Monday, January 24, 2005

A few years back, I was doing a textbook buyback at a community college in Battle creek Michigan. It was almost exactly a year after my first wife left me and about a month after we officially signed the divorce papers. The buyback was a week long (with a weekend off in the middle), in a town I'd never been to, where I knew nobody, and it wasn't a particularly busy one, meaning a lot of time sitting by myself at a table in the student union. I'd brought a book to get me through the slow times, but when Wherever You Go, There You Are came across the table, I had to at least take a look at it, for Buckaroo Banzai's sake, if not my own.

The title essay suggests the unthinkable, that when it comes to your problems, maybe it's you. Oddly enough, though, that struck me as good news. At that point in my life, my brain was broken, and Kabat-Zinn had some very simple suggestions as to how to fix it. Actually, it was just one suggestion: Pay Attention.

I could go on, but all I really want to do with this post is suggest that if you're looking for a good introduction to (or reinforcement of) mindfulness practice, his books are a good place to start. And that if you're in or around Columbia, you might like to hear him speak this Wednesday or Thursday. Here's what's happening when.

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