Meditation and mindfulness are everywhere: in hospitals, clinics, and schools; in major medical, psychological, and scientific journals; on TV; and in popular publications—even on the cover of Time magazine. And thankfully so—since Jon Kabat-Zinn developed MBSR, a treatment blending meditation and yoga, it has been proven effective in treating conditions like chronic pain, stress, anxiety, and depression for sufferers around the world. Lesser known, however, are the deep philosophical roots of MBSR known as the Buddhist dharma, translated as “the teachings of the Buddha.” Although they form the very foundation underlying MBSR and other mindfulness-based interventions, they often remain hidden within modern mindfulness practices.
The Dharma of Modern Mindfulness illuminates these cornerstones, communicating previously esoteric teachings with language that makes them easily accessible and applicable to your complex daily life. The book follows the structure of an eight-week MBSR class, paralleling the participant’s journey with that of the Buddha for the alleviation of suffering. With real-life examples, guided reflections, and practices throughout, this book will show you the connections between the ancient wisdom of Buddhism and contemporary MBSR.
Regardless of your background, status, or education, and whether you’re a practitioner, teacher, or trainer, this invitation to explore the essential Buddhist teachings at the heart of modern mindfulness—such as the four noble truths, the noble eightfold path, and the four brahmaviharas: loving-kindness, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity—will expand your understanding and enhance your practice, and, in doing so, connect you with your inner wisdom and deepest humanity.
In the final section of the book, Koster applies the principles and benefits of insight meditation to Western society in the areas of health, therapy, relationships, communication and stress. The book offers a rich and authentic introduction to Buddhist psychology and insight meditation.
Fear is destructive, a pervasive problem we all face. Vietnamese Buddhist Zen Master, poet, scholar, peace activist, and one of the foremost spiritual leaders in the world—a gifted teacher who was once nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Martin Luther King Jr.—Thich Nhat Hanh has written a powerful and practical strategic guide to overcoming our debilitating uncertainties and personal terrors. The New York Times said Hanh, “ranks second only to the Dalai Lama” as the Buddhist leader with the most influence in the West. In Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting through the Storm, Hanh explores the origins of our fears, illuminating a path to finding peace and freedom from anxiety and offering powerful tools to help us eradicate it from our lives
Compassion involves both sensitivity to our own and others’ suffering and the courage to deal with it. Integrating the work of experts in the field such as Paul Gilbert, Kristin Neff, Christopher Germer and Tara Brach, Erik van den Brink and Frits Koster have established an eight stage step-by-step compassion training programme, supported by practical exercises and free audio downloads, which builds on basic mindfulness skills. Grounded in ancient wisdom and modern science, they demonstrate how being compassionate shapes our minds and brains, and benefits our health and relationships. The programme will be helpful to many, including people with various types of chronic or recurring mental health problems, and can be an effective means of coping better with low self-esteem, self-reproach or shame, enabling participants to experience more warmth, safeness, acceptance and connection with themselves and others.
Mindfulness-Based Compassionate Living will be an invaluable manual for mindfulness teachers, therapists and counsellors wishing to bring the ‘care’ back into healthcare, both for their clients and themselves. It can also be used as a self-help guide for personal practice.