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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 1 January 2013
This inspirational book exploring mindfulnes and depression is like a 'gift' with a quiet and profound wisdom unfolding throughout its pages.

With unflinching honesty, warmth and humour the author, a meditation instructor, counsellor and psychotherapist, invites us to accompany him on his journey through depression and discovery. What is revealed is not only a poignant sharing of the darkest moments but the writer also acts as a kindly guide gently signposting the reader towards finding his or her own path through the thicket of depression.

It is a book communicated from the heart and consequently strikes directly into the heart of depression, unmasking it and offering the reader moments of sudden connection paradoxically breaking the isolating grip of separation so prevalent during the experience of depression. Through the writer's in-depth experience with mindfulness meditation we are shown the power of not turning away from suffering. By gradually approaching difficulty with gentleness, "unconditional friendliness" and presence it is possible to see the hidden messages buried beneath the depression and learn to cultivate a radically different way to relate to ourselves and difficulty through acceptance of the moment.

The book is written with a seamless fluidity, never losing its integrity and resulting in a rich offering of insights into the nature of depression and the transformative qualities of mindfulness meditation drawing on the author's own experiences, East/West approaches to the psychology of the human condition, ancient wisdom teachings, poetry and quotations and he also offers practical guidance with mindfulness practice.

The presentation implicitly invites pauses for mindful reflection and as a bonus the book is aesthetically pleasing, creatively designed with care given to the layout. Highly recommended this uplifting read is like a valued and encouraging friend to be treasured and held in mind.
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on 8 November 2012
What a great book. A beautiful object in it's own right, but also brimming with content. Richard Gilpin's style is engaging, His points are brought out through the narrative of his own experience making this book always accessible, very human and never dry or preachy. I would recommend this book to anyone who has experienced the blues (so that's most of us I guess!) or wants to know more about mindfulness in everyday life. This is a lively and cheering read full of gentle wisdom and useful ideas. Read it!
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on 6 December 2012
For all the books on this topic, and they are legion, this stands out for me. An honest and tender account of the experience of 'mindlessness', and the paradoxical process of seeking peace of mind through making peace with the mind. It is embued with a warmth that seems to embody the practice being described - learning to accept who we are. For such a little book it covers so effortlessly a massive swaithe of western psychology and Buddhist teaching. It is truly a gem of a book. And if you were to judge this book by it's cover, you would be judging wisely. It is beautifully designed and the layout inside is just right.
From Today Self Help books are dead! long live Mindfulness for black dogs and blue days! Buy it. Do it. Be it.....
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on 17 April 2013
This ranks among the best books I've ever read on mindfulness or depression. It's a thing of beauty from start to finish. Every paragraph is packed with wisdom. It's a book that I'll be returning to again and again. Truly something to cherish.
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on 13 November 2012
One of the best, most powerful and beautifully written books I have read in a long time . An amazing description of the state of depression and its relationship to our humanity. A book full of gentle wisdom and an encouragement to investigate one of the things that I have personally found most useful in my own Black Dog days... mindfulness practice. This book is worth reading on its literary and acamedic merits alone .. the fact of it being a tool for living with/accepting and potentially healing, depression is almost a bonus! . Well done and thank you Richard..
I actually got a thrill of pleasure to read something so intelligently well- -crafted . I have now bought 6 copies and given them out to those discerning friends and family that may find it relevant and useful. Waiting for their feedback too....

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on 12 October 2013
I edited this book, although Richard Gilpin is such a brilliant writer he really didn't need any help from me! I've recently bought it for a friend who suffers from depression, which is why I'm reviewing it as an Amazon purchase. Quite apart from the fact that I hope it might help her on a practical level (apparently she's had very little guidance about any form of management such as CBT, despite having depressive episodes for nearly forty years), I wanted her to read Richard's beautifully written account of his own experience with depression – it's so much more reassuring (and palatable) to act upon suggestions from someone who can empathize rather than merely sympathize, or not even that.
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on 31 May 2013
First impressions of this book were not favourable, because the author spends too much of the first chapters alluding to his experience "on an Irish hillside". To be fair, I have quite some knowledge of Buddhism, so the later parts of the book contained no surprises for me. If you are suffering depression, and know little or nothing of mindfulness, this may be enough. Personally, I would recommend Overcoming Depression, by Paul Gilbert - it is available on the Books on Prescription scheme, and with good reason. This book is a good start, and will give you the tools to make positive changes, but it barely scratches the surface of either depression or mindfulness.
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on 21 June 2013
It took me a while to get into this book, as by the time it arrived, I was feeling more positive and not keen to read about depression, but once I got into it, I found it very interesting and useful. The writer is a depression sufferer, so he understands what he's talking about and there are some useful insights - one of which is not to try to understand 'depression' as such, as you'll be busy enough trying to understand your own. I haven't finished it yet, but I find I'm underlining many passages. The production of the book is very nice, too - something I value these days as I mostly read a Kindle - with a small format, lovely typography and a cover that feels god in the hand.
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on 4 March 2016
A really helpful book. I wish this had been available many years ago. I always thought I had to fight feelings of depression but letting go of the struggle and trying to accept it makes a lot of sense now.
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on 18 October 2015
fantastic service but would really like to see some corner protectors on the covers of books as books frequently get delivered with bent and discolored corners and spine tops and bottoms. For an out and out book lover like me who also appreciates the aesthetic of the book design as well as what's written in it that can be a disappointment.
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