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Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation

Narrated by: Mark W. Muesse
Length: 12 hrs and 29 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (84 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 46.98
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Publisher's Summary

Meditation - the technique of mental focusing for enhanced awareness and self-mastery - offers deep and lasting benefits for mental functioning and emotional health, as well as for physical health and well-being.

This practice is closely related to "mindfulness," which Professor Muesse defines as "a deliberate way of paying attention to what is occurring within oneself as it is happening. It is the process of attentively observing your experience as it unfolds, without judgment or evaluation."

"Meditation," he adds, "refers to certain exercises that can be used to enlarge and refine mindfulness." Meditation cultivates mindfulness by training you to develop deep attention to the present moment, allowing the mind to become settled and centered. These 24 detailed lectures teach you the principles and techniques of sitting meditation, the related practice of walking meditation, and the highly beneficial use of meditative awareness in many important activities, including eating and driving. You will also learn how to use the skills of meditation in working with thoughts and emotional states, in deepening sensory awareness of the body, and in becoming deeply attentive to the operation of your mind.

You'll come away with a solid basis for your own meditation practice and for bringing meditation's remarkable and empowering benefits to every aspect of your life.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2011 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2011 The Great Courses

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Relax while you transform

Dr. Muesse's approach to teaching meditation is both accessible and entertaining. He tells personal stories, discusses the mindfulness tradition, and invites listeners to alter his teachings as the see fit. As a meditation instructor and someone who aligns himself with Buddhist mindfulness I still learned a few new things from this course. Mark's speech is slow, but I still gave his performance 5 stars because it was a very easy listen at 1.25x speed. There is nothing wrong with his performance but I believe that most people would speed it up a little bit. People with auditory learning struggles may find his approach helpful because his words stick even as they pass.

This is a delightful and potentially life-changing course. If you are interested in developing a meditation/mindfulness practice without complicated jargon or regimentation, this is a stellar introduction!

#Audible1

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Very good

Great for learning, understanding, and practicing mindfulness. Great to help beginners and everyone alike. Very easy to listen to. .

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Great for beginners

Very easy to follow and I thought the presenter did a good job keeping me interested in the material. Full of valuable information. #Audible1

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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worth while if interested in the topic

overall good. I wish the mediations were broken down to individual chapters because it made listening on the commute more challenging.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding content and presentation.

The whole series was delightfully presented, captivating and easy to follow. A really great overview to those contemplating the practice. Even if you decide the practice may not be for you at this moment, the content of many chapters would be beneficial to all.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Intriguing

The topic of mindfulness is in fashion these days. Intrigued, I wanted to learn more about it and I wanted to do so in a detailed and in depth manner. This course delivered. Well structured, engaging and with ample opportunity to apply what is being taught. I enjoyed the learning very much. The concepts of impermenance and acceptance and the practice of sitting and walking meditation covered in the course, especially resonate with me. Great course indeed.

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Exceptional wisdom without the pretense of a guru

This incredible professor shares the depth and wisdom of the east and essence of Buddhism with utter humility and incredible clarity. Very grateful for this insightful book that inspired my renewed commitment to meditation.

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The content is not what I expected.

I honestly expected to learn about mindfulness, but it didn't give much insight. So deceiving.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Mike
  • 2013-09-19

Very good lectures on mindfulness!

I found Dr. Muesse did good work researching and explaining mindfulness. Each lecture was well presented with good use of vocals to keep the listener's attention.

I found the best part to be the first lecture of this series. The example given is unquestionably THE best example I've ever read or heard of the differences between an untrained (or distracted) mind, and a mind which routinely goes through mindfulness meditation and exercises. I can't say enough good about the first chapter. The following lectures buildup from there, I found myself hooked right from the start.

Also, of particular note is the acknowledgement that this course is Dr. Muesse's interpretation on the subject matter. I could see the great lengths the author went through to present the subject material in as an objective way as possible. For me this is a huge difference between one-sided self help books, and academic learning.

I would recommend this to people curious about what meditation is, and what in particular mindfulness meditation is. Then it's effect on a person's outlook and quality of life.


All in all this is one of the best introduction coarse on mindfulness I have had the opportunity to listen/read. Recommended!

191 of 199 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • 2013-12-29

Intermittently thought-provoking

I learned a lot from this course, although parts of it are more valuable than others. The best sections are those which give advice on meditation practice and how to overcome the difficulties that challenge the beginner. The lecturer has lots of useful, practical ideas that are very helpful. I found the later sections where he spends a great deal of time moralizing in a rather banal way to be less interesting, although here and there I found nuggets of thought-provoking ideas about how mindfulness can help us live our lives better - the chapter on accepting mortality is particularly good.

The lecturer speaks WAY too slowly and has a slightly condescending tone, as if he is explaining the subject to a small kitten. However, I found that if I played him at 2x speed he sounded like a normal human being and was perfectly listenable.

313 of 329 people found this review helpful

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  • SAMA
  • 2013-12-30

Stop Going on Autopilot, Listen to This

I listen to a lot of audiobooks, usually in the background. This book gives you techniques to keep you mentally present whatever you're doing. It demystifies meditation and sophisticated techniques, giving it to you in easy-to-use guidelines.

33 of 34 people found this review helpful

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  • Nothing really matters
  • 2013-12-27

It sounds like a cliché, but it changed my life.

I bought this lecture series for help with learning to meditate. I did not find it too helpful on that front as I am a complete beginner and the lecturer did not take the sort of hand-holding approach to meditation that I feel I need.

BUT, the lectures that dealt with topics related to meditation and not meditation itself were amazing. I think they've helped me unlock the key mysteries about myself and my interactions with others and things that I've been struggling with for a great many years. I'm very, very glad I bought and listened to these lectures.

187 of 198 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2013-10-02

This course changed my life!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No. It is lengthy, but well worth the time invested.

Any additional comments?

This lecture has changed my life! It has taught me to practice paying more attention to those around me, how to practice compassion for others and myself, and how to exercise peacefulness.

59 of 62 people found this review helpful

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  • undrwo
  • 2017-01-03

more theory than practice

I picked this up hoping it'd involve a bit of a guided approach to beginning to incorporate mindfulness into the day to day, but instead got a very good and thorough history of the practice- it's one of the great courses, which are always high quality and interesting, but certainly more theoretical than it is a how-to.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Anoop
  • 2013-07-30

Best Course on Meditation

What made the experience of listening to Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation the most enjoyable?

This course is not a simple listening experience but can be practice simultaneously.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation?

The whole course is rooted in one concept "Awareness" and all worldly problems could be overcome through it. This is also a fundamental principle of "Whole to Part". If one is "Aware" all the time then one is also aware of transience nature of everything, physical or non physical.

Which character – as performed by Professor Mark W. Muesse – was your favorite?

Buddha

What insight do you think you’ll apply from Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation?

Practice awareness through various exercises mentioned in the course.

Any additional comments?

This is the best Audible I have come across. I have listened to many other on similar subject but this particular one is invaluable due to following:- It encourages you to do simple exercises.- Insights mentioned are non religious but universal truth.- short stories (gathas) generate clarity.- simplicity.I wish there would be a concise form of these 24 lectures.

71 of 76 people found this review helpful

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  • J and M
  • 2017-09-06

Nice Listen

This was an enjoyable listen that helped me clear my mind at times when I was looking for something to settle my racing mind.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • John L Murphy
  • 2016-04-03

A guided course in looking within for wisdom

If you could sum up Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation in three words, what would they be?

Reflective. Compassionate. Encouraging.

What other book might you compare Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation to and why?

Learning in the company of a wise teacher. Perhaps a book by a less predictable one like Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse or Anam Thubten?

What does Professor Mark W. Muesse bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His own gradual encounter with Buddhism from his teens on, HIs Texas accent and down-home approach add to the story he tells, for Westerners like himself, rather than as if a guru transported from the Himalayas to Berkeley or Brooklyn.

What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

That meditation can be flexible, rather than rigid, to meet one's own needs best.

Any additional comments?

His meditation on death is powerful and recommended for anyone to contemplate and learn from.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Idaho Trojan
  • 2015-01-14

College Lecture Format

Would you listen to Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation again? Why?

No. I learned a good deal from the series of lectures, but I don't feel the need to listen a second time.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation?

One "complaint" . Professor Muesse obviously knows this topic very well, he is well versed and brings personal experience to the course BUT he speaks VERY slowly throughout. Luckily the Audible app allows the listener to speed up the narration, which I listened to comfortably at 1.5x throughout.

Which character – as performed by Professor Mark W. Muesse – was your favorite?

This is not a story, it's a lecture series.

Any additional comments?

This is a series of recorded classroom lectures, so it can be a bit dry but the average individual 45-60 min lecture time makes it easy to plan your listening and take the inform piece by piece.

31 of 34 people found this review helpful