Summary of Wherever You Go, There You Are

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Wherever You Go, There You Are book summary

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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.

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.



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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    S. s. 2 years ago
    I registered GetAbstract - because I wanted to read the summary of this book. I just read this book. I often write my own summary and reviews. But I find it very difficult to summarize this. The book doesn't have structure, there is no analytical or logical flow in the book. Its like a poetry. So I wanted to see how you summarize it.

    And man, I am disappointed. I don't think you could capture the essence of the book. Rather you are not even true to the spirit of author - for example read what he talked about "Spirituality" in the book - after that how can you even say that meditation is spiritual?

    I think - writer of this summary - may have to read the book couple of time, ruminate on it and then probably write summary. I accept and reiterate that this is difficult book to summarize or review. Its canvas is big and deep.
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    K. F. 6 years ago
    As a devote follower of Jesus Christ, I found some concepts of this book to be beneficial to my desire for a more contemplative mindfulness that allows my spirit to be at one with God's spirit and to learn to thrive in the present moment as his spirit guides and directs my thoughts toward being who he created me to be. Thoughts comes from all directions and we can choose which thoughts we entertain. Those that we choose to dwell on lead to actions. It is therefore wise to consider which thoughts we let run wild and which thoughts we bring under obedience to Christ.
    • Avatar
      Denver Simon 6 years ago

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