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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!
132 of 137 people found this review helpful
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.
214 of 225 people found this review helpful
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.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
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.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful
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.
3 of 24 people found this review helpful