Summary

Ever noticed that trying to calm down often produces more agitation? That trying to change bad habits can seem impossible? Or that real fulfillment can be elusive, despite living a successful life? 
Often, such difficulties stem from the human brain's hardwired tendency to seek pleasure and avoid pain. Modern science demonstrates that this survival mechanism served the needs of our earliest ancestors, but is at the root of many problems that we face today, such as depression, compulsive and addictive behaviors, chronic pain, and stress and anxiety. 
For thousands of years, people have used mindfulness practices to deal effectively with a wide range of life challenges. But how exactly does mindfulness work, in scientific terms? How can the human brain, which gives rise to so many of our problems, actually provide a solution? 
We are now in the midst of an explosion of scientific research demonstrating that mindfulness practice changes both the function and the structure of the brain. Numerous studies show which parts of the brain are affected by mindfulness practice, and how these neurobiological changes benefit our minds and bodies. 
Now, in the 24 fascinating lectures of The Science of Mindfulness, Professor Siegel, a clinical psychologist at Harvard Medical School, reveals the science behind mindfulness in compelling detail and demonstrates its application to a wide range of issues - psychological, social, and medical. You'll examine the neurobiology underlying ancient practices that are now profoundly influencing the contemporary world. And you'll learn many practical ways you can use mindfulness techniques in your own life. 
This playful, caring course demonstrates the effectiveness of mindfulness in responding to many of humanity's fundamental existential problems. 
In addition, this audiobook has complementary soundtracks, which are included in the audiobook from chapters 25 to 29.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
©2013 The Great Courses (P)2013 The Teaching Company, LLC
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Sharon jeffrey on 01-06-15

Thought provoking

a very interesting course on a subject I have been looking into. there are some good and practical tips and examples of how to develop mindfulness for yourself and others.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Andrew M on 14-03-15

enjoyable useful & fascinating look at mindfulness

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

yes- definitelyIt could improve a friend's quality of life; helping to deal with stress they are facing (and yes I have recommended this book to friends. It would be great if audible allowed single titles to be gifted. Or single titles to be bought without signing up for a monthly subscription, even if it is easy to cancel).

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Science of Mindfulness?

When I realised I could step back from the track that my thoughts were racing along! (helped by techniques such as slowing walking- focussing on the physical sensation of walking or breathing. As well as approaches for connecting).

Have you listened to any of Professor Ronald Siegel’s other performances? How does this one compare?

not yet- I'll have a look to see what else is available. He's very enjoyable to listen to; with a warm, enthusiastic and engaging voice.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Mindfulness- for a calm and clear mind

Any additional comments?

This audio book gives a broader context for mindfulness techniques; why they work; different situations for which they are particuarly relevant...I'm going to listen to this again in a few months!

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Cluelass on 19-07-15

Even more worthwhile with these study aids

I have been enjoying this course enormously. It presents concepts I have heard many times, but not really understood until I heard Prof. Siegel’s clear, everyday explanations. The longer audio forms of the meditation practice are available for download (free) at his website. The material in his book "The Mindfulness Solution" is basically the same as this audio course—very helpful for reviewing. I am thrilled that Audible has added these courses.

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71 of 72 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By bonster on 20-12-14

Well organized, thorough and entertaining

If you could sum up The Science of Mindfulness in three words, what would they be?

Well organized, thorough and entertaining

What did you like best about this story?

I learned many different applications of mindfulness that were not immediately apparent to me. For example, how mindfulness can be used to become comfortable with anxiety producing situations. I like that this isn't just presented in theory - there are short and longer meditations for dealing with specific things like that throughout the course.

What about Professor Ronald Siegel’s performance did you like?

His tone is very conversational - not stiff or rehearsed. He also puts a lot of little jokes throughout the course which keeps it light and entertaining.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The one chapter talks about using mindfulness to increase empathy. There is a suggestion that every time you interact with someone think of the whole life they have lived - that they were a child like me at one point, and have had many vulnerable moments in their life. I'm paraphrasing from memory and probably butchered it, but it's helped me to be more empathetic especially in dealing with frustrations or people that I tend to not give much attention as I go through my day.

Any additional comments?

I have gone back and re-listened to many of the chapters. I like that this does not need to be listened to sequentially. I wish there was a chapter list included with the book description. This is the chapter list from 'The Great Courses' website:

1 Why Mindfulness Matters
2 Our Troublesome Brains
3 Informal, Formal, and Intensive Practices
4 Who Am I - The Perils of Self
5 Mindfulness or Psychotherapy
6 Attention and Empathy in Relationships
7 The Science of Compassion and Self-Compassion
8 Tailoring Practices to Fit Changing Needs
9 Modifying Our Brain Function and Structure
10 Solitude - An Antidote to Loneliness
11 Connecting with Children and Adolescents
12 Seeing Sadness and Depression in a New Light
13 Befriending Fear, Worry, and Anxiety
14 Transforming Chronic Pain
15 Placebos, Illness, and the Power of Belief
16 Interrupting Addiction and Troublesome Habits
17 Overcoming Traumas Large and Small
18 Groundbreaking Mindfulness Programs
19 The Neurobiology of Self-Preoccupation
20 Growing Up Is Not Easy - Facing Impermanence
21 Toward a Science of Wisdom
22 The Promise of Enlightenment
23 Mindful Ethics as a Path to Freedom
24 The New Science of Happiness
25 Bonus Meditation - Breath Awareness Practice
26 Bonus Meditation - Loving-Kindness Practice
27 Bonus Meditation - Mountain Meditation
28 Bonus Meditation - Breathing Together
29 Bonus Meditation - Stepping into Fear Bonus Meditation - Stepping into Fear

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273 of 280 people found this review helpful

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