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Mindfulness: Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Psychology by [Christina Feldman, Willem Kuyken, Zindel Segal]

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Mindfulness: Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Psychology Illustrated Edition, Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 48 ratings

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"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
--This text refers to the hardcover edition.

About the Author

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.
--This text refers to the hardcover edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B07NRGFLNB
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ The Guilford Press; Illustrated edition (15 May 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 2109 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 284 pages
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 48 ratings

About the author

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Willem Kuyken is the Ritblat Professor of Mindfulness and Psychological Science at the University of Oxford, and Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre. He is a research clinical psychologist, with a BSc in Psychology from University College London, PhD from the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, and Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Salomon‘s Clinical Psychology Training Programme. For a full bio, please visit his University of Oxford staff website at

Focus of his work:

Professor Kuyken’s work is focussed on preventing and treating depression. His research and teaching focus primarily on mindfulness-based approaches, compassion and individualizing evidence-based therapies through collaborative case conceptualization.

Awards, grants and fellowships:

He was awarded the May Davidson award for clinical psychologists who “have made an outstanding contribution to the development of clinical psychology within the first 10 years of their work as a qualified clinical psychologist.” He is a "grand-fathered" Fellow of the Academy of Cognitive Therapy. Professor Kuyken’s research has been supported by the National Institute for Health Research, Wellcome Trust, Economic and Social Research Council, NHS and Medical Research Council.

Previous roles:

Professor Kuyken worked for two years as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Cognitive Therapy, University of Pennsylvania / Beck Institute with Aaron T. Beck. From 1999 to 2014 he worked at the University of Exeter, where he held a number of roles including heading up the doctoral clinical psychology training programme (2001-2004) and leading the clinical research group (2001–2010). In that period he co-founded the Mood Disorders Centre, directing it through its formative years (2004-2012) and co-founded the Master's in Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapies (2008). He became the Director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre at University of Oxford in 2014.

Professor Kuyken on Twitter: @WillemKuyken

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5.0 out of 5 stars Great resource for mindfulness practitioners.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 17 July 2019
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A Weller
2.0 out of 5 stars Ancient wisdom falls on deaf ears
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 8 July 2019
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Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 13 August 2019
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Peter King
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing for the Outsider
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 4 October 2019
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Chetak Nangare
5.0 out of 5 stars When phone's notification demand our attention, we choose to stay focused on task in hand. (p. 9) 😍
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 5 December 2019
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Chetak Nangare
5.0 out of 5 stars When phone's notification demand our attention, we choose to stay focused on task in hand. (p. 9) 😍
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 5 December 2019
Ms. Christina Feldman is a leading senior mindfulness teacher at several organisations in the world. Prof. Willem Kuyken is the director of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre (OMC) having an interest in depression & prevention treatment. Willem is an eminent scholar with over 100 published journal articles and recently got recognition in the list of a highly cited researcher of 2019 published by the web of science. Both authors complement each other or with due permission, if I can use their popular word from the book – they ‘confluence’ together greatly with this precious work of "Mindfulness: Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Psychology". Excellent forward by Zindel V. Segal who stresses how rare is Christina & Willem's pair which has highly benefitted the book and I couldn’t agree more.

I particularly liked 'how to get the most of out this book' section which sets the scene for readers and provides a great deal of confidence to begin. Each chapter within the book is also provided with the synopsis which helps the reader to stay on the track. There are also meditation practices relevant to sections of the book which provides an experiential base on the mindfulness practice on the go. Additionally, 4 clinical case studies have been discussed throughout the book which further adds practical understanding towards the knowledge of readers. The structure of the book is very commendable.

Chapter 1 stared with fantastic Obama's quote which emphasises the importance of ’right-now’. There are some great insights I found in this book which otherwise not many mindfulness books would show. For example, on page 12, Sati also means remembering and interestingly authors used Sati to remember to come back. I have utilised this meaning of Sati as well in my past practices where I vowed to remember the experiences in meditation. It is pleasing that the authors have acknowledged this meaning of Sati from ancient roots too. I found chapter 1 fascinating along with chapters 2 and 3 which provides an excellent scholastic approach of mindfulness with modern psychology. Chapter 5 is also a great addition to academia where an integrated map of distress and suffering is produced by acknowledging ancient wisdom in chapter 4.

Having a background in Buddhism and psychology I was particularly keen on exploring dedicated chapter 4 on Buddhist psychological paradigm. It is particularly praiseworthy how the authors have managed to keep the nature of this chapter (and book) secular by carefully choosing those notions of 'ancient wisdom' which will help the mindfulness community better. Additionally, authors show great skill in being able to first select which parts of ancient wisdom are important for readers to know about and then to distil them to their essence, making these teachings as accessible and useful as possible.

The transformation root map of chapter 6 is really good & easy to understand. I found it very useful and recommend all to have a look. I am particularly very impressed with chapter 7, mainly because most of the mindfulness practitioners use compassion at the forefront but authors have first time traced back the root of Buddhist psychology (or philosophy) and acknowledged the 4 Brahma viharas or attitudinal foundations of mindfulness in detail. Now, this is again unique as not many mindfulness practitioners have praised 4 Brahma viharas in such a depth before. I think this is my most favourite chapter of the book. Chapter 8 on embodiment is great too which acknowledges that embodiment is fundamental to teaching and learning of mindfulness. It is indeed!

Chapter 9 is exceptional where authors acknowledge what Buddhists call wholesome & unwholesome from right to wrong. This chapter is more focused on the ethical practice of mindfulness as a discipline as well which in my view is truly a great work and addition, again rare to find in other works. Chapter 10 is the conclusion which summarises the intention of the book very well.

Overall, the book is a magnificent work and I agree with Zindel that it is a rare amalgamation of two great scholars. I think the mindfulness community, especially those who wish to increase their critical stance on mindfulness from a psychological point of view, must read this book. I can't recommend this work enough and congratulate Christina and Willem on the beautiful outcome of their 10 years of gestation in the form of this book.
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