Written by Daniel J. Siegel,
A new understanding of mindful awareness
Review by Gunnel Minett
In this book Daniel Siegel offers a personal view of mindfulness in a mixture of personal accounts of his own inner journey and scientific data. Although mindfulness is usually associated with eastern meditation practices and new age activities, it is neither new or out of place in our western world. It has always had a role in our society even if this has, for a long time, been confined to monasteries. And as Siegel points out here, mindfulness is now finding its place in scientific explanations as well. From his position as scientist and psychatrist Siegel offers a number of explanations as to why it makes a difference to be fully present in the moment i.e. being mindful.
Being mindful, both as a therapist and in ordinary life mean that we enter a different mindset which influences how the brain works. Mindfulness actually stimulates certain brain circuits to grow and re-route to create a more balanced brain function overall. The book states clearly that ancient knowledge fits in very well with the latest discoveries in neuroscience. We have to be grateful for people like Siegel who are able and willing to translate the language of hard scientific as well as ancient knowledge into accessible explanations for all of us to take onboard.
W.W. Norton & Co, New York and London, http://www.wwnorton.com 2007,