I like to think of mindfulness simply as the art of conscious living. You don't have to be a Buddhist or a yogi to practice it. In fact, if you know anything about Buddhism, you will know that the most important point is to be yourself and not try to become anything that you are not already. Buddhism is fundamentally about being in touch with your own deepest nature and leting it flow out of you unimpeded. It has to do with waking up and seeing things as they are. In fact, the word 'Buddha' simply means one who has awakened to his or her true nature. JON KABAT-ZINN Wherever You Go, There You Are
That's the last of my quotes from Jon Kabat-Zinn. It's time to move on to other things. My recent readings of his books Coming To Our Senses and Wherever You Go, There You Are came at just the right time in my life and have affected me deeply. It's strange how sometimes exactly the right book is 'gifted' to us at exactly the right moment in our lives - a book which may quickly become a landmark book, influencing us, rescuing us, inspiring us in profound, often life-changing ways.
When I was in my late teens I read The Penguin Krishnamurti Reader and The Second Penguin Krishnamurti Reader and these books fired a life-long interest in Zen Buddhism and were mind-blowing for me at the time. They affected absolutely the way I thought and the way I lived. Other books which have done this to me are Thoreau's Walden, the novels of Hermann Hesse and John Fowles, and (this may surprise you) the novels of Henry Miller. I read all of these writers in my twenties.
I wonder how many of you have totemic books you read at a critical time in your lives - books which altered your mindset? The power of the written word can be truly astonishing.
Only that day dawns to which we are awake. THOREAU