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Living Well With Pain And Illness: Using mindfulness to free yourself from suffering: The Mindful Way to Free Yourself from Suffering Paperback – 6 Nov 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Piatkus (6 Nov. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749928603
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749928605
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 2.1 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 32,947 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Vidyamala Burch is the co-founder of Breathworks CIC, the internationally acclaimed mindfulness organisation based in the UK. Breathworks arose out of her experience using mindfulness to manage severe pain following spinal injuries in her teens. She has written a range of articles and books and recorded a number of audio CDs and downloads of guided meditations. Her main titles include Living Well with Pain and Illness published in 2008 and Mindfulness for Health, co-written with Dr Danny Penman, published in 2013. Vidyamala trains and teaches internationally. For more information visit www.breathworks-mindfulness.org.uk


Product Description

Review

`The cultivation of mindfulness can make a profound difference in how we relate to pain and whether even chronic pain conditions need to turn into endless suffering and misery. In this book, Vidyamala makes the practice of befriending your experience through mindfulness, however unpleasant or pleasant it may be, both commonsensical and compelling. I admire her tremendously. This is a beautiful and very important book. It could save your life - and give it back to you.'
--Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Full Catastrophe Living and Coming to Our Senses

Review

`This is a wonderful work, one of those books where you know within a few pages that it is going to be worth stopping everything else in order to make time to read it. The book is a moving and compelling invitation to bring a radically new way of working with the fact of our pain. It is a book of enormous tenderness and honesty. Here is wise guidance on how we can move beyond our natural resistance to our pain to a willingness to be with it, and how we can live with greater ease by turning towards what we most fear about our pain and suffering.'
Mark Williams, co-author of The Mindful Way Through Depression, and Professor of Clinical Psychology and Wellcome Principal Research Fellow, University of Oxford,

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Customer Reviews

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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By M. Bentley on 13 Nov. 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful introduction to mindfulness meditation for chronic pain sufferers, written by someone with intense long-term pain herself. Discussions about the workings and causes of pain, the difference between primary and secondary suffering, and the process of mindful meditation and how it can help, are followed by three lovely meditations which are also available on CD. Each in its different way helps the sufferer to focus on the here and now and cultivate a more kindly, accepting attitude to their experiences, whether good or bad. It isn't a 'cure' for pain, more a way of managing it through gradually changing one's perception of it and becoming more aware and accepting of the present moment. And there's a reassuring gentleness in Vidyamala's approach; it doesn't matter so much if your mind keeps drifting away and you don't have a 'good' meditation; the process is what matters most, and each time you notice you've been distracted is in fact a moment of awareness. As a pain and anxiety sufferer, I find the book just as helpful for the latter condition; anxiety, after all, is a form of emotional pain. This is a beautiful gift to the millions suffering every day of their lives, born from the author's long process of self-discovery and gradual acquaintance with the beauties of mindfulness. An accompanying CD is soon to be released.
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A. S. Gautam on 15 Jun. 2009
Format: Paperback
I am a young woman who has been living with cancer and ME/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for many years. There is no book out there that I believe in more than this one. For me, Vidyamala Burch's mindfulness-based approach, has healed years of feeling trapped, isolated and at times without hope so that now I can happily get on with making the most of life at last. It's based on the kind of wisdom that can only emerge from the heart of an author's deep personal experience. It's not easy to find something that inspires you to change your life but this book really does. And there is a whole wealth of clearly explained practical techniques, methodologies and tips to support you through the process. Through building awareness the reader can learn to work with unhelpful patterns in thoughts, habits and emotions. The book also explains meditation techniques so well. Meditation and being with the breath ,body and heart can be an invaluable source of inner strength, relaxation and emotional positivity. And finally somebody de-mystifies "pacing"! The approach is not specific to a particular condition so it can definitely be applied to pain, physical or mental illness, fatigue, stress, addiction or just to anybody wishing to get the most out of life. Alternatively, if you're just interested in meditation, it's the best manual out there too. Ultimately, this is a very uplifting book!!
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A. Leathard on 3 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent guide to a pragmatic approach to improving the quality of your life, despite seemingly intractable problems such as chronic pain, illness, fatigue or stress. I have personally found this approach to be invaluable in helping me cope with chronic illness and I think it has the potential to help a great many people (regardless of their current health status) lead a more creative and happier life.

The material in the book is very well presented and I found it easy and enjoyable to read. It gives a clear introduction to how "mindfulness" can help, followed by easy to follow guidance on how to begin to bring it into your life. There are many short case studies which, together with insights and stories from the author's own experience, are inspiring.

This is a wonderful book, which is potentially life transforming. I would wholeheartedly recommend it.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A. Reece on 21 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
Having worked in NHS Pain Management for 15 years I had a feeling of 'not more of the same' when a patient recommended this book to me. Having read it I immediately signed up to train as a Breathworks Teacher. The ideas presented are ones that I had been edging towards for some time but had found difficulty in presenting with conviction. The book is written clearly with very practical strategies set out at an easy pace. It is based on the personal journey of the author to contain her own unrelenting pain. Having met and studied with her it is gloriously apparent that it works for her. Having integrated many of the fundamental principles into our existing NHS Programme the response that they are being met with has totally converted me to the approach. I would highly recommend this book to anyone overwhelmed by pain. If you also agree please bring this book to the attention of anyone working in the Pain Management field.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By S O'Brien on 18 May 2009
Format: Paperback
What a refreshing change to read a book written by a person who is actually living with pain. The book is written with sensitivity and care for the reader, Vidyamala guides you gently through the concepts within the book and has stories from people who has participated on previous courses. It is obvious that a great deal of thought has been given not just to the content but also to the design, weight and size of the book to enable people with a wide variety of problems to get the most from it. By incorporating the concepts from this book into my daily life, I'm finding it invaluable in helping me live a fuller life despite chronic pain and I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone.
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