The Beginner’s Guide to Meditation

Kirkus Media provides a wonderful review of Dr. Greg Sazima’s book, Practical Mindfulness.

A Physician’s No-nonsense Guide To Meditation For Beginners (Mindful Breathing)
Greg Sazima
Mango (312 pp.)
$18.95 paperback, $9.99 e-book
ISBN: 978-1-64250-437-8
January 19, 2021

A beginner’s guide to the basics of meditation.
Debut author Sazima’s work as a practicing psychiatrist in San Jose, California, often brought him into contact with people
who wanted to be “collaborators in their treatment.” He and his colleagues noticed that several patients seemed stuck in a
cycle of poor health. However, after the author established a class on the basics of breath control and meditation, some
patients quickly showed improvement, he says. Sazima goes on to recommend these same methods to his readers,
offering a series of painless, jargon-free introductions to their basic tenets. His overviews present clear instructions and
explanations, as when he urges the reader to concentrate, during meditation sessions, on the simple beating of one’s
heart: “The stilling of activity to allow witness of the heart beating,” he writes, “can itself bring great calm, even literally
allowing that beat to gently rock the body at rest.” In addition to these general approaches, Sazima also provides a steady
thread of simple encouragements aimed specifically at beginners who might be frustrated by minimal initial progress: “The
overall trajectory for just about everybody…is of overall improvement.” The combination of Sazima’s expertise and upbeat
spirit make his book an inviting reading experience. It also uses helpful photos, graphs,and illustrations to make its points,
and Sazima makes the inspired decision to often adopt a carefree, joking tone; he knows that his subject may be
intimidating to newcomers, and his occasional wisecracks (such as the chapter title “You’d Better Sit Down for This: A Few
Preparatory Words on, uh, Sitting”) effectively work to defuse that reaction. At the same time, he makes it clear throughout
his book that the key enemy of meditation is distraction and that regaining the power to focus is of great value.
An insightful and demystifying look at mindfulness practice.

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Practical Mindfulness

A Physician’s No-Nonsense Guide to Meditation for Beginners

Training exercises that work. Practical Mindfulness approaches mindfulness and meditation from a hands-on, how-to, irreverent perspective–appealing directly to smart readers curious about meditation. By applying Dr. Sazima’s training routines, learn to spend more time in real engagement with the world. Cultivate a deeper appreciation of experiences, from the everyday to the extraordinary, and live your life more fully, wisely, and joyfully.

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