After my last post about meditation, I have decided to introduce you to one of the books that I often use and that also includes a guided meditation CD. The book is called ‘Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world’ and in my honest opinion it is the best mindfulness book out there.
So because of this. I have decided to review it so you can read all about why this book is so good.
It is available on Amazon from around $18 (£11) in paperback, there are other purchase options too for hardback and kindle.
First Impressions Of The Best Mindfulness Book
This may sound a little weird but this book feels nice, it’s not a cheaply made book. It as a really nice glossy cover. There are 288 pages in total and inside the back cover is the CD slip case.
I also found the font easy to read, which may sound a bit trivial but it is nice to read without straining your eyes.
The book was first published in 2011, but is still very relevant today. It is written by Professor Mark Williams and Dr Danny Penman, they are highly qualified in the field on mindfulness and meditation.
You will find at the start of the book a forward written by Jon Kabat-Zinn, he is a professor and creator of Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. So it is well worth reading this forward before you begin, and I feel this forward gives a great deal of gravitas to this book and the methods it uses.
The first chapter ‘Chasing Your Tail’ introduces you to how the book is laid out and how to use it. It also starts you off on a one-minute meditation, which is excellent for beginners. Even though this is a short meditation I think it shows that you can always fit meditation somewhere into your schedule.
Remember it may take you a while to get into meditating. Don’t worry about this, there is no wrong or right way. Just keep trying and never give up.
After the first meditation, I did end up reading all the way through the book without practicing. But when I reached the end I started at the beginning again and began the meditations from the beginning. I felt I needed to know all the content of the book first. I also found it beneficial to start putting some time to one side every day just for me.
While starting out always remember to create a safe and quiet space for your meditations, switch off your phone and make sure you will not be interrupted. Light candles or incense and always make sure you are comfortable before beginning meditations. Remember you will need a CD player (I am sure they still exist).
Benefits Of Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the focus of the book, and basically means living in the here and now and not focusing on the past or future. The dictionary definition is ‘the practice of maintaining a non-judgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis; also : such a state of awareness’.
I feel the benefits of this can be self-explanatory. A lot of anxiety and depression is caused by events from the past or catastrophizing events in the future. How many times do you think about the here and now?
Many people do not think about this often and are unaware of the space around them and their feelings. We are all too consumed in other things that seem to drown our mindfulness out, and make never ending demands on our attention.
CD Guided Meditation
The CD contains eight guided meditations titled Mindfulness Of Body And Breath, The Body Scan, Mindful Movement, Breath And Body, Sounds and Thoughts, Exploring Difficulty, Befriending and The Three-minute Breathing Space. Each of the sessions lasts between three and a half minutes up to around fifteen minutes.
I think it is important to try out all of these meditations, and then use the ones you feel benefit you the most. I find the Sounds and Thoughts meditation very beneficial but I also use the Three-minute Breathing Space a great deal too.
The exploring difficulty meditation is very good if you are suffering with anxiety. It lets you explore the reasons why you are feeling anxious and helps you to accept them and move on. It can be very difficult to do this normally as you are usually over thinking things that make the anxiety much worse.
One other thing to point out is that the speaking on the CD is very calming and very easy to listen too. The tone of the voice makes a lot of difference in guided meditations and aids the meditation itself.
This book is very well written and very easy to follow but to class this as the best mindfulness book it needs to be effective and useful for the reader. Having suffered with depression and anxiety since 1999, I felt I had become resistant to many treatments and therapies.
But this book worked for me. Even though at times it can take multiple attempts to meditate successfully, I kept trying until it started to become a daily habit. After trying all in the book I eventually picked the bits the suited me best, and used them regularly.
Being mindful is something we do not achieve in our daily lives and using this book, everyone will benefit. I benefit from this book, so I can say it would also benefit other people with a mental illness.
So going beyond the celebrity endorsements and the highly educated writers, I am just an everyday guy that suffers with depression and anxiety who can safely say Mindfulness: A Practical Guide To Finding Peace In A Frantic World is definitely the best mindfulness book.
I would be really happy to know what you think about this review article, why not comment below. I would also like to know if you have read this book and how useful it is for you. Also if you have any questions please leave them below and I will get back to you.