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
Reflective. Compassionate. Encouraging.
Learning in the company of a wise teacher. Perhaps a book by a less predictable one like Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse or Anam Thubten?
His own gradual encounter with Buddhism from his teens on, HIs Texas accent and down-home approach add to the story he tells, for Westerners like himself, rather than as if a guru transported from the Himalayas to Berkeley or Brooklyn.
That meditation can be flexible, rather than rigid, to meet one's own needs best.
His meditation on death is powerful and recommended for anyone to contemplate and learn from.
Yes. This was just like a good college lecture/course.
This took a long time to finish because (1) Not well suited to driving because you can't do some of the exercises and (2) not well suited for night time listening because you might fall asleep. That being said, if you are interested in meditation and mindfulness (definitely more of the latter) then this is a good primer.
Loved the Book! It's a book that you will read over & over. Keeps you thinking about the NOW and also that anyone can Meditate. Each lesson was practical and easy to understand, also at times with a bit of humor. Professor Muesse was wonderful. A book everyone should read.
Great courses yes. Prof. Muesse? Nope.
If you listen for it, here's a good deal of hidden hostility under his voice. The guy is more than a little "catty" when speaking about women and condescending when speaking about anything but his own approach. Plus a lot of his anecdotes are apocryphal stories we've all heard before--and it's kind of insulting to be expected to pretend to ourselves we're not being lied to.
Boredom. Irritation. That feeling when you walk across someone's neglected front yard.
I really wanted to like the guy--and this course--but I've seen too many of his clones in new-age book shops. Guys you with a calm, quasi divine affectation with nothing rational to say. Coming in under the Great Courses banner, the course gives the impression that the sound principles of an ancient practice have been extracted and condensed into something usable in modern time.
what I was looking for. I wanted lessons of beginning ways to meditate. tried two ways to return the book & no help, or response back from Amazon. Even nook and book stores have a return policy.
Don't buy, it's a terrible book of wasted time & use of the mind.
The professor knows his subject and tells his stories in a beautiful, soothing voice. I listen every night. Some of what I hear is in real-time and some is subliminal because he puts me into a satisfying, deep sleep every time. Glad I don't have to go to class because I would have my head on the desk. But during sleep is how I learn best.
I already said it above. He is an amazing speaker.
Laugh,, cry, sleep - you name it!
Are than any more from him? I would be all over any course he teaches.
Say something about yourself!
Meditation is easy to learn and easy to begin... in theory. It's quite possibly the most difficult thing I've ever done in my life, which is why I was eager to have a longer course like this one. I've done this sort of thing off and on for years, and I've seen the benefits of it for myself. But my physical restlessness and my "monkey mind" have always been my worst enemies. This course breaks everything down slowly and thoroughly. Everything you need is here, and there is plenty of advice concerning props or environments to go along with it for those who wish for that that.
The hard part is still actually meditating. It's just not as daunting as it used to be.
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.
It gives a great overview and provides practical steps of the how and why to meditate properly. Rich in history and the true reason and meaning of meditation it incorporates the philosophy and benefits in a easy to follow and enlightening manor.
The "why of meditation" combined with the physical "how to" layered with the reason it really works. I love that it references God and or the higher power of all religions meaning you get connected to the higher power of the universe no matter what your earthly religion or spiritual philosophy is.
That mindfulness in the present moment is the only way to truly connect to God, yourself, erase fears, master your mind, sharpen your senses and be open to all of life in a fearless, peaceful, confident way. It can help us find answers and solutions and improve our overall quality of life. Which is important in this tech savvy world where we rarely lay in the grass stare at the clouds anymore which can be a form of mindful meditation new generations have not mastered.
I liked the narrator's tone and voice, reminded me of my college days, but I liked that professor student voice, it was not at all patronizing or unquestioning.
Really good even if you can't find the time or place to practice. I want to start soon and will go back to certain chapters when I do.
I especially lived the third and second last chapters. Recommended!
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.
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.
"Get another book on meditation"
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.
A better meditation book
He talks too slow and he comes with too many examples - way too many!
all but the guided meditation - or close to.
"Great Information with a little Cheese!"
Good for Beginners
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.
Heartfelt but scripted
Take a voyage into inner space
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.
"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.
"I loved this course"
Potentially life changing
No characters as such this is course on mindfulness but I did enjoy when the professor talked about the Buddha.
This professors delivery was excellent he was able to bring the topics to life and make it interesting and enjoyable as well as educational.
I enjoyed it all and am looking forward to listing to it again soon
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.
"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.
"Bumblebee Buddha (I didn't finish)"
Lacking quality voice. Author compares himself to Buddha because a bee landed on his face.
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.
"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.
"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.
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