'Wherever You Go There You Are' By Jon Kabat-Zinn

'Wherever You Go There You Are' ('Mindfulness Meditation for Everyday Life') is more than a manual for meditation. I would say that this book is for you if...

  • ...you've felt what it is like to experience life from a stance of awareness and stillness, and you want more of it

  • ...you want to know more about mindfulness and/or meditation

  • ...you want to get yourself off the high horse of how mindful and present and spiritual 'you' are ;)

'Wherever You Go There You Are' explains how the mind has a habit of escaping the present moment, and how mindfulness brings it back to the now. As the book states, "Nothing happens next. This is it", or "There is nowhere to go, nothing to get".

This book is very helpful in making you see different ways in which our minds get lost in thought. In order to bring mindfulness in, Jon Kabat-Zinn gives different practices and meditations, such as the mountain meditation, the breath meditation, the lake meditation, the walking meditation, or the tree meditation.

However, as the book states, "If mindfulness is deeply important to you, then every moment is an opportunity to practice" - and you get to see through the book how you can use every moment to become less automatically reactive to events and more present.

The highlights

'Wherever You Go There You Are' touches on other topics related to mindfulness. Here are four of my favourite bits of the book:

  • The 'I' is a continual self-construction. We can inquire, "Who is this 'I' that asks who am I?", and ultimately the answer is that we don't know - and we can find ourselves comfortable with not knowing.

  • Something to do just for fun: to let go when a part of you really wants to hold on. I did this in a few occasions when I remembered to, and I found that it provided me with an opening, a kind of release and coming back to feeling peaceful.

  • The concept of karma: everything that we do has consequences, and mindfulness changes karma. I find this a very interesting idea, in that it gives me an incentive to have the space to hold any 'negative' feelings without reacting to them.

  • Regarding time: "We have plenty of time, if we are willing to hold any moment in awareness", or how we can step out of minutes and hours and into moments, which are dimensionless and infinite.

I find 'Wherever You Go There You Are' a very interesting read, as well as pleasant - somehow it felt to me as though this book transmitted a lot of calmness. 

Besides, the short chapters include a 'Try' at the end - a proposal for a practice of what the chapter has explained. Very useful for a hands-on experience of mindfulness!

I also appreciated the fragments of 'Walden', from Henry David Thoreau, and the interesting quotes all throughout the book, which made me pause and reflect more than once.

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"There is always something to dislike, so why not admit it and be at home wherever you are?"

Jon Kabat-Zinn

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Important: the fact that I've partnered with these retailers doesn't affect the review above. This review is simply my views of the book, and I write it in order to help you make a more informed choice.

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