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Publisher's Summary

Meditation - the technique of mental focusing for enhanced awareness and self-mastery - offers deep and lasting benefits for mental functioning and emotional health, as well as for physical health and well-being.
This practice is closely related to "mindfulness," which Professor Muesse defines as "a deliberate way of paying attention to what is occurring within oneself as it is happening. It is the process of attentively observing your experience as it unfolds, without judgment or evaluation."
"Meditation," he adds, "refers to certain exercises that can be used to enlarge and refine mindfulness." Meditation cultivates mindfulness by training you to develop deep attention to the present moment, allowing the mind to become settled and centered. These 24 detailed lectures teach you the principles and techniques of sitting meditation, the related practice of walking meditation, and the highly beneficial use of meditative awareness in many important activities, including eating and driving. You will also learn how to use the skills of meditation in working with thoughts and emotional states, in deepening sensory awareness of the body, and in becoming deeply attentive to the operation of your mind.
You'll come away with a solid basis for your own meditation practice and for bringing meditation's remarkable and empowering benefits to every aspect of your life.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2011 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2011 The Great Courses
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Mike on 09-19-13

Very good lectures on mindfulness!

I found Dr. Muesse did good work researching and explaining mindfulness. Each lecture was well presented with good use of vocals to keep the listener's attention.

I found the best part to be the first lecture of this series. The example given is unquestionably THE best example I've ever read or heard of the differences between an untrained (or distracted) mind, and a mind which routinely goes through mindfulness meditation and exercises. I can't say enough good about the first chapter. The following lectures buildup from there, I found myself hooked right from the start.

Also, of particular note is the acknowledgement that this course is Dr. Muesse's interpretation on the subject matter. I could see the great lengths the author went through to present the subject material in as an objective way as possible. For me this is a huge difference between one-sided self help books, and academic learning.

I would recommend this to people curious about what meditation is, and what in particular mindfulness meditation is. Then it's effect on a person's outlook and quality of life.


All in all this is one of the best introduction coarse on mindfulness I have had the opportunity to listen/read. Recommended!

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165 of 172 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By David on 12-29-13

Intermittently thought-provoking

I learned a lot from this course, although parts of it are more valuable than others. The best sections are those which give advice on meditation practice and how to overcome the difficulties that challenge the beginner. The lecturer has lots of useful, practical ideas that are very helpful. I found the later sections where he spends a great deal of time moralizing in a rather banal way to be less interesting, although here and there I found nuggets of thought-provoking ideas about how mindfulness can help us live our lives better - the chapter on accepting mortality is particularly good.

The lecturer speaks WAY too slowly and has a slightly condescending tone, as if he is explaining the subject to a small kitten. However, I found that if I played him at 2x speed he sounded like a normal human being and was perfectly listenable.

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275 of 289 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By N. D. Holt on 02-04-14

Great Guidance

What did you like most about Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation?

As I listened to the lecture series, restarted it a couple of times, and reviewed the lectures several times each, I have been able to apply several of his techniques to my own life and incorporate them ... they have been very beneficial.

I enjoyed his talks on The Buddha and on Buddhism, and he leaves me with an appetite for more understanding.

I like the way, after the introduction and basics he leads us through several directed meditations, building my confidence in my ability to continue this practice.

Have you listened to any of Professor Mark W. Muesse’s other performances? How does this one compare?

This is the first of his lecture series that I have listened to.At first, I found Professor Muesse's voice and manner of delivery difficult to enjoy ... but after a short while the delivery became part of his character and did enjoy his lectures, and listening to him.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Jim on 09-08-13

Practical, informative and charming

As someone wanting to start mindfulness meditation I found this to be a clear and informative guide. Prof Muesse is from the southern states of the USA; which seems to present a previous reviewer with some problems but for me wasn't an issue. His narration is clear and paced in a way that's well suited to meditation exercises. He provides interesting context on buddhism but also translates concepts such as karma in a way that's useful for those of us who aren't buddhists and don't believe in reincarnation. There are plenty of exercises to offer the beginner a range of options for meditating and since buying this lecture meditation has become part of my daily routine.

The "Great Lectures" series all involve a bit of kidology; we're supposed to think it's a live lecture but the applause sounds dubbed-in between chapters and one assumes they're recorded in a studio somewhere. That's irrelevant though. Where they come up trumps is in hiring great university lecturers with solid academic credentials in the field and letting them do their thing. I wasn't sure whether that would work in this instance because I was after a practical guide but this really hit the spot for me in delivering both practical exercises as well as interesting background material.

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9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Stephanie on 04-04-18

Absolutely life-changing

As a beginner to mindfulness practice, Mark is an incredible teacher. His acceptance and study of many cultures, practices and religions gives him this all-encompassing view that feels like a warm hug. He covers a broad range of techniques and the reasoning behind each skill, with very relatable examples.
I feel ready to begin a lifetime of daily practice and look forward to the journey it takes me on!

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1 out of 5 stars
By John on 05-17-16

Don't waste your time and money

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

no one, perhaps my dog in order to goto sleep ?

What could The Great Courses have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

A better lecturer. One who doesn't in the opening lines tell a story about his inability to use a DVD player. Does not inspire confidence in the content

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Professor Mark W. Muesse?

anyone - maybe Donald Trump. :) at least it would be comical.

What character would you cut from Practicing Mindfulness: An Introduction to Meditation?

Well, I'd not cut a character, but cut the religious references.

Any additional comments?

If I could get a refund on this I would. Sadly I appear to have missed a cutoff date between when I bought and when I first listened.

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5 of 30 people found this review helpful

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