IN MY EXPERIENCE, I have found that the most effective way to express something new in a way people can understand is to use the simplest language possible. I have also learned from teaching that the more rigid the language— which is to say, the less it accounts flexibly for the inevitable variety of people’s experience—the less effective that teaching is. Who would want to meet with stern and rigid language? Especially when learning something new, especially something we may not normally engage with during daily life. That approach can cause meditation, the practice of mindfulness, to appear as something that you cannot always do. This book presents the antidote to that view! At its heart, this is a straightforward book written in ordinary everyday language—yet within these pages, you’ll find rich instructions to begin to discover for yourself the true power of mindfulness in your life, and its many related benefits. I wrote this book in response to the many requests I’d received for just such an introduction.
You may find this book an especially useful resource if you are taking up the practice of mindfulness meditation by yourself, without access to a teacher or experienced guide.
In the twenty years since Wisdom Publications first released Mindfulness in Plain English, we’ve seen mindfulness influence more and more aspects of modern society and culture—education, psychotherapy, art, yoga, medicine, and the burgeoning science of the brain. And more and more people seek out mindfulness for any number of reasons—to reduce stress; to improve physical and psychological well-being; to be more effective, skillful, and kind in relationships, at work, and throughout their lives.
And I hope that, whatever reasons have brought you to this book or have brought this book to you, you will find within it clear pointers to an incomparably beneficial path.