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Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation | [The Great Courses]

Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation

Meditation offers deep and lasting benefits for mental functioning and emotional health, as well as for physical health and well-being. 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.
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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.

Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (459 )
5 star
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4.2 (401 )
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3 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Jean 09-24-14
    Jean 09-24-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Story
    "Fantastic book!"
    If you could sum up Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation in three words, what would they be?

    Fantastic, thought provoking, life changing.


    What did you like best about this story?

    the author was great.


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

    This is my first book from Prof. Musse.


    What insight do you think you’ll apply from Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation?

    Meditation


    Any additional comments?

    no

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Wynnewood, PA, United States 09-20-14
    Steve Wynnewood, PA, United States 09-20-14 Member Since 2012

    I rate as follows: 5-Best of the best, 4-LOVED it, 3-LIKED it, 2-Meh, 1-Didn't like it. Fav genres: sci-fi/fantasy, fiction, science

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    6
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    "Informative and Inspiring"

    This course was excellent. I've listened to it twice, and have started my own mindfulness practice. The course is well-planned and a thorough introduction to meditation. Professor Muesse is a wonderful speaker, and infuses the course with personal anecdotes to illustrate concepts. I highly recommend this course, along with another Great Course, The Science of Mindfulness with Professor Ronald Siegel. Both are inspiring to listen to, and both are excellent introductions to meditation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    shirin 09-03-14
    shirin 09-03-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    "really amazing"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation to be better than the print version?

    This is a really good book to learn about meditation and teachings of Buddha.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Barkman 08-31-14
    K. Barkman 08-31-14 Member Since 2014

    aka Dogmama

    ratings
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    2
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent presentation-speaking and content"
    Any additional comments?

    Chapters are divided into discrete lessons so that you can refer back to anything without muddling through unwanted content. People familiar with mindfulness meditation may find some material basic; however, a review is always a good thing. This is the type of audiobook that someone can listen to whenever they need a boost in their practice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendy Coquitlam, BC, Canada 08-08-14
    Wendy Coquitlam, BC, Canada 08-08-14 Member Since 2011
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    2
    2
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    "A Must Read!"
    Where does Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Herstory buff San Antonio, Texas 06-18-14
    Herstory buff San Antonio, Texas 06-18-14 Member Since 2013

    biography fan

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "It's all right, but not earth moving"
    What did you like best about Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation? What did you like least?

    It gets better as you reach the middle of the book


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    least interesting was mindfulness while eating and walking--way too lengthy


    What aspect of Professor Mark W. Muesse’s performance would you have changed?

    Would have had him move along a little faster to get to the point.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    absolutely not.


    Any additional comments?

    I don't regret reading it, but I would not place it high on my list of "to reads."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen R. Watson los gatos, ca USA 06-14-14
    Kathleen R. Watson los gatos, ca USA 06-14-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    "Listen to again and again"
    What made the experience of listening to Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation the most enjoyable?

    Although I've studied the principles of meditation and mindfulness on and off for many years, I never heard it so clearly explained as Prof Muesse does in this lecture series.


    What other book might you compare Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation to and why?

    I found Practicing Mindfulness similar to the value I found in The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz. I believe I have been permanently changed after listening to this -- provided lots of food for thought in every day moments when your mind wanders into self-defeating territory.


    What about Professor Mark W. Muesse’s performance did you like?

    Prof Muesse tells stories from his own life that anyone can relate to.


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

    I especially enjoyed the story about how Prof Muesse believed achieving his PhD would propel him into permanent happiness.


    Any additional comments?

    I am recommending this lecture to many of my friends. I believe it will help anyone (everyone!) who struggles with dukkha.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer 06-03-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    3
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    Story
    "Great job!!"
    Would you listen to Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation again? Why?

    YES!! I found it very helpful.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation?

    The lecture on death. Also guided meditation


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

    Himself, I found he was very pleasant to listen to.


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

    It made me feel more peaceful


    Any additional comments?

    I plan on coming back to these lectures over & over. Thank you

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christina Reed 05-12-14

    qui non proficit deficit

    ratings
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    4
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    "You will probably want to listen more than once"
    Where does Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Very high


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation?

    The chapters in which Professor Muesse discusses application


    What about Professor Mark W. Muesse’s performance did you like?

    I've done enough voice over work to understand the difficulty of saying everything just right on a recording. So this is impressive to me.


    What insight do you think you’ll apply from Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation?

    Meditation is so undefined for many of us. This just gave the practice more definition and substance. It "beefed up" my meditation practice and gave more concrete benefits.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jose United States 03-23-14
    Jose United States 03-23-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enlightening! Valuable lessons well explained"

    This is a valuable course; it’s thorough and covers a lot of information, guiding the listener through varying stages of meditation, highlighting the purpose of each technique and clarifying how letting go is really about connecting. The reader does a good job with pace, tone, and with using a “just right” level of attachment as he reads, which is important for this genre. If you are interested in this subject matter, this audio book is a worthwhile addition to your library.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 21-30 of 36 results PREVIOUS1234NEXT
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  • Mr
    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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • N. D. Holt
    Bayern, Germany
    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.


    2 of 2 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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Jim
    Twickenham, United Kingdom
    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.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Robert
    Stanley, United Kingdom
    8/14/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Irritating accent and delivery"
    If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

    An American ?


    Would you ever listen to anything by The Great Courses again?

    If the Narrator was British or a better reader


    How could the performance have been better?

    If narrated by a better reader


    What character would you cut from Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation?

    The Narrator


    Any additional comments?

    None

    3 of 15 people found this review helpful
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