Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness by Jon Kabat-Zinn2005 15th anniversary edition reprint
Kabat-Zinn, founder of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, is perhaps the best-known proponent of using meditation to help patients deal with illness. (The somewhat confusing title is from a line in Zorba the Greek in which the title character refers to the ups and downs of family life as the full catastrophe.) But this book is also a terrific introduction for anyone who has considered meditating but was afraid it would be too difficult or would include religious practices they found foreign. Kabat-Zinn focuses on mindfulness, a concept that involves living in the moment, paying attention, and simply being rather than doing. While you can practice anything mindfully, from taking a walk to cleaning your house, Kabat-Zinn presents several meditation techniques that focus the attention most clearly, whether its on a simple phrase, your breathing, or various parts of your body. The book goes into detail about how hospital patients have either improved their health or simply come to feel better despite their illness by using these techniques, but these meditations can help anyone deal with stress and gain a calmer outlook on life. When we use the word healing to describe the experiences of people in the stress clinic, what we mean above all is that they are undergoing a profound transformation of view, Kabat-Zinn writes. Out of this shift in perspective comes an ability to act with greater balance and inner security in the world. --Ben Kallen
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Practices with Jon Kabat-Zinn
Mindfulness - Full Catastrophe Living
This book details the lessons of ten years of clinical experience with over 4, humanoids who took an eight-week course called The Stress Reduction and Relaxation Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. This book is perfect for the skeptic , as Kabat-Zinn backs all of his theories up with extensive scientific research. He seamlessly weaves anecdotes from the Stress Reduction Program to provide context for his meditation advice. The participants in this program went through some terrifying experiences before learning meditation techniques. The implication throughout the book is that if Stress Reduction Program participants could make it through, the reader should be able to as well.
Full Catastrophe Living is a little weird, because between the first edition and the second a lot of science came out testing the thesis. I originally planned on fact checking two chapters, the scientific introduction and one of the explanatory chapters. I also skipped the latter two thirds of the book. The class has since spread across the country; he cites programs in the introduction. Accurately cited, large effect size, possible confounding effects. The slope of the regression between mind wandering and mind not-wandering was 8. Pleasant mind wandering was exactly as pleasant as focusing on the task at hand.