I have been practising and teaching about relaxation and mindfulness for over ten years. I was glad to find this much recommended book and CD lived up to expectations. Down to earth, accessible and I loved that the CD sounded to me like the narrator of the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy which made me think I was in for an informative and intriguing journey. No distracting relaxing music in the background was great too. I can see that I will be using this resource regularly.
I have to smile about this book: Books that come with CDs are usually subscripted "With accompanying CD" or "With supporting CD", but with this one it is, for me, the other way around. If all you do is buy the book and meditate under the guidance of the CD then it will be the best £10 you'll ever spend. The eight meditations on the CD are progressive and in line with the 8-week meditation course outlined in the book; however, one can happily use any one of them in any order and still derive great benefit and, indeed, enjoyment from them. The content and the style of vocal delivery are just right. One feels reluctant to ditch the CD and go it alone! This is not to say that the book is unimportant or unnecessary; it contains a written script of the 8 meditations, together with other supporting explanatory material and some exercises for breaking habits and bringing one to appreciate ordinary everyday things. However, I feel that the most important content of the book is the explanation of how the mind holds onto previous painful memories and unconsciously makes connections and associations with those memories when a person experiences disagreeable events or emotions in everyday life. It explains that this response is habitual and uncontrolled; it also explains that the psychological dysfunction operates without full cognisance of the bodily sensations that accompany it and which are caught up in the vicious cycle of impulse, mood, emotion and thought. I would set this immensely practical meditation method well apart from the methods we are more familiar with; those that focus and concentrate and which try to ignore or even stop thought; constantly chanting some silly mantra to oneself and hoping for some wonderful "aha" experience to happen. The meditations in this excellent piece of work are all directed towards what is described on the CD as "coming home to the body". Whilst it utilises the oft-used attention to the breath, it is an open style that "listens" to sensation, emotion and thought, but does not try to create it or change it when it finds such sensations. The breath is used as a guiding vehicle in a body-scan and it uses a technique of heightening attention on the in-breath, and then softening the intensity on the out-breath. This is a powerful, varying beam of attention that one uses when exploring the mind and body. One can readily appreciate the therapeutic effects of initially learning to be mindful of bodily sensation and then using this skill to defuse painful emotions and thoughts before they set off the vicious cycle of sadness, suffering or even full-blown depression. The techniques described in this book and CD are derived from work undertaken for depressives; indeed it will be an invaluable help to anyone suffering from depression. However, it is aimed at anyone who wants to break the vicious cycle of habitual response to Life's challenges. I thoroughly recommend this CD and its accompanying Book!
I think that anybody who gets a copy of this book, reads the theory behind mediation and undertakes the practises with any degree of regularity will find the process profoundly rewarding.
The book is not only based on mountains of clinical studies and peer-reviewed evidence, but is delivered in a compassionate, non-technical and conversational manner, which makes reading it all the more enjoyable.
I have recommended this book to my friends and family.
I bought this book a month ago after having a flare up of stress and anxiety, the worst in ten years. After a month of practising and reading my anxiety has become manageable again!! I have spread the word and my sister has also bought the book after experiencing anxiety during her first pregnancy.
Cannot reccommend this book enough, it's enlightening and I am heading upstairs now to do my evening meditation now!
Mindfullness....not greatly known about I believe..Well written book explaining the benefits of mindfullness .The benefits are significant and well worth continuing to completely read it .It's helpful for those struggling with stress or work overload and also people recovering from depression..I didnt comprehend the concept of mindfullness initially it took a few chapters for the light bulb moment and it's greatly helping me recover from PTSD and depression..worth buying
I have found this guide so very helpful in learning to practice meditation. The CD is excellent. The calm voice almost seems to know that your mind is wondering and needs encouraging back to the exercise in hand and gently reminds you what you are supposed to be doing. Because the exercises are intended to be practiced over an 8 week period, you recognise early on that it is ok to not be very good at meditation in the beginning. I have stalled a couple of times and found myself going back to Chapter One again but that is a personal choice rather than because the system isn't working for me.
I would thoroughly recommend this book and CD, it has helped me to be kinder to myself and therefore to the people around me. I am feeling a lot less stressed and calmer and am grateful for the help.