Mindfulness : Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Psychology book cover
1st Edition

Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Psychology

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ISBN 9781462540105
Published June 18, 2019 by Guilford Press
284 Pages

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Book Description

How does mindfulness promote psychological well-being? What are its core mechanisms? What value do contemplative practices add to approaches that are already effective? From leading meditation teacher Christina Feldman and distinguished psychologist Willem Kuyken, this book provides a uniquely integrative perspective on mindfulness and its applications. The authors explore mindfulness from its roots in Buddhist psychology to its role in contemporary psychological science. In-depth case examples illustrate how and why mindfulness training can help people move from distress and suffering to resilience and flourishing. Readers are guided to consider mindfulness not only conceptually, but also experientially, through their own journey of mindfulness practice.

Table of Contents

Foreword, Zindel V. Segal
1. Unpacking Mindfulness
2. A Map of the Mind: Attention, Perception, and the Judging Mind
3. A Map of the Mind: Being and Knowing
4. A Buddhist Psychology Map: From Suffering to Flourishing
5. An Integrated Map of Distress and Suffering
6. Transformation: A Route Map through Mindfulness Training
7. The Heart of the Practice: Befriending, Compassion, Joy, and Equanimity
8. Embodiment: Living the Life We Aspire To
9. Ethics and Integrity in Mindfulness-Based Programs
10. A Final Word
Appendix 1. Definitions of Key Terms
Appendix 2. What Is Mindfulness Training and a Mindfulness-Based Program?

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Christina Feldman is a leading senior teacher in the insight meditation community, offering retreats internationally. She is a contributing faculty member in several postgraduate mindfulness programs, including the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom and Radboud University in The Netherlands. She is a cofounder of Gaia House in the United Kingdom and a guiding teacher of the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. The author of numerous books, Ms. Feldman is a core teacher at Bodhi College in the United Kingdom and is deeply engaged in the dialogue between Buddhist psychology and contemporary mindfulness.

Willem Kuyken, PhD, is Riblat Professor of Mindfulness and Psychological Science at the University of Oxford, United Kingdom, and Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre. His work focuses on depression and its prevention and treatment. In particular, his research examines how mindfulness and mindfulness-based programs can prevent depression and enhance human potential across the lifespan. Dr. Kuyken has published more than 100 journal articles, including key papers on the effectiveness, mechanisms, and implementation of mindfulness-based programs.


"A tour de force. This book elaborates in exquisite detail--yet with utter accessibility and clarity--what mindfulness is and where it comes from, as well as its profound ethical foundation, clinical applications, growing evidence base, and potential for healing. The depth of the case studies alone exemplifies the elemental wisdom inherent to the practice of mindfulness, and how it can be applied in trying and challenging life situations to beneficial effect."--Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR)

"Given the widespread appeal of mindfulness training, there is a growing need to understand what mindfulness actually is (and is not!), and to see the ancient roots of its modern applications. Bringing together their own deep practice of meditation with sophisticated psychological expertise and the latest neuroscience research, the authors have created a comprehensive map of the mind. This book illuminates the range and transformative power, both secular and spiritual, of mindfulness practice."--Joseph Goldstein, cofounder, Insight Meditation Society, Barre, Massachusetts

"This inspiring book builds bridges between Buddhist psychology and contemporary science. This integration is vital in our world--it has the potential to radically transform perspectives and relieve suffering for individuals and communities. Highly renowned in their respective fields, Feldman and Kuyken are professionally and personally invested in discovering what can emerge from bringing ancient and contemporary disciplines together. This resource will be profoundly useful to so many of us."--Rebecca Crane, PhD, Director, Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice, Bangor University, United Kingdom

"This book provides a much-needed view of the lay of the land for mindfulness in the 21st century. Drawing on their many years of experience in practicing, investigating, and teaching within the Buddhist insight meditation tradition, on the one hand, and contemporary psychological science, on the other, Feldman and Kuyken offer a remarkably elegant and profound demonstration of what they name as the 'mutuality of learning and dialogue' between the two worlds. Their book shows clearly how and why such mutuality has transformative potential, and the conditions under which it may or may not flourish. This book is a 'must read' for students and teachers of mindfulness-based approaches."--Mark Williams, DPhil, Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Oxford, United Kingdom

"You are holding in your hands a profound work that brings much-needed clarity to the synergies and tension between Buddhist psychology and psychological science. The book offers an integrated map of how distress is created and perpetuated, and how mindfulness training can transform suffering into well-being and flourishing. Highly recommended."--S. Helen Ma, PhD, Founding Teacher, Hong Kong Center for Mindfulness
-Powerful….Will be a great benefit to the field….Because of the breadth of the topic and intertwining perspectives, this book would be beneficial to a wide range of readers….All readers will be skillfully guided through this book, as it is laid out like a map that any reader can follow. Feldman and Kuyken set out with the intention of building a bridge between the ancient wisdom of Buddhism and the modern science of psychology. This book does precisely that.--Mindfulness, 6/8/2020ƒƒThe book provides an extremely rich resource for those who teach mindfulness or want to learn more about it in depth, including many practices, helpful illustrations, and scientific discussions and references.--Mindful Magazine, 2/3/2020ƒƒThe finest contribution to date to the ever-growing literature on mindfulness and its implications for creating and living a life less hampered by suffering and distress….An invaluable addition to the body of research and therapy-oriented work around the use of mindfulness to enhance life, this volume is a requisite for students and practitioners in psychology, social work, psychiatry, and related disciplines, and for any reader seeking a solid overview of the conceptual and practical terrain of mindfulness. Essential. Lower-division undergraduates through faculty; professionals; general readers.--Choice Reviews, 12/17/2019ƒƒThe authors help readers understand how the mind works and how to reframe their thoughts and mindfulness approaches….This book really is for anyone who wants to know more about the art of mindfulness and bridging it with today's psychological theories….The authors have done a fantastic job of explaining mindfulness.--Doody's Review Service, 8/23/2019