10 Resources to Further Study Mindfulness
So, you’ve begun the exciting journey into mindfulness and want to find out more. Well, you’re in luck. Mindfulness is a hot topic, and you can find all sorts of different resources to support your mindfulness practice.
You can find out just about everything you need to know about mindfulness on the Internet. The problem is there are so many different websites, it’s hard to know where to start. Here are a few to help you to begin mindfully exploring.
Learn Mindfulness is an organization that offers training in mindfulness for individuals, groups and organizations internationally. The mindfulness courses are offered online, via telephone and in person, and provide ongoing support.
Visit LearnMindfulness.com for training and free resources, including:
Online videos of lectures on mindfulness
Online guided mindfulness meditations
Monthly email newsletters
Insight Meditation Society
The Insight Meditation Society runs two retreat centers in the United States. The website offers an audio introduction to meditation, a large selection of talks on mindfulness, links to many retreat centers all over the world, a suggested reading list and much more.
Books, CDs and films
Continue to nourish your mindfulness practice with a range of different writers to help deepen your understanding of yourself. Here are some resources to help you.
Full Catastrophe Living
This book by Jon Kabat-Zinn (published by Piatkus) is an excellent, detailed guide to the eight-week, mindfulness-based stress reduction course that Kabat-Zinn developed.
Kabat-Zinn has taught mindfulness to thousands of people at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. Because the mind plays such a big role in stress-related illness, the 500 pages of the book cover huge areas often overlooked in other texts.
Grounded in scientific research, Jon Kabat-Zinn explores the connections between mind and body. Although the book is aimed at those suffering from chronic illness, everyone can benefit from the advice and live life more fully.
Peace Is Every Step
Thich Nhat Hanh (pronounced Tik N’yat Hawn) is a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, poet, scholar and peace activist.
Thich Nhat Hanh is probably one of the world’s most famous teachers of mindfulness. Because of his lifelong commitment and efforts for peace in Vietnam, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967 by Martin Luther King, Jr.
You can find many gems in this book to help transform your daily life into conscious awareness with gratitude in what you do. The book is in short sections that you can read in a few minutes and then reflect on. The book is ideal to read before or after meditating to set you up for the day.
The Mindful Way Through Depression
The Mindful Way Through Depression is written by Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal and Jon Kabat-Zinn – all top scientists in their respective fields.
The book is full of techniques for managing depression with mindfulness, as well as core mindfulness meditations as offered on a typical course. The book also contains lots of stories showing the practical application of mindfulness in people’s lives and includes an excellent accompanying CD with mindfulness meditations.
You can choose from a good variety of Mindfulness CDs, starting from the core mindfulness practices, such as the body scan and sitting meditation, to mindful visualizations, like the lake and mountain meditations. There is even a selection of extensive mindful yoga practice CDs to help build your strength and flexibility as well as your capacity to be mindful.
Life Is Beautiful DVD
Co-written, directed and starring Roberto Benigni, this Oscar-winning Italian film is a simultaneously hilarious and haunting comedy out of the tragedy of the Holocaust. The film is a poignant tale of a father’s sacrifice to save both his son’s life and his innocence in the face of one of the most evil acts inflicted by humanity.
It’s the most widely acclaimed foreign film in U.S. history. Its most powerful lesson is how you can somehow turn the most dark and depressing situation into something completely different by changing the perspective. Mindfulness is partly about seeing things from a bigger perspective, and transforming your experience.
Retreats and lectures
You can’t deepen your experience of mindfulness unless you attend a retreat.
Set in a rural area in Devon, south-western England, Gaia House offers mostly silent retreats, and mainly in the Buddhist tradition, led by teachers from all over the world. The organization offers weekend and week-long retreats there throughout the year.
Although the participants are in silence, the teacher isn’t. The teacher often explains and guides the meditations, and if you feel overwhelmed by the experience, there are usually ways to speak to someone about it.
Gaia House offers:
Group retreats. These retreats are teacher-led over fixed dates, including some one-day retreats.
Personal retreats. These individual retreats last from one week to several months.
Work retreats. These retreats offer an opportunity to combine periods of daily work, doing things like gardening or cooking, with intensive meditation.
Book yourself in well in advance – the courses fill up very quickly.
Mind and Life Institute
The Mind and Life Institute in Boulder, Colorado, encourages a collaboration and research partnership between top Buddhist scholars, including the Dalai Lama, and scientists to help deepen understanding of the nature of reality and promote human wellbeing.
You can get involved in the Institute by attending public meetings between the Dalai Lama and scientists, and public conferences designed to stimulate interest, reading the Institute’s publications, or perhaps getting involved in collaborative research projects or educational programs.
Plum Village is a Buddhist retreat center founded by Thich Nhat Hanh in southern France. The retreat is partly in silence, especially at meal times. Everyone seems to enjoy the silence. The summer retreats are also family-friendly, so you can bring the kids along too!