The title of this book, Wherever You Go There You Are, speaks to the present moment. No matter what we think about, the present moment is truly all we have. In this simple book, Kabat-Zinn helps us to be more mindful of the present moment. This book is written for those who are new to the practice of mindfulness or those who have cultivated a meditation practice.
Buddhists warn of ignorance or mindlessness when we become too involved in the past or the future or even in the actions of others. Kabat-Zinn presents the practice of mindful meditation as a way to understand the present self as it unfolds, moment by moment. It is a practice that is beyond any Eastern philosophy. The author presents mindfulness that is self-responsible and not self-absorbed.
The book is organized into three parts: Part One provides the background to introduce and deepen practice of mindfulness into your life; Part Two examines formal meditation practice; Part Three explores a variety perspectives on mindfulness. Occasionally, Kabat-Zinn shares some poems, like this one:
The heavy is the root of the light.
The unmoved is the source of all movement.
Thus the Master travels all day
without leaving home.
However splendid the views,
she stays serenely in herself.
Why should the lord of the country
flit about like a fool?
If you let yourself be blown to and fro,
you lose touch with your root.
If you let restlessness move you,
you lose touch with who you are.
This is the 10th Anniversary Edition of Wherever You Go There You Are; I hope to see a 20th Anniversary Edition. I have read other books on meditation, and they sometimes seem a little austere. Kabat-Zinn makes meditation accessible. He delivers a kindness that adults often find difficult to allow themselves. Kabat-Zinn gives us permission to stop the hectic pace of our modern lives and find a place of quiet within.
Original to Well-Being Magazine