Books by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Mindfulness for Beginners:
This book is meant to be a doorway into the cultivation of mindfulness for both beginners and for those who have a long-standing relationship the practice of mindfulness. It is accompanied by a CD of five meditations guided by Jon [mindfulness of eating; of breathing; of the body as a whole; of sounds, thoughts, and emotions; and as pure awareness] that, as part of a two-CD set, was the original ground for this book. The material of the introductory CD has been expanded and refined to become the book's text. It is structured in five parts: Entering; Sustaining; Deepening; Ripening; and Practicing. Brief chapters invite the reader to drink in, explore, and experiment with embodying a range of essential dimensions of mindfulness, including formal meditation practices and the cultivation of mindfulness in everyday life. Since the cultivation of mindfulness in one's life always follows a non-linear trajectory, it only matters that one begins. The rest unfolds as with any adventure, with a degree of mystery and unknowability, as life itself becomes both the practice and the teacher.
The Mind's Own Physician:
This book captures the essence, content, and feeling tone of the 2005 public Mind and Life dialogue with the Dalai Lama in Constitution Hall, Washington DC on the subject of the science and clinical applications of meditation. Edited by the program chairs, Jon Kabat-Zinn and Richard Davidson, the book also includes an Introduction and an Epilogue, written by the editors, which set the stage for the presentations and discussion, and summarize developments in the field since the meeting took place. The presenters and discussants include a wide range of scientists and contemplatives. This landmark meeting was co-sponsored by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Georgetown University Medical Center.
Letting Everything Become Your Teacher:
This book may be purchased through:
Just as with Arriving at Your Own Door, this little book is a product of collaboration with Hor Tuck Loon of Malaysia. It is a collection of 100 excerpts from Full Catastrophe Living, designed by Tuck Loon and set against original graphics. It is meant to be both an introduction to the essence and spirit of mindfulness as a practice and a way of being for those new to mindfulness, and also as a resource of gentle reminders for those hoping to deepen and enliven their lives in the face of stress, pain, and illness. The quotations are meant to trigger reflections and practical shifts in both attitude and action that can change the quality of the day, and of one's relationship to experience. There actually is a way to let everything become your teacher, to let life itself, and everything that unfolds within it — the "full catastrophe" of the human condition in the words of Zorba the Greek — shape your ongoing development and maturation as a human being, no matter how old you may be when you first come to it. Millions have followed this path to greater sanity, balance, and well-being, often in the face of huge stress, pain, illness, uncertainty, and sorrow. With the huge degrees of stress and pain that we are presently experiencing as a society due to the economic downturn and all the other conditions challenging our society at present, such as our on-going wars and persistent social inequities, never has there been a better time to cultivate mindfulness in both stillness and in action.
Arriving at Your Own Door:
This little book of excerpts from Coming to Our Senses, set against beautiful original photo graphics by Hor Tuck Loon of Malaysia, is a perfect entrèe and support for a daily mindfulness practice... providing cogent reminders of what we may already know but too soon lose sight of. These 108 selections offer simple lessons of great wisdom and compassion in a contemporary and practical form that can lead to profound healing and transformation, inwardly and outwardly.
To safeguard what precious sanity is available to us on this planet as human beings, we urgently need to learn to rotate in consciousness to a more complete way of seeing and being. How we carry ourselves, each and every one of us, will determine the direction the world takes because, in a very real way, we are the world we inhabit. What we call "the world" is continually being shaped by our participation in everything around us and within us through mindfulness. This is the great work of awareness. Welcome to its threshold — and to the good fortune of arriving at your own door! (From the jacket flap).
The Mindful Way through Depression:
This book is the result of a collaboration of many years with Mark Williams of Oxford University, John Teasdale, formerly of Cambridge University, and Zindel Segal of the University of Toronto. They developed a program called Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), based in large measure on MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction), that has proven to be highly effective in dramatically reducing the likelihood of relapse in people with a history of major depression after they have been successfully treated. We wrote this book for anyone who has suffered from depression and has found it frustrating to get a long-term handle on it. A guided meditation CD (77 minutes) consisting of a range of mindfulness practices that are utilized in MBCT accompanies the book, voiced by Jon Kabat-Zinn.
In the book, we explain why our usual attempts to “think” our way out of a bad mood or just “snap out of it” can easily lead us even deeper into an ever-downward spiral of depression, as you may very well know from first-hand experience. Instead, we offer a radically different approach. Studies of MBCT have shown that a unified blend of meditative practices and attitudes based on the cultivation of mindfulness, coupled with elements of the theory, treatment practices, and insights of cognitive therapy provide practical and effective ways to recognize and then sidestep the mental habits that lead to despair, including seemingly endless currents of rumination and self-blame. This shift in perspective toward our thoughts and feelings, as well as how they express in our bodies and our lives, allows us to face life's challenges with far greater resilience, and, perhaps surprisingly, to taste far greater happiness, satisfaction, purpose, and well-being in our lives.
The Mindful Way through Depression includes easy to implement strategies for:
"Using mindfulness training to prevent and treat depression is a novel strategy in the West, though it is a traditional application of Eastern meditation practice. Whether you struggle with depression or simply want to understand your mind and emotions better, you will find this book accessible and useful. Depression is epidemic in our society, and I would love to see this sensible treatment approach gain ground."
"A revolutionary treatment approach. For depression sufferers, this is a truly useful guide to achieving emotional balance. For mental health professionals, it should be mandatory reading. I recommend this book and companion CD most highly."
"An invaluable resource not only for those who suffer from depression, but for anyone familiar with the downward spiral of negative thinking and self-doubt. The authors of this book explore the reasons for depression and give us guidance and support, along with useful tools to find a way through it."
"If I could select one group of individuals for people to really pay attention to when grappling with chronic unhappiness, I could not think of a better group than these authors. Not only are they consummate scientists, but they are each personally immersed in the moment-to-moment mindfulness that they teach. This book brings together the contemplative practices of both science and insight meditation in an effective fashion that is understandable to the ordinary person -- no esoteric practice or mental health background is necessary. Read it and see for yourself!"
Coming to Our Senses:
"a passionate tour de force" - Publishers Weekly
This book is a rhapsody in eight parts on the transformative power of mindfulness in our personal lives and in our lives as individuals embedded in the larger world. Dr. Kabat-Zinn describes how, through paying attention, by both literally and metaphorically coming to our senses, we can live our lives much more as if they really mattered and realize the full extent our potential as human beings in ways both little and big. He reminds us that living in this way is the adventure of a lifetime, and that it is both tremendously freeing and profoundly healing to be present in the only moments in which we ever have to live. He explains that meditation is not what you think, whatever you think it is, all puns intended, and that in our attention deficit disorder society, the power of training ourselves to pay attention wisely and effectively in the face of chronic "dis-ease" and disease is no longer a luxury but an absolute necessity for our emotional, physical, and spiritual health, again, as individuals and as a society. This book builds on all of Dr. Kabat-Zinn's previous work, and extends the reader's practical understanding of how to implement the practice of mindfulness meditation in meaningful ways in his or her life. It offers an entirely new level of both understanding and practice. Through deeply personal stories of his own early experiences with meditation and meditation teachers, through the effective use of extraordinary poetry, through simple explanations of the science of the mind and body connection set in the context of the history of the universe and of the evolution of life and of our species, and through describing the roots of mindfulness in the Buddhist tradition and how mindfulness is not itself Buddhist at all but really a universal pathway to sanity and well-being, Dr. Kabat-Zinn paints a comprehensive and compelling picture of our true potential as a species for healing or own destructive tendencies and for living more meaningful lives of deep satisfaction, well-being, and happiness through cultivating and embodying what is already deepest and best in ourselves, starting always and in each moment from where we are now - with huge acceptance and loving kindness toward ourselves, whatever our circumstances. Formal and informal mindfulness practices making use of all our senses - the five traditional ones and others - including the mind itself and its capacity for awareness, are described in great detail with simple and practical suggestions all along the way for implementing their embodiment in our everyday lives through seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, and knowing what is being experienced in any moment. An entire section describes the science of the mind/body connection and the results of a number of studies from Dr. Kabat-Zinn's work in the Stress Reduction Clinic that show the effects of mindfulness and mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) on our potential for healing and for not only coping, but even thriving in the face of chronic levels of stress, as well as working with chronic medical conditions, physical and emotional pain, and disease. Other sections describe in deeply personal as well as universal terms, various aspects of the challenges we face in coming to our senses in this time-accelerated world of perpetual multi-tasking, the potential for mindfulness and what has been learned in mind/body medicine over the past thirty years to diagnose, treat, and effectively heal the body politic as well as the body, and how all this fits into a comprehensive view of our small planet and its fragility and how important the refining of our species' innate capacity for wisdom and compassion is to its short and long-term health, and our own. The book maintains a light and humorful tone throughout, consistent with the suggestion that mindfulness itself is really a way of being, and a way of seeing, one that is far too important and serious for us to take too seriously without a huge dose of lightheartedness and an appreciation for our own pratfalls and self-induced delusions, especially about who we are and where we are going when we forget our deeper nature and drift far from it in both our minds and our lives.
"Jon Kabat-Zinn writes clearly and persuasively about the need for us to bring full awareness
to the present moment - not only to achieve personal peace and healing, but to heal our ailing
world. I am particularly taken by his discussion of 'orthogonal reality,' a sort of rotation in
consciousness that can open new possibilities for individuals, institutions, and nations. This
is a deeply optimistic book, grounded in good science and filled with practical recommendations
for moving in the right direction."
"Jon Kabat-Zinn once again inspires, delights, and awakens us. His scientific knowledge,
poetic vision, and depth of meditative understanding illuminate so much about our human
condition and our spiritual potential. A brilliant work, both timely and timeless."
"Coming to Our Senses invites us to sanity, offering a practical, life-altering way to cut through the clutter of our minds and fine what truly matters. Jon Kabat-Zinn shines as a wise, down-to-earth, and just plain fun guide to our own basic goodness. His is a sensible – and sensational – wake-up call, one we all should heed."
"Once again, Jon Kabat-Zinn is on the cutting edge. Coming to Our Senses is thoughtful
and provocative, ranging from deeply personal to broadly political. Its relevance is
unquestionable. It leaves us inspired and optimistic that true healing really is possible."
"A loving, profound, whimsical, wise, genuine, intimate, surprising, scholarly,
liberating, brilliant, and practical look at how we can become who we fully are and be
trusted with the future of the world."
"A wealth of information about the miracles that mindfulness can work in our everyday
lives. The chapter on the author's experience when his father had Alzheimer's disease is
particularly powerful. Dr. Kabat-Zinn's work has already helped large numbers of people
use mindfulness to prevent a next heart attack. Now he is back to show how mindfulness
can help us to prevent a next terrorist attack. I hope that many world leaders will give
his recommendations serious consideration."
"This is a remarkable book, in its vast scope and for its great depth, a modern classic,
bringing together for the reader the riches of modern science and the great traditional
wisdom of the east. A powerful and compassionate vision."
"Jon Kabat-Zinn is one of the finest teachers of mindfulness you will ever encounter.
This book invites you to discover the ease, joy, and freedom that mindfulness brings."
Full Catastrophe Living:
A practical, step-by-step guide to mindfulness meditation, based on the eight-week program of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, which over sixteen thousand medical patients have successfully completed in the past 25 years. This book describes a self-guided training program in mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) to develop relaxation, calmness, and self-awareness, a reliable foundation for facing the "full catastrophe" of stress, pain, and illness - indeed, of life itself. From the point of view of mindfulness, as long as you are breathing, there is more right with you than wrong with you, even if you are sick or troubled or in pain and things in your life feel dark and out of control. What is "right" with you holds the key for regaining control of your life and growing beyond your problems. Through the practice of mindfulness, you can learn to build on your fundamental strength and vitality and imagination, whether or not you know they exist when you start out.
"This is simply the best popular book on health I have read in years. It offers a guide for
personal transformation that can literally save your life."
" I strongly recommend this book for everyone who wants to begin healing their life."
"A wonderful guidebook for those of us who choose life and healing."
"A practical guide... to accomplishing that elusive goal of integrating spiritual practice into
"This book can be described as a door opening both on the dharma (from the side of the world)
and on the world (from the side of the dharma). When the dharma is really taking care of the
problems of life, it is true dharma. And this is what I appreciate most about this book."
Wherever You Go, There You Are:
This book maps out a simple path for cultivating mindfulness in one's own life. It speaks both to those coming to meditation for the first time, and to longtime practitioners, anyone who cares deeply about reclaiming the richness of his or her moments. Brief, humorful chapters full of stories and poetry, convey the heart and the spirit of mindfulness practice and encourage you to find your own ways to incorporate mindfulness into your life.
"Rather than withdrawing from the world, meditation can help you enjoy it more fully, more
effectively, and more peacefully. In Wherever You Go, There You Are, Jon Kabat-Zinn
provides access to the essense of meditation and its applications for both the beginner and
those who wish to deepen and expand their practice. He embodies what he describes."
"Want to meet the most interesting, exciting person you will ever know– Let Jon Kabat-Zinn introduce you to YOU. Nowhere else in the literature of meditation can you find so simple and commonsensical a path to yourself."
"This book shines with an exquisite simplicity and straightforwardness. Jon Kabat-Zinn is one
of the best teachers of mindfulness you will ever meet."
"Ideally, meditation is not something we do, but is something we live. Wherever You Go,
There You Are points the way to this living spirit with clarity, easy and poetry."
"Future historians may well decide that the introduction of meditation into the Western world
was one of the significant events of the twentieth century and that Jon Kabat-Zinn was one of its
most effective advocates."
This book shows with great simplicity and practicality how parents can enrich their lives and the lives of their children through mindful parenting - the bringing of moment-to-moment, non-judging awareness into every aspect of life and parenting. Each moment can be an opportunity for us to see our children and their soul needs more clearly and thereby grow ourselves in wisdom and compassion as we nourish and care for them. Even the smallest degree of mindfulness can have profound effects on our children, no matter how old they are, and on the quality of our relationships with them. Includes seven intentions and twelve specific exercises for enhancing mindfulness in parenting.
"At last, an emotionally intelligent guide for parents!"
"Reading this book could be a life-changing event."
"This book can help us turn all the relationships of our lives into everyday blessings...
should be given to every parent..."
"Shows a way for parents to recognize who their children really are..."
"This is a wonderfully knowing and touching witness to what it means for us to be mothers
"Mindful parenting is a deep spiritual practice... this book will inspire and guide all parents."