Just finished Wherever You Go There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn, an early standard in the mindfulness movement in the US.

I will be leading meditation sessions at my workplace starting next month, and one of my Zen teachers recommended this book as an example of how meditation can be discussed in a nearly entirely secular way. Each chapter provides an avenue into the mindfulness practice from the author’s experience, many of which I found inspirational and clarifying.

The author’s approach felt a little in the clouds or pseudo-spiritual to me–a criticism I often have of language surrounding mindfulness and meditation because I feel it contributes to their air of unapproachability for many people.

That being said, at the heart of mindfulness is a direct experience with this life that our language can approach but not capture. If all of our efforts to express it fall short, why do we even bother writing about it at all?

I found myself asking this question recently when tasked to write a series of blog posts on meditation. Because there’s already so much writing about mindfulness and meditation out there and I could approach the topic in any number of ways, what’s the point?

I think the hope is that whatever I put down reaches and resonates with someone wherever they are in in their particular experience. Kabat-Zinn’s book offers another voice in this effort which has and will resonate with many, myself included.

 

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