Full Catastrophe Living

Jon Kabat-Zinn, Author, Joan Borysenko, Foreword by
Jon Kabat-Zinn, Author, Joan Borysenko, Foreword by Delacorte Press $19.95 (453p) ISBN 978-0-385-29897-1
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
Kabat-Zinn is founder and director of the stress reduction program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, and the ``full catastrophe'' of which he writes is the spectrum of stress in life. His program, in a word, is meditation, rescued from the mire of mysticism that made it trendy in the 1960s. The author focuses on the advantages of employing ``practiced mindfulness'' to control and calm our responses without blunting our feelings--and a more convincing introduction to the many modes and uses of meditation could hardly be imagined. In personable, enlightening prose, Kabat-Zinn first explains how to develop a meditation schedule, and in later chapters pragmatically applies his plan to the main sources of stress. An impressive middle section clearly marshals scientific and anecdotal evidence relating state of mind to state of health. And while emphasizing meditation's healing potential, Kabat-Zinn makes no sweeping claims, suggesting that the discipline serve not as means but end. Illustrations not seen by PW. BOMC and QPB selection. (June)
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