Sunday, August 17, 2008

Wherever You Go There You Are

I was introduced to Jon Kabat-Zinn when I took a stress management class two quarters ago. We read his book, Full Catastrophe Living (FCL) for the class. 
FCL was more of a manual and a lifestyle plan for living mindfully and different steps to take in order to do so. After taking the class I was lucky enough to see Jon Kabat-Zinn speak at my school. He had me mesmerized for the entire hour and a half. I sat there slack jawed as he said things like, "When you were born your parents saw you as perfect and you still are that perfect being, the only thing that has changed is your view of yourself". (I know right?)
Needless to say I walked out of his talk with a grin on my face and an urge to live even more mindfully; that is what lead me to Wherever You Go There You Are (WYGTYA).
I love this book for so many reasons. Where Kabat-Zinn's first book gave me an outline for living mindfully, WYGTYA, helped explain the rest. For example, where his first book showed the reader how to meditate, the second book not only fine tuned my meditation practice but also helped me incorporate a calmer, and less judgemental way of looking at myself, others and situations-outside of meditation. Kabat-Zinn does his best to make a mindful way of life seem attainable by all readers.
 One of my favorite parts of the book were his everyday suggestions for living mindfully. An example of one of these tips is to look at the way in which you meet obstacles with harshness instead of curiosity. This was a big lesson for me because I had somewhere along the line become accustomed to meeting adversity with anger. As Kabat-Zinn explains, obstacles are not always negative, it is often the way in which we look at them that makes them a source of difficulty in our lives.
I am a little sheepish of my review of this book because there is so much more endorsement that I could give this book but I feel like experience is the best way to really appreciate the nuances that this book holds. If you have ever wanted to give living mindfully/meditation a shot this is the perfect book to help you get into the mindfulness groove.
I felt that Click really embodied the message of Jon Kabat-Zinn's book "Wherever You Go There You Are", in a powerful and albeit unconventional way.

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