Letting Everything Become Your Teacher
Book PrefaceLetting Everything Become Your Teacher
18,000 medical patients and almost thirty years of experience and scientific studies from the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction(MBSR) Clinic and Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center have shown us that the cultivation of greater mindfulness through regular systematic formal and informal meditation practice can make a huge difference in the quality of life of people with a wide range of chronic stress disorders, pain conditions, and outright illness, to say nothing of those suffering from the normal wear and tear of the constant and mounting stress that is part and parcel of our everyday lives in this culture of 24/7 connectivity and multitasking. These pressures on our lives make it more and more difficult to find time for being and for moments of non-doing that might restore us, body and soul. Such moments, always available to us, but so easily missed, also allow us to remember, pay attention to, and embody what is most important in our lives, rather than getting caught up in the endless stream of what is most demanding or seductive.
This book of excerpts from Full Catastrophe Living—the book in which mindfulness meditation, the MBSR program, and the applications of mindfulness to stress, pain, and illness are described in great detail—can give you a doorway into the practice of mindfulness and the rediscovery of what is deepest and best in yourself. Any one, or any number, of these 100 pointers can readily remind you of what you already know in a deep way, that you actually have a choice in every moment: the choice of how to be in wise relationship to this moment, inwardly and outwardly, no matter what is happening. By taking responsibility for your own experience in this way, you are taking a profound and potentially transformative step toward both healing and genuine well-being and happiness, not
in some better “future” that may never come, but in the only moment you ever have for living, for breathing, for loving, for being … namely this one. You already have this power. It is innate in all of us. All it takes is paying attention, and being kind to yourself; and persevering in remembering that you are alive only in this moment, and now is the only time you ever have for making choices, and that this now is always available to you. Every moment is indeed a new beginning.
This book was developed by Hor Tuck Loon of Malaysia out of his own passion for mindfulness and a desire to bring it to a wide range of people who are stressed and suffering in various ways. I am greatly indebted to him for both the idea of this book, and for its execution, which includes his own original photographic and graphic artistry, and his own choices in how to emphasize the transformative potential of mindfulness. The product is saturated with his generosity and spaciousness of heart.
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