Mindfulness means being present in each moment, paying conscious attention to what is actually happening in the moment, rather than being lost in our heads.

Some of the Many Benefits of Mindfulness Practice

  • Reduces Stress
  • Improves Focus
  • Improves body awareness
  • Reduces anger and other emotional reactivity
  • Increases compassion and empathy
  • Improves immune function
  • Helps with pain management
  • Improves memory
  • Improves adaptability

Books

    Jon Kabat-Zinn. Originally published in 1994, the book that moved mindfulness practice from a religious context to mainstream. Although Kabat-Zinn has written lots of other books, this book has all the basics. Kabat-Zinn is the executive director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. He is the founder and former director of the UMMC Stress Reduction Clinic and an associate professor of medicine in the division of preventive and behavioral medicine. Using mindfulness meditation, Kabat-Zinn works to help people reduce stress and deal with chronic pain, and a variety of illnesses, particularly breast cancer.

    Jon Kabat-Zinn. Once you’ve read Wherever You go There You Are, or have a beginning practice, this book can be used as part of a daily reminder. Each short chapter focuses on a different aspect of mindfulness and can be read quickly.

  • Peace in Every Step, The Path of Mindfulness in Every Day Life. Thich Nhat Hanh
  • Thich Nhat Hanh. A book on mindfulness practices for children, using the analogy of a seed and garden to talk about nurturing the practice.

  • The Science of MindfulnessDan Siegel. An on-line article with a good overview of the science of mindfulness.
  • Mindfulness and the Brain: A Professional Training in the Science and Practice of Meditative Awareness, Dan Siegel and Jack Kornfield. A six CD set by Siegel, a neurobiologist, and Kornfield, a meditation teacher. They present stories, practices, and lots of science about mindfulness. Highly recommended if you want to know all the current science about mindfulness. I’m something of an information junkie and so I loved these CDs, but if you are looking for just practice information you might try one of the other resources. I personally think it would be hard for someone to listen to these CDs and not immediately start a meditation practice.

Websites

  • Heart-Math Institute. The mission of Heart Math is to help establish heart-based living and global coherence by inspiring people to connect with the intelligence and guidance of their own hearts. The website posts research, articles, and Free Tools for Well Being, including specific tools for children and young adults. Lots of information at this website.
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