Mindfulness for Beginners

Jon Kabat-Zinn's Mindfulness for Beginners is a sweet little volume, published in 2012, by the author of Wherever You Go, There You Are and Coming to Our Senses and Full Catastrophe Living. The audio CD that accompanies the book offers five gentle guided meditations. The subtitle summarizes the entire enterprise nicely: "reclaiming the present moment — and your life." Most of the ~75 little chapters are only a page or two each. Of them, the one on page 16 ("Taking Care of This Moment") offers a thoughtful, lovely-brilliant musing on the centrality of now:

When it comes right down to it, our entire past, whatever it has been, however much pain and suffering it has included, becomes the very platform for doing the work of inhabiting the present moment with awareness, equanimity, clarity, and caring. You need the past that you have; it is raw clay on the potter's wheel. It is both the work and the adventure of a lifetime not to be trapped in either our past or our ideas and concepts, but rather to reclaim the only moment we ever really have, which is always this one. Taking care of this moment can have a remarkable effect on the next one and therefore on the future — yours and the world's. If you can be mindful in this moment, it is possible for the next moment to be hugely and creatively different — because you are aware and not imposing anything on it in advance.

More gems to follow ...

(cf. Present-Moment Reality (2008-11-05), Work of a Lifetime (2009-02-01), Just One Thing (2012-12-02), ...) - ^z - 2013-07-18