are interesting and informative and delightful ways to spend my time. This was set aside in favor of other books, many other books.

    I've been trying to get through this for a few months now, tried again today to continue on, and simply gave up and skipped to the end to listen to the last segment in case there was a conclusion.

    The speaker speaks too slowly, and speaks with a tone that I associate with "pompous" (although, strangely, there is a similar speech pattern in author Eben Alexander, MD, but I didn't get the same feeling)

    There were some interesting bits of information, but it was a long wait between, with a lot of words to listen to. The essential information could have been presented in about 2 hours.

    I recently bought The Genie Within, and recommend that for people like me, who just want a teacher or informer of information to just GET TO THE POINT.

    Also, I'm going to avoid any further meditation-related audio books that refer to Budda or anything in the Buddhist tradition. It's starting to bring out the worst in me when I hear one more strange Buddhist short story that's supposed to make me have a light bulb moment - but it's too strange to make out any point. Suddenly my hand shoots up in the air and makes a mouth puppet and I blurt out "Blah, Blah, Blah" and I remember that Indiana Jones scene where some guy was spinning and swirling a sword and Indiana Jones pulled out a pistol and just got the fight over with. Maybe I'm not at a point in "this life" where talking in circles is useful to me.

    This was a waste of money and time. I wonder if it's too late to return this.

    35 of 51 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jonny 10-20-16
    jonny 10-20-16
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    "Invaluable guide to Mindfulness"

    This course has fantastic information on practicing mindfulness. Professor Mark Muesse also gives guided meditations on the body scan, mindful eating, mindful walking, breathing.

    I have found his advise the best yet on how to approach and practice meditation. It is a course I have went back to for referencing. Personally I found his body scan mediation the best guided mediation anywhere I have found online. And I have good apps and websites to practice mediation.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Max
    2/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Get another book on meditation"
    What would have made Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation better?

    80% of this audiobook is needless filling - I is 12 HOURS long and this is because he talks extremely slow and overexplains everything. Like there are always not just one but three examples too many. I.e. he spends about 20 minutes talking about what kind of pillow is best for meditation and ends up saying that they all work and its an individual choice.

    Because the audiobook is so long it is really hard to navigate as well. There is only a few guided meditations and the rest is stories (relevant or not) and discussions of how to live a mindful live.

    There must be a better audiobook on this subject with less fill and more technique and relevance.


    What will your next listen be?

    A better meditation book


    What didn’t you like about Professor Mark W. Muesse’s performance?

    He talks too slow and he comes with too many examples - way too many!


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation?

    all but the guided meditation - or close to.


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • N. D. Holt
    Perthshire, United Kingdom
    2/4/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Guidance"
    What did you like most about Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation?

    As I listened to the lecture series, restarted it a couple of times, and reviewed the lectures several times each, I have been able to apply several of his techniques to my own life and incorporate them ... they have been very beneficial.

    I enjoyed his talks on The Buddha and on Buddhism, and he leaves me with an appetite for more understanding.

    I like the way, after the introduction and basics he leads us through several directed meditations, building my confidence in my ability to continue this practice.


    Have you listened to any of Professor Mark W. Muesse’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    This is the first of his lecture series that I have listened to.At first, I found Professor Muesse's voice and manner of delivery difficult to enjoy ... but after a short while the delivery became part of his character and did enjoy his lectures, and listening to him.


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Andy
    Bristol, United Kingdom
    8/14/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Information with a little Cheese!"
    If you could sum up Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation in three words, what would they be?

    Good for Beginners


    What did you like best about this story?

    The information is well written and very informative, taking the listener into the world of meditation without any heavy religious overtones but enough reference to spirituality to make the exercise relevant. The guided exercises are very good and prove useful in demonstrating the concepts described.


    What three words best describe Professor Mark W. Muesse’s performance?

    Heartfelt but scripted


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Take a voyage into inner space


    Any additional comments?

    The book is good but the format can be an annoying distraction. The speaker "pretends" to be performing a lecture to a live audience BUT it is very soon apparent that there is no audience reaction to the humour or any other background noise and the applause at the start and finish of each "lecture" or section is canned and exactly the same on every occasion. It would be much easier to the ear if the "lectures" were referred to as Chapters or Sections (as with any other book, audible or otherwise) and the distracting applause was binned as a result. Sincerity and honesty are a large part of being mindful so why pretend? The desire to be novel in approach has spoiled what is otherwise a great source of information. Having said that, don't be put off. Take it for what it is, a great start into mindful meditation.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • MARGARET
    United Kingdom
    12/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I loved this course"
    If you could sum up Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation in three words, what would they be?

    Potentially life changing


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    No characters as such this is course on mindfulness but I did enjoy when the professor talked about the Buddha.


    What does Professor Mark W. Muesse bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    This professors delivery was excellent he was able to bring the topics to life and make it interesting and enjoyable as well as educational.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I enjoyed it all and am looking forward to listing to it again soon


    Any additional comments?

    I have been trying to get into meditation and mindfulness meditation in particular but I don't think I had actually grasped what mindfulness really was and why it helps us and how to bring it into my life . These lectures addressed all that. Initially I wasn't sure I would like this but I am so glad I got it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Jim
    London
    9/8/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Practical, informative and charming"

    As someone wanting to start mindfulness meditation I found this to be a clear and informative guide. Prof Muesse is from the southern states of the USA; which seems to present a previous reviewer with some problems but for me wasn't an issue. His narration is clear and paced in a way that's well suited to meditation exercises. He provides interesting context on buddhism but also translates concepts such as karma in a way that's useful for those of us who aren't buddhists and don't believe in reincarnation. There are plenty of exercises to offer the beginner a range of options for meditating and since buying this lecture meditation has become part of my daily routine.

    The "Great Lectures" series all involve a bit of kidology; we're supposed to think it's a live lecture but the applause sounds dubbed-in between chapters and one assumes they're recorded in a studio somewhere. That's irrelevant though. Where they come up trumps is in hiring great university lecturers with solid academic credentials in the field and letting them do their thing. I wasn't sure whether that would work in this instance because I was after a practical guide but this really hit the spot for me in delivering both practical exercises as well as interesting background material.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • UKJ
    10/10/16
    Overall
    "East West Insights"

    This book has been very enjoyable and has great insight and wisdom. It is well presented and holds benefits for anyone willing to understand. It is also presented in a way which leaves room for other views... And in my view there has been one person in history who has held similar wisdom His name is Solomon of the Hebrew Scriptures. Both men ( Buddha and Solomon ) wanted to gain wisdom, more than anything else, interestingly, both men have been son's of kings... Wisdom is wisdom is wisdom... Books of wisdom have been available for many centuries. This leaves a lot of room for thought ...Evolution does not seem to work, when it evolves round human nature--East or West This book makes an effort in tackling this problem , in my view.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • KM
    10/2/15
    Overall
    "Not for me"

    I read the mixed reviews on this series before deciding to give it a go. I persisted with it until about half way and gave up on it. I can see that it will appeal to, and help many people and it does have much very useful discussion and instruction on mindfulness.
    To me, the spoken delivery isn't great but is okay, the canned applause is unnecessary but okay. Assuming every listener is American is a common, curiously unmindful position but oh okay.
    The interpretation of 'no self' was the last straw for me. So many teachers take this quite literally, 'hey, your self is an illusion, it doesn't exist'. Yes it is a process, no it is not a thing, no, it is not permanent, yes it fluctuates but as surely as our computers use software, all minds think and self and meditation may rewrite our notion of it but accepting it's continuing existence makes meditation easier. Denying it is disingenuous, dogmatic and misleading.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Quinn
    9/27/15
    Overall
    Performance
    "Bumblebee Buddha (I didn't finish)"

    Lacking quality voice. Author compares himself to Buddha because a bee landed on his face.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Teresa Cooper
    4/1/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mindfulness. "

    Not the book of the moment. It's possibly just me not being in the right frame of mind to listen to the lectures. I would not wish to put others off this title, go ahead and try these lecturers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    1/15/15
    Overall
    Performance
    "This has changed my life."

    I found myself in a situation where I knew I had to change the way I reacted to the stresses and frustrations of a busy modern life. This course has helped me immensely. Coupled with the recommended reading it has given me a grasp of mindfulness practice that has already changed me. I was always sceptical of this type of thing but I cannot deny the power of such a simple practice.
    Professor Muesse is inspirational and entertaining. He lectures with a sense of humour and humility which makes you want to try your best.
    I revisit the lectures from time to time, they are more or less stand alone, and each one is relevant and valuable.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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