Sunday, February 15, 2009

Review: The Mindful Way through Depression

This book, subtitled "Freeing yourself from chronic unhappiness", is a not-too-thick, no-nonsense volume that bridges the gap between talking about meditation and actually doing it. Being a cat, I knew most of this stuff already; but Mindful Way explains it really, really well.

Better yet, it explains without religion, without strange languages and secret handshakes, without a whole bunch of Seventh Level Yoga Hopping Trances or other such woo-woo. There is a yoga exercise in here, but if you want to call it "Paying attention to my arms and legs while I move them around", go right ahead.

The authors (Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal, and Jon Kabat-Zinn) do an excellent job of staying in the same room with the reader: Each chapter is a good, balanced mixture of anecdote, theory, exercises, and things to consider while you're trying the exercises. It's also an easy read.

Despite its title, Mindful Way isn't just about depression. I think that you could use it to deal with just about any problem of People Who Think Way Too Much... Stress at work; procrastination; chronic multitasking.

Quite possibly one of the best beginner-level books on meditation ever written.