Jon Kabat-Zinn's 1994 best-seller Wherever You Go, There You Are is a gentle, thoughtful, highly-readable introduction to meditation by a professor emeritus of medicine at the University of Massachusetts. Throughout his book Kabat-Zinn manages an adroit balancing act among mystery, humor, poetry, and practical advice. The Introduction describes the plan: "Each chapter is a glimpse through one face of the multifaceted diamond of mindfulness. The chapters are related to each other by tiny rotations of the crystal." It's reminiscent of Marvin Minsky's Society of Mind, with dozens of short, semi-independent essays that together make a pointillistic image. Also from the Introduction:
Like it or not, this moment is all we really have to work with. Yet we all too easily conduct our lives as if forgetting momentarily that we are here, where we already are, and that we are in what we are already in. In every moment, we find ourselves at the crossroad of here and now.
Meditation is simply about being yourself and knowing something about who that is. It is about coming to realize that you are on a path whether you like it or not, namely, the path that is your life. Meditation may help us see that this path we call our life has direction; that it is always unfolding, moment by moment; and that what happens now, in this moment, influences what happens next.
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(cf. EngineeringEnlightenment (1999-10-09), LightMind (2002-08-22), EatTheOrange (2004-11-28), Sunrise Service at Seneca Creek (2008-03-24), Buddhism Without Beliefs (2008-09-19), Buddhism - A Way of Life and Thought (2008-09-30), Being Nobody, Going Nowhere (2008-10-18), ...) - ^z - 2008-10-26