MEDITATION FOR OPTIMUM HEALTH: How to Use Mindfulness and Breathing to Heal Your Body and Refresh Your Mind

Andrew Weil, Author, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Author, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Joint Author
Andrew Weil, Author, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Author, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Joint Author , read by the authors. Sounds True $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-56455-881-7
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Doctors Weil and Kabat-Zinn uncover myths and realities surrounding the often intimidating art of meditation. Frequent television appearances, a newsletter, a Web site and a bevy of bestselling books have made Weil (Eating Well for Optimum Health) America's most prominent defender of holistic medicine, and his fans will appreciate his calm, knowledgeable coauthor/reader, University of Massachusetts Medical School professor Kabat-Zinn (Full Catastrophe Living), who has practiced meditation since the 1960s. Defining meditation simply as "directed concentration" and "dropping into stillness" with breath as the natural object of focus, the authors recommend comfortable clothing, a dignified sitting position, turning off the phone and not getting discouraged. Honing "mindfulness" through repetitive activities like dishwashing or walking, and at times of pleasure and pain (lovemaking, recovery from illness) increases meditative skills. Freedom from addictive thoughts, a sense of ease and inhabiting the present moment can result from practicing Christian prayer or Tibetan, Hindu or Buddhist meditation. The authors back up their findings about meditation's ability to ease pain, lower blood pressure and slow heart rate with medical research. Kabat-Zinn systematically guides the listener through various meditation sessions, with reminders to stay aware of breathing, physical sensations and thought patterns. The authors' warm, articulate presentation and clear instructions make this the perfect meditation primer. (May)

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