Review for Mindfulness
It’s a cliché that once a popular cultural trend or movement ends up on the cover of "Time" magazine it’s over, officially passé. Mindfulness made its appearance in February. As if that wasn’t enough, everyone from Arianna Huffington to Congressman Tim Ryan has been boldly touting the benefits of mindfulness practice. Scientific studies keep pouring out demonstrating that mindfulness is good for just about anything that might ail us. And in just the last few years, there have been hundreds of books published on mindfulness—applying the practice to everything from child rearing to quilting to business leadership.
In the midst of this comes a new book by Joseph Goldstein with the nearly banal title “Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Awakening” (Sounds True, Nov. 2013). Yet this book is anything but commonplace. It’s a profoundly realized exploration of a traditional source text of Buddhist mindfulness meditation—a landmark work that has the potential to provide the present-day mindfulness movement with the ground and roots it will need to survive its popularity and thrive.
You can be forgiven if you don’t know much about Joseph Goldstein. Though he does occasionally travel and teach, Joseph Goldstein has by and large occupied himself as a guiding teacher at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts—which he co-founded in 1976 with Sharon Salzberg and Jack Kornfield. He also worked to help establish the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies and the Forest Refuge…