Wherever You Go, There You Are

Wherever You Go, There You Are

Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life

Hyperion, 2005
First Edition: 1994 more...

Editorial Rating



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People consider this book a contemporary classic on meditation for good reasons. It’s lovely and accessible. Jon Kabat-Zinn tackles the difficult task of explaining the nonverbal practice of meditation, which many find alien or even threatening, and makes it accessible, useful and even homey. He explains meditation not only with references to classic texts, but also by recounting his own experiences, drawing parallels with Thoreau, and discussing work and family contexts. The chapters are brief, some as short as a page, each focusing on a single topic. Many are accompanied with prompting questions or simple exercises you can try immediately. getAbstract recommends this book to people interested in reducing their stress, deepening their self-awareness and sharpening their focus.



Most people go through their daily lives on automatic pilot, not really paying attention to the world around them. Their minds dart forward, back and off into fantasy. They will do anything and everything rather than be who they are and acknowledge what they are doing.

Meditation takes you in the opposite direction. It enables you to live in the present, and to experience each moment fully.

“An appreciation for the present moment,” or “mindfulness,” is at the heart of all meditative practices, whether they come from Buddhism or other Eastern traditions, or from American sources such as Henry David Thoreau’s writings or Native American religions.

Mindfulness sounds simple, and it is; but it is not easy. Your mental habits will pull you out of the moment, over and over again. Meditation will help you to bring yourself back to awareness.

To make a long-term commitment to meditation, you need a clear understanding of why you’re doing it. Make a list of the reasons you meditate and keep asking yourself about them, seeking deeper answers. Many traditions believe that meditation creates “full human beings.”

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About the Author

Jon Kabat-Zinn founded the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

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