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Coming to Our Senses - from Jon Kabat-Zinn

Updated on March 18, 2014
Be open inside and you'll see the outside clearly. . .
Be open inside and you'll see the outside clearly. . . | Source

A Meditation Book On MIndfulness

"Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness" is only one of the many books on mindfulness penned by internationally renowned author and scientist Jon Kabat-Zinn, a Professor of Medicine Emeritus and founding director of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Caught up again in critical thinking? What if you start cultivating attention?

"Marvel for a moment at the flowering of life on this sphere of blue and green and while and brown, hanging in the emptiness, the vastness, the blackness of space. . ." - Jon Kabat-Zinn

"This journey toward greater health and sanity is catalyzed by mobilizing and developing resources we all already have. And the most important one is our capacity for paying attention. . ."- Intro- The Challenge of a Life's Time - - - and a Lifetime

A Relaxed Journey

If you're someone who wants to discover or rediscover, explore and dig deeper into a surreal yet stirring and bursting realm of the senses, then this book is for you. A journey of a thousand miles begins with this book. This is an inner journey . . . from the "now" and a deeper appreciation of "who you are" to what is possible.

The book takes us slowly but surely to a seemingly unfazed and yet delightfully painstaking and intriguing journey, inch by inch, digging deeper into the world of our sense organs, separately, one by one, and beyond: eyes for seeing and being seen, ears for hearing unto the soundscape, skin for touch unto touchscape and airspace, nose for smelling unto smellscape, tongue for tasting unto tastescape, Special chapter also tackles the mind which enables and orchestrates the perception and interpretation (or, many times, misinterpretation) of data gathered by the senses- the mindscape.

It is impossible to finish off reading these initial chapters without being enthralled and awed by human's magnificent portals yet seldom explored sensate giftedness.

Could be especially attractive to nature lovers, this book has the greatest potential to open up the reader into the wonderful and mystical world of nature from inside out. It is a kind of material for someone who'd be inclined to meditate out in nature. Someone who would love to carry it in his backpack anywhere and would love to read it anytime on a lazy day while sitting on a bench and with the blue sky above, the ocean or mountains below, the cool breeze feels like water gushing against the skin, with sunshine and trees, the lilies and butterflies or birds perfectly providing the backdrop.

Yet, it will also entice and glue those who'd rather keep themselves warmly tucked inside their homes and just meditatively read lying on their beds or sofas or sitting in their prayer rooms for it is soothing not only to the senses but also to the intellect and to the spirit.

Be here right now. . . that's all what is needed.
Be here right now. . . that's all what is needed. | Source

A Challenging Journey

Make no mistakes, though, because the book, as in most other spiritual books, could be both a paradoxically understandable and relatable piece, yet, at the same time an insanely and challengingly difficult read. After all, writing on varied and possibly stand alone topics of mindfulness, neuroscience, stress reduction and politics, and have them come together in one package, won't really be that easy. As a result it came out basically wordy and a lengthy book having made up of eight (8) humongous parts and spanning almost 700 pages in a scientific, philosophical yet well grounded style of writing.

Added to this is what has been appropriately noted in the beginning, the author's admonition that "meditation is not for the faint-hearted". Though, readers can rest in the assurance that he provided therein a very good and effective guidance for beginners of mindful meditation.

Technology and politics are vivid examples of areas replete with possibilities for healing and deeper awareness to bring people closer and to make life easier, but have been used, in greater part as yet, to evoke separateness. Man has become stranger to his own soul. The exposition is glaring and can be painful and yet it has to be addressed head-on. It is here where the author offered a viable solution for ears that hear and for eyes that see.

Thus, in the end, what could have been initially perceived as the book's seeming undoing could be taken also to reveal its own grace and strength- for the reality of life is similar to a river's meanderings. Truer in this earthly life is the fact that there are no easy and straight paths but rather only complex and winding roads that lie ahead. And that characterized a typical earthly journey. Life indeed is made up of varied colors presented in various forms and shapes. Deepest within, though, is always a coherent and unified interconnection of each fragment. We can all draw hope, joy, peace, strength and healing from this unlimited and undivided wellspring of irreplaceable truth of love.

". . . What is required is nothing special, simply that we start paying attention and wake up to things as they are. All else will follow." - Jon Kabat-Zinn

For a more exhaustive definition of "mindfulness" and on Jon Kabat-Zinn and otherrespected and renowned authors and mindfulness teachers, you may want to refer to this hub-

Jon Kabat-Zinn on "Coming to our Senses"

A Homecoming to Who We Really Are

"Spiritually, we are starving to taste and become intimate with an authentic way to be in this world, and to be true to ourselves in the deepest of ways. We are starving for freedom, for the liberty to be as we are-- with both its inward and its outward promise. To taste liberty, we must liberate ourselves and celebrate that freedom in the community of our being and our belonging, in the sangha and sanctuary of each other. , ," - Jon Kabat-Zinn


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