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The Practicing Mind

Developing Focus and Discipline in Your Life
Written by: Thomas M. Sterner
Narrated by: Thomas M. Sterner
Length: 3 hrs and 51 mins
Categories: Self-Help, Motivational
4 out of 5 stars (37 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Present moment awareness is an essential ingredient in life if one expects to experience any degree of authentic peace and contentment. It has been acknowledged for centuries as the cornerstone of spiritual awakening in all traditions of Eastern thought. In the West, however, it is still a relatively unrecognized concept for living.

The Western mind is always restless, never content with the moment. Its internal dialogue is always firing off thoughts filled with emotional content and pulling the individual out of the present and into the past or future. But individuals raised in Western culture are becoming increasingly aware of their overall sense of mental exhaustion, their lack of discipline and their inability to focus on demand. They are willing to expend the energy necessary to experience inner peace and a quiet mind that is waiting to follow the direction of their will. They are realizing that the endless struggle to fulfill the insatiable appetite of instant gratification is fruitless and tiresome at best. They are ripe for a new path in life and eager for a new set of instructions.

This is the purpose of The Practicing Mind. It comprehensively deals with helping the individual understand exactly what present-moment awareness is, how we are raised in a manner contradictory to this, and how we change our mindset to make this a part of our daily living. This book is accessible to listeners of all philosophical backgrounds. Regardless of your perspective, you will find the book's insights most compelling.

©2012 New World Library (P)2014 Thomas M Sterner

What members say

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    4 out of 5 stars

A must read

Content was very good but the pace of the book was a little slow the narrator showed very little emotion and with a soft voice made it a little hard for me to listen to. Overall I think I would rather read this book than listen to it.

2 people found this helpful

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Good ideas

I really enjoyed this book! Lots of good ideas on life and the world.

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I wasn't expecting something as good, loved it!

I found myself experience many breakthrough, the formula on goal setting is the best formula I have been introduce so far and to a certain extent I have experience it for some time but whitout my knowledge since I was so close to it but to have someone break it down into a step by step. Process allow me to see the power behind it... Its a very good read

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  • azmom
  • 2015-04-04

Some great takeaways despite the robotic narration

The positive:
- I tend to get overwhelmed with large or stressful tasks and either procrastinate on starting or fail to complete them. The concept of taking your time and going slowly about your activities one little section at a time to get more done was a great take-away for me.

- Many books on mindfulness are philosophical treatises, where this one gave some very practical exercises to practice during everyday activities, allowing the reader to immediately test the ideas and put them to use.

- I also appreciated the comparisons of cultures being process oriented versus wanting fast results and how this affects the quality of the finished product. That section was worth reflection and perhaps a second listen.

The slight negative: While I appreciate narrators who speak clearly and annunciate their words, the author over annunciated to the point of distraction. I had to listen at 1.25 speed to make it more tolerable to listen to. This remedied the problem for me.

Overall, very worth the listen. I recommend this book for the wisdom and insights that the practical exercises will bring you.

29 people found this helpful

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  • Elizabeth
  • 2013-06-29

Simple & Profound

I tend to be bitterly disappointed by self-help books but decided to try this one when events and challenges in my life began to get the best of me. Inspired by one of the reviews about the power of Sterner's ideas, I purchased the audiobook. Today I'm so happy I did so. The book is definitely a keeper, and I plan to listen to it over and over again until cultivation of "the practicing mind" replaces the habit of self-judgment and fear of failure. With the author's clear explaination of how ego-driven thought patterns sabotage our efforts and his message about "the simplicity of doing one thing at a time...slowly, with purpose," he shows how focusing on either "success" or "failure" causes suffering.

105 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs. Becky Quinn
  • 2013-09-16

Big impact, excellent advice,multiple applications

Would you consider the audio edition of The Practicing Mind to be better than the print version?

yes, more authentic for author to read it, effective to be able to repeat specific sections,
Just wish there was a way to include his references (in the back of the book)

What did you like best about this story?

Analytical approach broken down Into logical steps for consistent improvement. Most encouraging for learning a new skill or subject. Excellent!

Have you listened to any of Thomas M. Sterner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

unfortunately I haven't, I would like to because I like his approach and his integrity

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

yes and no...It was a most interesting approach and I wanted to hear it all now. I also found myself going back to key areas several times for his suggested applications to become part of my process.

Any additional comments?

Not the typical surface suggestions, instead in depth thought and many process applications. just outstanding!

42 people found this helpful

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  • Kevin
  • 2016-03-07

I'd rather read it than listen to it.

Struggling to finish. Lackluster audio performance is making the content feel boring. Some good points, but I can only listen for a short time before getting sick of hearing him talk.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Joseph
  • 2011-08-30

Great Purchase!!!

Thanks Thomas for sharing these wonderful findings with us through your audiobook.
I have learned:
1. How to actually live in the present moment everyday.
2. How to effectively and joyfully practice any skill or anything by using your suggestions.

With this change of mindset, I`m joyfully back to my once annoying and tiring Piano Lessons!

Thanks once again from Joseph Amen, Valencia, Spain.

37 people found this helpful

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  • Brent R. Baker
  • 2015-03-04

Good book with some great points

I really did enjoy the book. Author has an easy to understand way of putting things which I will definitely implement into my life. my only problem with the book was the narrative. I wish they would've spent the $$ on a professional reader. I'm not sure why they didn't, everyone has their reasons for things, but it was definitely "Read". But the information in it is very eye opening & I will be listening again soon with a pad & pen, taking notes. Worth the $$, just go into hearing the reading of it with an open mind.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Phillip
  • 2013-02-19

Exceptional

Author identifies and helps you understand how some ways of thinking are prejudicial to bringing discipline and focus to life, thereby changing your perception towards the way we are normally inclined to do things and, in doing so, effecting change in a more efficient and meaningful way.

Book is short, easy to read and filled with interesting anecdotes that will help you better grasp what is being discussed. I have noticed significant improvements in my abilities to concentrate and focus since applying what was taught in the book and highly recommend it to anyone interested in improving their abilities.

I also got the audio version. You can listen to a chapter every night and finish in a week. Different methods work best for different people, this one worked best for me. I find that the information sinks in best this way.

I also highly recommend that you take some notes of the main points whilst listening/reading. Writing things down also helps you learn them, add to that the fact that you have a concise and neat summary by the time you finish.

Apply what you have learned! Buying and reading the book count for, at best, good intentions. You have to fully integrate the concepts into your life if you want to reap their true benefits.

Happy listening!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Antony
  • 2012-01-23

A fabulous book, narrated by a true Master

Would you listen to The Practicing Mind again? Why?

This is a great book with step-by-step instructions on how to develop the habit of practicing rituals for creating desired habits. The author's instructions are interwoven with fascinating stories and personal anecdotes from his life, and explained in a simple, clear, easy to w way

What did you like best about this story?

I love the simplicity of the principles Thomas Sterner describes in this book. It's got none of the fluffy New Age mumbo-jumbo that describe vague concepts but don't really tell you what to do and how to do it.

What insight do you think you’ll apply from The Practicing Mind?

Focus on the process and not the end product - you'll get there faster, easier, and with a lot less effort!

35 people found this helpful

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  • Shaun
  • 2011-08-05

Very insightful!!!

Very good audio book, would recomend this one if you are a very busy person or just want to be able to think more clearly. I found some of the information and paradox's very enlightening - they teach you how to focus on the moment you are in. It has complemented my self development audio library very well.

33 people found this helpful

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  • Maria
  • 2012-02-06

Really helpful. Well paced and easy to follow.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

For those interested in Mindfulness and Self awareness this is a must. I've been listening to this audiobook constantly since I downloaded it. It's that good.
It's a short book. Each chapter is very clear, with a good balance between the idea proposed and examples.
I liked the narration a lot too.

24 people found this helpful

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  • Ed
  • 2019-08-16

This book goes beyond just practicing.

Good material for self development, with interesting perspective on training to practice as a meditative exercise.