Well known for applying mindfulness to the treatment of depression, pioneering researcher John Teasdale now explores the broader changes that people can experience through contemplative practices. What goes on in our minds when we are mindful? What does it mean to talk of mindfulness as a way of being? From a scientific perspective, how do core elements of contemplative traditions have their beneficial effects? Teasdale describes two types of knowing that human beings have evolved—conceptual and holistic–intuitive—and shows how mindfulness can achieve a healthier balance between them. He masterfully describes the mechanisms by which this shift in consciousness not only can reduce emotional suffering, but also can lead to greater joy and compassion and a transformed sense of self.


  • Foreword, Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • Introduction
  • I. Foundations
  • 1. The Quest for Happiness
  • 2. A World of Ideas sample
  • 3. A World of Relatedness
  • 4. Whole-Making
  • II. Mindfulness
  • 5. Mindfulness: The Central Underlying Process
  • 6. Mindfulness: The How
  • 7. Mindfulness: The What
  • 8. Transforming Emotional Suffering
  • 9. Mindfulness: The Why
  • III. Inner Awakening
  • 10. The Awakening Mind
  • 11. Lessons from Flow
  • 12. A Hidden Treasure
  • 13. Understanding the Awakening Mind
  • 14. Paths to Awakening
  • References
  • Index

Author Bio:

John Teasdale, PhD, held a Special Scientific Appointment with the United Kingdom Medical Research Council’s Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge, England. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and the Academy of Medical Sciences. Dr. Teasdale collaborated with Mark Williams and Zindel Segal in developing mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) to prevent relapse and recurrence in major depression; together, they co-authored Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy for Depression, Second Edition (for mental health professionals), as well as the self-help guides The Mindful Way Workbook and (with Jon Kabat-Zinn) The Mindful Way through Depression. He has also published numerous highly cited articles in refereed journals. Since retiring, Dr. Teasdale has taught mindfulness and insight meditation internationally. He continues to explore and seek to understand the wider implications of mindfulness and meditation for enhancing our way of being.


“Many are familiar with mindfulness, meditation, and other contemplative practices, particularly in the relief of depression and similar negative affective states. But few understand why mindfulness works, or the actual transformative outcomes possible from this ancient tradition. Teasdale, one of the foremost cognitive scientists in the world, now unravels the mysteries of mindfulness, and in so doing lays out nothing less than a new and different way of living. This book is ‘must’ reading for clinicians, clergy, and all helping professionals who are seeking to maximize human potential.” – David H. Barlow, PhD, ABPP, Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Psychiatry and Founder, Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders, Boston University.

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