Scientific research tells us that mindfulness can improve not only cognitive function, but quality of life, as well.
Meditation, yoga, and centered prayer have all been shown to lead to improved physical and mental health, better
relationships, and a stronger sense of well-being.
The word 'mindfulness' gets thrown around a lot in Buddhist circles, and synonyms such as 'presence' or
'awareness' are tossed casually into conversations among almost every group these days. Most of us assume we know
exactly what these terms mean, but maybe we're wrong.
In this audio version of Daniel Siegel's book, he explains clearly that mindfulness is more than just paying
attention; it is being aware with intention and without making judgments. "The way you pay attention..." Siegel
tells us, "will ultimately become a trait of the individual."
Siegel is a psychiatrist, a graduate of Harvard Medical School, and currently the co-director of UCLA's Mindful
Awareness Research Center. More importantly, he is a meditator with personal experience of the power of mindfulness
practice, and a deep, sincere interest in the health and welfare of human beings. Through his own practice, he
determined that empathy must go beyond itself to a level of resonance with other people. It is this resonance that
allows us to experience a sense of closeness, connection and safety that leads to happiness and well-being.
While science focuses on study of the brain, it is impossible to really know what happens in the mind.
Nevertheless, Siegel asserts that the mind and the brain reinforce each other. "A practice which is developing
attention is developing the mind." In the course of this audio book, Sigel guides listeners through mindfulness
sessions, explaining step-by-step how to build a personally satisfying and effective practice. Those who have never
attempted meditation will find it easy to follow his guidance and understand how the practice works. A guided
loving-kindness meditation is particularly well structured for those who are new to the concept. Experienced
meditators will also find a refreshing purity in Siegel's explanations, so this audio does, indeed, have something
Siegel explains enough of the science of brain function to give listeners an understanding of just what's
happening to the physical brain during the meditative process. Happily he isn't compelled to show off his
considerable knowledge of the subject, so we aren't overwhelmed by medical terms. His passion for the topic as well
as his genuine interest in helping people create healthier selves and stronger bonds with others is evident.
Providing excellent sound quality and well presented by the author, The Mindful Brain will benefit anyone
and is highly recommended.