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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, helpful and wise...
Several years ago, Breathworks brought out a series of three guided mindfulness meditation CD's with an emphasis on working with chronic pain and illness. I've loved them since I first heard them, finding them wonderfully helpful and with a calm, spacious quality which is very special. I felt a flash of disappointment when I realised that these new CDs are re-recordings,...
Published on 9 Nov. 2009 by M. Bentley

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hawkeye
Clear, calm UK speech. A huge amount of silence. Not a lot of useful information or instruction. After using it once I shelved it and have found other, more engaging programs.
Published 12 months ago by J E S Hawkins


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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, helpful and wise..., 9 Nov. 2009
By 
M. Bentley (Eastbourne, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mindfulness of Breathing 2 CD set - Managing pain, ilness and stress with mindfulness meditation (Audio CD)
Several years ago, Breathworks brought out a series of three guided mindfulness meditation CD's with an emphasis on working with chronic pain and illness. I've loved them since I first heard them, finding them wonderfully helpful and with a calm, spacious quality which is very special. I felt a flash of disappointment when I realised that these new CDs are re-recordings, but it didn't last because each meditation practice comes in several different versions, and these are essentially new CDs. In fact, I like them even more than the originals!

For anyone unfamiliar with it, mindfulness meditation is a practice of being aware, non-judgementally, of whatever is happening in the present moment, whether physical, mental or emotional. It includes practices such as being aware of the breath, or focusing on sensations in each part of the body in turn, and gently bringing the mind back to the present-moment awareness each time we notice it's wandered. Such meditations have several benefits for those of us living with pain. For instance, they can often produce a calming effect, bringing us gently away from the thoughts cascading through our minds and coming home, over and over again, to the body. Also, focusing on different kinds of sensations, whether pleasant, unpleasant or neutral, can help us to recognise that pain is only one part of our experience, and while listening to these CDs I have often realised that my pain was not as bad, more bearable, than I thought it was. All experiences, whether physical sensations or thoughts, change and pass in a gentle state of flux. Becoming more aware of this can help to reduce the `secondary suffering' resulting from our agitated thoughts and feelings about our pain - which as I've learned myself through difficult experience, only makes the pain feel worse and can greatly prolong flare-ups.

The meditation practices on these CDs are led by the founders of Breathworks: Vidyamala Burch, who has long experience of coping with severe pain, and her colleague Sona Fricker. The Buddhist roots of mindfulness are not explicitly apparent here; the CDs are secular in feel although both leaders are Buddhists. They also have beautiful, calm voices which contribute much to the feeling of spaciousness, and in fact their leading sounds even more relaxed and fluid than before. They are very gentle with the listener, reminding us that it's OK if our mind drifts; it's normal, and we can simply bring it back again each time. But the real bonus of the new CDs is that they contain extra meditations; `Mindfulness of Breathing' and `Kindly Awareness' now have two CDs each. Each has a longer and a shorter version of the meditation, as well as a choice between fully-led practices and ones with only minimal guidance. I like the fully-led ones the best, as the voice seems to act as an anchor, helping to bring my mind back from its wanderings, but I know people who like to have the space to meditate without the intrusion of a guiding voice. So it's wonderful that listeners are provided with such choices here, and the sound quality of the new CDs is more beautiful too.

Of all the CDs, my own favourite is `Kindly Awareness'. Here the practice involves first of all focusing on our own sensations and feelings, and then gradually including other people, extending from a friend to a neutral person to someone we have difficulty with, and finally to the whole world. The beautiful thing about this is that, perhaps even more than the others, it fosters a sense of acceptance and kindness, both towards oneself and others. So often we can feel alone, isolated and frustrated with our pain, and all these feelings simply increase secondary suffering and make our condition harder to live with. Kindness, which is at the heart of mindfulness, helps to foster acceptance of all our experience, both painful and pleasant, and the Kindly Awareness meditation also encourages kindness to others: a sense of our kinship and the universality of suffering and joy. This can be quite liberating. The pain is no longer an enemy; it's simply an experience which others share and which we can be tender and caring towards.

Discovering the original Breathworks CDs has been a revelation to me, and I can also recommend Vidyamala's book and CD, `Living Well with Pain and Illness', which with great clarity and compassion provide a further exploration of mindfulness and some useful extra practices. I frequently still find meditation a challenging practice, but it does help to reduce my pain and anxiety levels, and has been shown to do the same for many others. And the experience of clarity, calm and acceptance, when it comes, is a worthwhile and beautiful thing. It's mirrored in the quality of the CDs themselves, in the leaders' calm voices and in words and phrases that help to foster that clarity and calmness. In Vidyamala's memorable phrase:

Body like a mountain...
Heart like the ocean...
Mind like the sky...
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The choice is yours, 13 Jun. 2010
By 
S. Mckenna - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mindfulness of Breathing 2 CD set - Managing pain, ilness and stress with mindfulness meditation (Audio CD)
This wonderful 2 CD set covers all the bases. It provides a clear & detailed introduction for newcomers to meditation, particularly those of us living with chronic pain, with a choice of 2 fully led meditations on CD 1 - one shorter & one longer. For people already familiar with the Mindfulness of Breathing meditation, who prefer less guidance but still want some support, having the choice of a shorter & longer version on CD 2 with minimal guidance is very welcome. So there's more silence on CD 2 - great!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mindfulness of Breathing 2 CD set - Managing pain, ilness and stress with mindfulness meditation, 30 April 2012
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This review is from: Mindfulness of Breathing 2 CD set - Managing pain, ilness and stress with mindfulness meditation (Audio CD)
I particularly like this mindfullness CD because the voices have English accents and are gentle and soothing on the ear. Also the technique is very simple and is centred on concentration on the breath without going through other procedures and is something that can be used any time any place when anxious or stress etc.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mindfulness of Breathing cd., 2 April 2014
By 
C. Jones (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mindfulness of Breathing 2 CD set - Managing pain, ilness and stress with mindfulness meditation (Audio CD)
This is an excellent CD for people who have trouble sleeping. I find it very soothing and it really helps me to relax. I didn't realise before that I breathe quite shallowly and unevenly. Would definitely recommend.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great cd, 7 Jan. 2014
By 
terence fynan (manchester, lancs, GB) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mindfulness of Breathing 2 CD set - Managing pain, ilness and stress with mindfulness meditation (Audio CD)
i learnt to meditate at the buddist centre in manchester and this is what i learnt so i now can meditate at home
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just give yorself some 'me' time., 5 Nov. 2013
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This review is from: Mindfulness of Breathing 2 CD set - Managing pain, ilness and stress with mindfulness meditation (Audio CD)
Mindfulness breathing is so liberating and it helps to calm the nervous system .
It slso grounds you in the here and now. I would recommend this CD to anyone who has been through any emotional problems, on going chronic fatigue, or chronic pain. You do have to make it part of everyday life to get the most out of it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good CD, 5 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Mindfulness of Breathing 2 CD set - Managing pain, ilness and stress with mindfulness meditation (Audio CD)
It was what I expected. Arrived on time Its a good CD, everything I expected and more. Thanks for prompt arrival
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 3 Sept. 2014
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This review is from: Mindfulness of Breathing 2 CD set - Managing pain, ilness and stress with mindfulness meditation (Audio CD)
good to use to help me when feeling really low and needing company to really concentrate. Thanks
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another wonderful CD from breathworks, 16 Sept. 2010
By 
Ms. C. R. Stillman-lowe "Cathy SL" (Reading Berks) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Mindfulness of Breathing 2 CD set - Managing pain, ilness and stress with mindfulness meditation (Audio CD)
Can any voice be more healing than Vidyamala's? I have never heard one. This CD is a 'must' for anyone wanting to try mindfulness meditation. Like everything else produced by Breathworks, I have listened to it time and again. Highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Chillaxing!, 17 Jan. 2015
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This review is from: Mindfulness of Breathing 2 CD set - Managing pain, ilness and stress with mindfulness meditation (Audio CD)
allows you to take a break
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