Perhaps no other person has done more to bring mindfulness meditation into the contemporary landscape of America than Jon Kabat-Zinn. Th rough a number of research studies, and through Kabat-Zinn¡¯s pioneering work at the University of Massachusetts Medical School where he is founder of its world-renowned Stress Reduction Clinic, mindfulness is finally being recognized as a highly effective tool for dealing with stress, chronic pain, and other illnesses. Today, with a four-part home training course, Jon Kabat-Zinn offers listeners the definitive mindfulness meditation practice on CD. "We are not trying to actively achieve a state of deep relaxation¡ªor any other state for that matter¡ªwhile practicing mindfulness," he teaches. "But interestingly, by opening to an awareness of how things actually are in the present moment, we often taste very deep states of relaxation and well-being¡ªof both body and mind." Join the bestselling author of Coming to Our Senses (Hyperion, 2005) and Wherever You Go, There You Are (Hyperion 1995) to develop and deepen your personal mindfulness practice, and to taste the universal aspects of stillness, clarity, wisdom, compassion, and well-being that Guided Mindfulness Meditation offers.
Needed professional speaking voices for meditations I was very disappointed with the CDs because the voices are very "nasal" sounding. I have several guided meditation CDs and they are done by people who obviously have taken some form of vocal training.
If I could, I would return the product. These doctors may know their stuff but should have professionals record it....more info
Annoying & useless I have taken a class based on Jon Kabat-Zinn's mindfulness meditation. The instructor had made a tape similar to this one - it was wonderful. Unfortunately the old tape broke, so I ordered this CD. The voice, whose-ever it is (hopefully not Zinn's), is so annoying and it is way too wordy. There are so many superfluous words that mean nothing - the guided body meditation is completely lost. There needs to be precise guidance and pauses where nothing is said. As it is it's useless....more info
How do I order a copy for my son? I am trying to place a reorder to be shipped to my son as I feel that he would like/benefit from it and I cannot find it again on Amazon. HELP!...more info
Disappointing I was disappointed by the lack of creativity brought to this expensive set of cd's. I'm sorry to say, "Guided Mindfulness Meditation" was silent, and slow going. Metaphors, stories, nuggets, and music were missing. My first purchase of Dr. Kabat-Zinn's work was the audiotape, "Wherever You Go There You Are". Dr. Kabat-Zinn did a great job here through his use of voice, music, and text. He was able to transport me to a peaceful state, his soothing voice lyrically illustrating relaxation metaphors. Soothing music was the backdrop for his interesting approach mixing together fact and story. I was hoping "Guided Mindfullness Meditation" would be just as inviting. ...more info
Very annoying voice/incorrect focus I can only agree with the other negative reviews regarding Kabat-Zinn's voice. When I listen to a mindfulness tape I don't want to be thinking about the reader's saliva or lack of. I cannot listen to these CDs now due to his voice. There are actually free guided meditations and body scans online that are much better.
It is also a GREAT disappointment that he mentions relaxation as a goal of e.g. body scanning which is wrong, wrong, wrong. It is not a goal with mindfulness which he is very well aware of so I cannot understand why he would say in the beginning that we do the body scan to dwell in a deep state of relaxation.
That is not the purpose of mindfulness/meditation/body scanning/yoga and if that is your goal then you are doomed to failure.
Otherwise I love Kabat-Zinn and his work, but I am baffled by these CDs....more info
Not What I Expected I know that Jon Kabat-Zinn has a tremendous amount of knowledge to share however it did not come through for me in this CD collection. The pacing of the movement sequences is very slow and the voice quality is somewhat distracting. Based on the title of the CD's I was under the impression that there would be more information about meditation techniques, however the majority of the information presented is a very gentle guided yoga practice. Somewhat disappointing....more info
be careful, it is not really complete! I recently bought "Guided Mindfulness Meditation - a complete mindfulness meditation program from Jon Kabat-Zinn".
What is meant by complete??
There are 3 cd's and a small booklet. Cd 1 is alright, you can practice the exercises at home, no problem whatsoever.
But cd 2 and 3 contain yoga exercises and in the booklet it is written: the postures for both yoga cds are outlined in Full Catastrophe Living (which is another book, sold seperately). Can you imagine that I feel disappointed? Why not tell this in advance, clearly and honestly? It is NOT complete and I feel tricked, honestly speaking....more info
Guided Mindfulness Meditation This is Jon Kabat-Zin's best meditation CD. His imagery on the outbreath is more hepful for reducing stress and even for reducing pain. At the end of his guided body scan my whole body feels like it is tingleing and like it could almost levitate. The other three tapes in this set are a serendipity....more info
Excelent introduction to mindfulness meditation In his CD meditations, Kabat-Zinn offers a graet introduction to mindfulness meditation that is non-religious and that acknowledges the challenges beginning meditators have in developing the skill of mindfulness... The CDs are best when accompanied by the Kabat-Zinn's books to give them context. I have used them, have noticed great changes in my daily life (less stress, more enjoyment of everyday activities) and fully recommend them....more info
a dumbed-down version of old Buddhist texts - ex. Satipatthana Sutta It's very disappointing to read/listen to individuals who take old buddhists texts and re-interpret the texts as their own. Kabat-Zinn borrows so much and rarely mentions Buddhism. Pitiful. For those critically evaluating the book/audio, it's useful to note that many of these new ideas are actually old ones; simply because no one has a copyright on old buddhist texts doesn't imply that we can without impunity stealthily borrow their ideas without citation.
Excellent Intro for both Meditation and Stress Relief I purchased this set and went through the full 8 week program recommended in the accompanying booklet. I think it serves two purposes well, so I'll address each separately.
Stress Relief: By following the prescribed course, I was sleeping better and less stressed out at work as early as week 3. I finished out the course and found the effects only got better. I think that if you are using this system to address problems with sleeplessness, stress relief or anxiety, it's really important to follow the program and it will work wonders. I've continues to use the Body Scan (CD 1) periodically when I have trouble falling asleep and it never fails.
Meditation: I also purchased this because I was interested in getting more into meditation. In that sense, I really only find the Seated Meditation (CD 3) useful and I do continue to use this multiple times per week. I think it is an excellent introduction to meditation skills if you do not come from (or aren't interested in coming from) a more spiritual background. Kabat-Zinn manages to get to the heart of mindfulness/awareness without referencing specific traditions, so I think that is huge for newbies who may be intimidated or see the spiritual tie to an unfamiliar tradition as a barrier to beginning. Additionally, there is now new-agey imagery of walking in a forest or being in the mist or whatever, which I often find annoying and distracting.
I do think that pretty soon (been about 10 weeks now) I'll need to move on. Now that I have become proficient and maintaining my own focus and awareness, I find the encouraging break-ins actually distracting rather than helpful (as they were when I started out). But, like I said, a great introduction....more info
Does Zinn have a myspace page? The purpose of meditation is to let go, not to listen to music. Accept everything, let your thoughts and feelings escape as quickly as they enter. There is no enjoyment in meditation, per se. Ultimately, you will not be disturbed, when you have mastered meditation, you will have learned to accept all things as they come in whatever form they arrive, and in a state of relaxation and "mindfulness" let them pass just as easy. We all fight daily with noises and feelings and pains and distractions. For 10,15,45, or 60 minutes you will have made a conscious choice to accept that your spirit is your soul and there is nothing but peace and harmony here and there. The enjoyment will be an effect of peace within, but is actually another distraction. Jon Kabat-Zinn rocks! But sometimes it's difficult to convey what one feels and knows to another in writing, or even in speaking for that matter. Sometimes It is the listener who has the difficulties. This and Jon's book may not have communicated messages well, but there is truth to be found for all searchers....more info
A good way to approach relaxation and meditation These guided meditations, relaxations and yoga routines were designed for use in Kabat-Zinn's stress-reduction clinic, and "go along with" his book Full Catastrophe Living. It contains four programs: a guided body scan relaxation (great), a guided sitting meditation (at over 35 minutes, this might be a bit long for beginners), and two gentle guided yoga routines.
My only gripe is that the programs are pretty long (especially the sitting meditation), and they might not appeal to beginners. But the programs are excellent. Do understand that this is not only meditation, as the title suggests; it is also relaxation, and the 45-minute full body scan is probably worth the price of the set. ...more info
Extremely insighful and effective if used correctly I have purchased this CD set despite some of the really bad reviews it got from some users. I have just started using it, and I list some of the good and some of the not so good impressions about it:
- The sessions are adequately long. 45 minutes is really required to achieve optimal state of relaxation and mindfulness. Many of the other meditation CDs I found way too short (eg. 10-15 minutes a session)
- Kabat-Zinn is a renowned researcher in his field, he really knows what he's talking about. You can indeed reach deep levels of relaxation with his CDs.
- The set mixes Midfulness Meditation with Mindfulness Yoga. This is great, because it makes the practice more interesting.
Not so good:
- I really like meditating with some ambient music in the background, to block out disturbing noises. This meditation CD set is recorded with narration only - there's no music. I have however resolved this easily by digitalizing the CDs and mixing them with David Miles Huber's excellent meditation music. This resulted in MP3s that are truly excellent to listen to on my MP3 player.
My advice is that you buy the companion book, "Full Catastrophe Living" from Kabat-Zinn. Read the book first, and then start practicing with the CDs. It is very important to understand how Kabat-Zinn recommends you approach meditation, and without reading the book you will not be able to take full advantage of the CD.
Finally, although some said that Jon Kabat-Zinn's voice is annoying, I did not find it so. It comes down to individual tastes I guess. Rather than concentrating on the quality of the voice, just listen to the message it carries. After all, meditation - among other things - is about being non-judgmental, right? :)
More later, when I used the CDs for a couple of months.
I promised I'd be back with another review once I completed the entire program of MBSR using this CD set and the book "Full Catastrophe Living" by Jon Kabat-Zinn. So, here I am, past 8 weeks and I am so glad I embarked on this journey. I have been struggling with stress for several years and a couple of months ago it got out of hand. That's what led me to this program. In 8 weeks I am off of prescription medication, I have about a tenth of the stress level I had before and I feel much more balanced and relaxed than ever before. If you have GAD, I truly believe this program can help you and bring dramatic changes to your life. All you have to do is stick with it and don't give up. No magic pills here - 8 weeks of dedicated practice is needed. Plus, as Jon Kabat-Zinn says in his book, the 8th week lasts the rest of your life. I'd say this program is probably designed for the novice meditator and it does a particularly good job in getting a novice meditator like me up to speed. Here's why I found it particularly helpful in starting my meditation practice:
- The CD set which is the subject of this review is just a part of the overall program material. "Full Catastrophe Living" is also an essential part of the program and I would say don't even start the practice with these CDs until you read the book at least once. Coupled with the insight you get from the book however, this CD set will be a very powerful tool.
- The meditations are heavily guided and some lamented on this fact. On the other hand, for a novice meditator, it is this "heavy" guidance that offers a tether to hold onto. For the novice, it is a blessing, rather than an annoyance.
- I found that the mixture of yoga and meditation exercises on this CD set gives a great balance and variety to the meditation practice. I am glad to have learned about yoga at the same time. The Hatha yoga exercises are really easy, and for the first time I finally understood that yoga is not about flexibility of body, rather flexibility of mind.
- Previously I commented that the lack of background ambient music was a negative. Actually, I have a different view on this now. Since the CDs have no background music, I am free to choose and mix my own background music with it. This is great, because I choose the exact music I like, rather than having just one choice - whatever the program comes with.
In my opinion, this CD set coupled with the equally valuable book is an excellent introduction to meditation and mindfulness. Anybody deciding on starting a meditation practice would benefit enormously from Jon Kabat-Zinn's program.
I tried meditation on my own, before I purchased this program. I successfully entered mindless states of trance every time, and even dozed off many times. Then I took Jon Kabat-Zinn's program, and finally I understand what is meant by the slogan they used on some T-shirts: "Meditation - it's not what you think!"
Buy the book, buy the CDs and fall awake. This program is worth 10 times its price.
Good for revitalizing your practice but you might need to buy the book too. I was almost put off buying this set by some negative reviews here, but I enjoy his books very much and find JK-Z's approach to mindfulness interesting and imaginative so, after much research, I bought this set. (FWIW, I think his voice is great. If you do a search for the author you can hear free audio clips on many sites.)
I've done some meditation before and was looking for guided meditations because I felt my practice had gone a bit stale. This set has helped me to achieve what I wanted - to refresh my commitment to making meditation a regular part of my life.
So far I've only worked through the Body Scan CD - this is very relaxing, almost too relaxing as I often fall asleep (totally cheating). I'm pleased with the first CD, but there are two points worth mentioning:
1. At 45 mins, these guided meditations are looong, and JK-Z recommends that you do these meditations every day.
2. I wish I'd known that this set on its own is not a full program. The set is described as a 'complete mindfulness program' but when you buy the set and read the liner notes, it says the yoga postures are outlined in his book Full Catastrophe Living. There are no diagrams in the CD liner so you've no idea what the poses are supposed to look like and have to rely entirely on the audio. I've listened to the yoga CD to see if it sounds feasible but haven't 'done' it yet.
I've heard good things about Full Catastrophe Living and, sure, I'd love to read it sometime. However I think omitting the posture illustrations from the notes and just referring you to another book is a bit... off. It was probably a commercial decision taken by the publisher rather than the author, and to be fair, he does describe the poses without referring you to page 72, etc. But I think it should be clearer that the CD was designed to be used in conjunction with the book so you have that information when you buy. Either that or include the illustrations as a courtesy to people who only buy the CD set....more info
This cd was a gift for my Grandaughter. The cd simplifies the meditation process. It eases the listener into a relaxed and receptive state. Very effective. I like my copy so much I purchased this one for my Grandaughter....more info
Guided Mindfulness Meditation Review I found this tape to be excellent. It was actually the first time I have ever even tried "meditation," and it turned out to be a wonderful introduction to this genre. Jon Kabat-Zinn is a very articulate talker, and his soothing voice lends itself well to meditative techniques. I would recommend it highly to anyone -- both newbies and those more experienced -- interested in the art of meditation....more info
Great Meditation CD I bought this CD for a Stress Reduction class and it does it's job quite well. Kabat-Zinn narrates through a 40-minute body scan, two 40-minute yoga exercises, and a sitting meditation in this series alone (you can purchase other series for more exercises). If done properly, all exercises are helpful in understanding the body, relaxation, beginning yoga, and mindfulness, but Kabat-Zinn's voice can wear on the nerves after a while. His voice isn't exactly what I would call "soothing," and he has an annoying tendency to smack. But mindfulness is all about letting go of little things and learning acceptance, so maybe there is something to be said about learning to ignore the minor things that can cause annoyance on this c.d. Also, there is no accompanying music, so if you need a good soothing soundtrack for your meditation you might want to look elsewhere. Overall a good choice for beginners....more info
great guide If you read "Full Catastrophe Living" as I did, and found it difficult to put into practice the mindfulness meditations described, these CD's will be a great help. They have been for me, especially with the body scan.
I actually found it easier to follow without a musical background, as I find myself extremely distracted and annoyed when in an environment where I do not really like the background music. On the other hand, Kabat-Zinn's voice was actually soothing and relaxing to me.
As for the 'buddhist' comments: I'm sure the Buddha would not have a problem with this book or the related CD's. I'll bet he would welcome anything that helps one to increased mindfullness. I also believe the teachings of Jesus admonish us to be and act mindfully, and this book and CD set have turned out to be a great help in my own personal spiritual growth....more info
Wonderful introduction to mindfulness meditation I'm sad to see a reviewer be so judgmental about this audio - especially one who claims to respect the teachings of the Buddha. These guided meditations are accessible for anyone, without the baggage of what some might call a religion - Buddhism. (For me, it's a philosophy more than a religion, and I have learned more about Buddha and his teachings because of these audios.) As cassette tapes, these audios were my introduction to the practice, and they resonated for me then, and still do after 13 years.
It should be noted that these are not 'essays' as found on "Wherever you Go." They are not meant to be listened to and thought about - they are meant to help guide and teach you the practice of mindfulness meditation. It should also be noted that these are not 'relaxation' tapes, or just a 'technique' to reduce stress. They introduce and instruct a practice that can lead you to a new perspective on life. When I read "Full Catastrophe Living," I learned what mindfulness meditation was, and wanted to try it. I bought the tapes that were offered in the back of the book, and have been so glad I did.
I would encourage people to read Kabat-Zinn's writings about mindfulness to help understand what the practice is about - then get these audio guides to try the practice itself. You might also explore the writings of Buddhist Monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, who does a wonderful job discussing the process and point of mindfulness in everyday life. You may, or may not, become interested in learning more about the incredible contributions given to this world by the Buddha and his followers (I did, but you don't have to.) Either way, beginning a practice of mindfulness may change your life as it did mine. What began as a way to help me deal with the stress in my life turned into a new way of looking at life and a new way to live. ...more info
Mindfulness Meditation by Jon Kabat-Zinn These CDs have enhanced my life. I listen to them each day to allow me to be mindful of calmness.MBW...more info
Useful mixture of practices, but not complete in itself... It well known that Jon Kabat-Zinn is one of the biggest names in meditation instruction and has done much to give the field academic credibility and validation. His work is valuable and this CD is no exception. However, it seems to be overly ambitious and incomplete without other information to augment it. At the least, you need his book FULL CATASTROPHE LIVING to go along with it.
For context, I am a former research scientist and taught physiology in a university and was a biochemist for Merck. I have a good background in yoga, meditation and have done graduate work in Integral Psychology which studies psychology within the context of the world's wisdom traditions. I also teach meditation as part of my living including using biofeedback and other western aids to learning these concepts. This context will help you to judge the merit of my interview and the point of view I'm writing it for.
One thing I like about this CD is that in a sense it is one stop shopping. In one package, you get a Body Scan Meditation, A thorough Mindfulness Meditation methodology and some basic yoga instruction. This is a lot to get in one package and usually you don't get a Body Scan Meditation along with a Mindfulness practice in the same set. All of these meditations and the yoga instruction is useful, but while technically accurate Jon Kabat-Zinn doesn't have the most soothing voice, there was little though to music of any aesthetic dimension which helps one to enter various mind states and there is a bit of a clinical feel the whole series.
With respect to the yoga instruction, I think this information is useful for someone who has studied at least a little bit with a teacher or who has attended classes. A lot of yoga has to do with body awareness and without a teacher to point out the things you think you are doing right, but are unaware of you can keep reinforcing bad habits or at worse hurt yourself. Also, giving yoga instruction via a book or audio CD is not the best way to learn it. It's highly visual and requires someone to look at what you are doing in three dimensions. However, if this gets people started with a yoga practice and curious about learning more, I'm all for it. Besides some classes or lessons, however, you may also want to explore a beginning yoga book such as BACK CARE BASICS or 30 ESSENTIAL YOGA POSES by Judith Lasater. The first book is written by a physician and Iyengar practioner and has a lot of good hints on how not to get hurt. The latter is a great introduction for beginners and can almost stand alone in it's well written descriptions and safety tips.
I agree with the other reviewers that the meditations are an ideal length for long time practice. Beginners may find this a bit overwhelming, but they augment their work with shorter more soothing meditation audios such as Jack Kornfield's BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO MEDITATION. This CD is done from a Western Buddhist perspective, but Kornfield also is a Western clinical psychologist and does not push any religious agenda to hard.
There are some comments in other reviews about a Buddhist orientation in this meditation set by Jon Kabat-Zinn. While I think this is true, I don't see that he is pushing a religious agenda. It just happens to be a fact that the Buddhists have been studying the nature of mind and experimenting with meditation for thousands of years. There are many writing about it within this tradition and they have a lot to tell us about what works and what doesn't. I have found this to be validated by my own experience.
While this set is a good start for those beginning a practice, I would also consider one or both of the following books. First, BREATH BY BREATH by Rosenberg. This is an excellent, thorough and very readable introduction to a variety of meditation techniques in the Buddhist tradition. You don't have to be a Buddhist to benefit from them, however. If your desire is to go even deeper, then MINDFULNESS WITH BREATHING by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu will pick up where BREATH BY BREATH leaves off and go into more fine points that will help you to refine your attention even more and go deeper.
One component of full stress reduction program that I feel is missing from these recordings is the potential health and stress reduction benefits of loving-kindness meditation. This affects heart rate variability, the reduction of the chronic stress hormone cortisol and the production of the anti-aging hormone DHEA. It is now a proven fact that the heart indirectly affects the brain and a lot of new research on this has been appearing in the Journal of Cardiology and others. You can get an introduction to this whole area by reading the book HEART MATH or you can explore loving-kindness meditation without reading up on the medical benefits. If you wish to take a very western approach, then the program FREEZE FRAMER is an excellent investment! If you want to just get an introduction to this technique Shinzen Young has a set of five meditations including loving-kindess which is inexpensive and good. Salzberg also has written a book called Loving-Kindess from a Buddhist perspective and there is an inexpensive audio program by her and Goldstein called INSIGHT MEDITATION.
Another practice that I think is particulary useful to Westerner's, but missing from this program is walking meditation. This done VERY WELL in the INSIGHT MEDITATION series offered above. However, what Zinn offers that others don't is a well-rounded program for life time change. While I've made a lot of comments and suggestions above, I am not knocking this series. It is an ambitious endeavor and Zinn does a great job of covering a lot of ground. I wouldn't hesitate to buy this audio set, but at a minimum I would augment it with FULL CATASTROPHE LIVING and perhaps some of the other resources I mentioned above....more info
Great benefits and EASY to follow instructions. The CD set exceeded my expectations for ease of use. They are much easier to follow than I anticipated. The mediations are simple and completely agnostic, and therefore should be non-offensive to any religious orientation. I recommend this product to anyone looking for a way to improve their mental and physical health in an extremely enjoyable and accessible manner!...more info
Mindfulness Meditation by Jon Kabat-Zinn These CDs have enhanced my life. I listen to them each day to allow me to be mindful of calmness.MBW...more info