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Publisher's Summary

A quick guide to the history of the world's most popular meditation practice.

From the time of the Buddha to the age of meditation apps, this straightforward introduction gives an entire overview of the use of the term "mindfulness" in Buddhist meditative traditions. Drawing upon years of experience through practicing, researching, and teaching the history of mindfulness, Dr. Sarah Shaw offers the first-ever accessible guide to the roots of this ancient meditation technique that continues to benefit millions throughout the world.

Although the term is heard everywhere from boardrooms and classrooms to gyms and yoga studios, surprisingly little is known about the origins of mindfulness. This easy-to-understand short history will give listeners, whether they are seasoned or novice practitioners, a better sense of the most practiced meditation in the world.

©2020 Sarah Shaw (P)2020 Shambhala Publications

What the critics say

"Mindfulness, Shaw argues, has always been a crucial part of Buddhism, and it has shifted meanings and methods. . .This accessible, robust exploration will appeal to readers interested in the Buddhist origins of the widely taught practice." (Publishers Weekly)

"A brilliant and precise introduction to the deep roots of mindfulness." (Joan Halifax, author of Being with Dying

"Mindfulness...thoroughly examines the different meanings of mindfulness, from early Buddhist texts to today’s therapeutic applications. This study will be of value to the Buddhist student who wants a deeper understanding of what it means to pay attention to the present moment and how the practice has evolved in different corners of the world over the last 2,600 years." (Tricycle)

What listeners say about Mindfulness

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2021-08-21

Quality content. My practice has deepened.

a thorough exploration of mindfulness and it's many definitions, angles, and history in Buddhism.

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  • Barry C Boyce
  • 2020-04-18

Very good and thorough, insightful history, well read

Mindfulness has, justifiably, become a fad word these days. Backed up by comprehensive research, Shaw presents an engaging history of this principle and practice in the context of the many facets of the Buddhadharma and its many traditions, while also discussing (and validating) its use in non-Buddhist contexts.

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  • Pacific9
  • 2020-04-11

Wow - Very Surprising and Fascinating

Another work on Mindfulness, I almost gave this a pass, but *so* grateful I didn't. This is an amazing tour de force of mindfulness, its Buddhist roots, and the myriad ways it is used on its own but more typically in conjunction with every style and tradition of meditation from across the Buddhist spectrum. The level of sophistication, subtlety, and detail really surpised me. I do not think there is another book that covers Mindfulness in this way, and I don't think anyone would not learn something from this book.
And the reader put me under a spell - this was a pleasure to listen to.