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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

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Average Customer Ratings

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Mindfully mind-blowing!

This is the best book/course I have come across ever. I feel grateful to have discovered this and thank the author for sharing the mindfulness practice and his life's work and experience in such a consise and accessible manner. I hope to take a lot from this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Best I've heard on clinical psychology and mindful

I first listened to one of the lectures in channels on the audible app. I enjoyed it so much, I searched for the book. I've always seen a lot of treatment options as hit or miss as each person or client is different. And, in the absence of really assessing or being good at assessment by so many therapists, one size fit's all therapy is often uselessly applied. Seeing this has always bugged me, and I doubt that it will change. But, for those that can assess where a client truly is, and realize more conventional treatment doesn't apply, how to help them is more of an issue. Meditation is a great alternative. And, this book talks about so many different types and approaches to do more than just tell someone to do breathing meditation. I love how he talks about comfort meditation vs trying to get the person to confront or stay with the uncomfortable sensations and knowing when the person is in a place to do either. It's creating that safe mental space that so many seem not to understand, regardless of what therapy is used. And, not pushing a patient to face things until they are ready, and feel safe enough in that mental space to do so. You don't tell someone in a free fall to face their demons. Choosing the right type of meditation for the situation is critical. And, I rarely hear people talking about that.
This is just a great course that should be required for all going into the field. I would have loved to have a course like this that really connected clinical psychology with meditation methods. Hopefully things have changed and it is part of the regular curriculum. And, I love Muesse's style. He keeps you engaged, is very relatable when he talks. Just one I know I will listen to over and over again. I almost never bookmark, but have done so repeatedly to revisit parts I wanted to revisit or explore further.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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more theory than practice

I picked this up hoping it'd involve a bit of a guided approach to beginning to incorporate mindfulness into the day to day, but instead got a very good and thorough history of the practice- it's one of the great courses, which are always high quality and interesting, but certainly more theoretical than it is a how-to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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

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If You Can't Get to India Read This Book!

What made the experience of listening to Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation the most enjoyable?

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.

Which scene was your favorite?

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.

What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good for Educational Purposes

Would you be willing to try another book from The Great Courses? Why or why not?

Yes. This was just like a good college lecture/course.

Any additional comments?

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Wendy
  • Coquitlam, BC, Canada
  • 08-08-14

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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Diana
  • Antelope Valley, CA, United States
  • 02-08-14

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.

39 of 60 people found this review helpful

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Four lectures of nothing leading up to Mumbo Jumbo

Would you try another book from The Great Courses and/or Professor Mark W. Muesse?

Great courses yes. Prof. Muesse? Nope.

What could The Great Courses have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

A refund.

How could the performance have been better?

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.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Boredom. Irritation. That feeling when you walk across someone's neglected front yard.

Any additional comments?

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. <br/><br/>Not so.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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terrible book. I listened to 25 mins and it's not

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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful