Thursday, January 30, 2020

Book Review: 'Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence--The Groundbreaking Meditation Practice' by Daniel J. Siegel

Science based meditation

California author Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., is clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, founding co-director of the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center, and executive director of the Mindsight Institute. He is also coauthor of ‘Parenting from the Inside Out’, ‘The Whole-Brain Child’, and ‘Mindsight’. 

Impressive – this book is life altering and should be on the list of every concerned person’s books to absorb. The basic concept that your mind can change the health of your body and slow aging is about the strongest statement of ‘mind over matter’ that has been offered to date.

Though every aspect of this book is enlightening, the very solid scientific core of Daniel’s theory is what impresses most. ‘When we develop focused attention, open awareness and kind intention we Improve immune function to help fight infection, Optimize the level of the enzyme telomerase which repairs and maintains the ends of your chromosomes keeping your cells – and therefore you – youthful, functioning well and healthy, Enhance the ‘epigenetic’ regulation of genes to help prevent life-threatening inflammation, Modify cardiovascular factors, improving cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and heart function, Increase neural integration in the brain, enabling more coordination and balance in both the functional and structural connectivity within the nervous system that facilitates optimal functioning, including self-regulation, problem solving, and adaptive behavior that is at the heart of well-being.’

As Daniel’s book summary state, ‘ AWARE provides practical instruction for mastering the Wheel of Awareness, a life-changing tool for cultivating more focus, presence, and peace in one's day-to-day life. An in-depth look at the science that underlies meditation's effectiveness, this book teaches readers how to harness the power of the principle "Where attention goes, neural firing flows, and neural connection grows." Siegel reveals how developing a Wheel of Awareness practice to focus attention, open awareness, and cultivate kind intention can literally help you grow a healthier brain and reduce fear, anxiety, and stress in your life. Whether you have no experience with a reflective practice or are an experienced practitioner, Aware is a hands-on guide that will enable you to become more focused and present, as well as more energized and emotionally resilient in the face of stress and the everyday challenges life throws your way.’

Read this book, read it again, absorb the teachings and see the change. Revolutionary yet easy to learn, Daniel Siegel’s life changing instruction is a gift to us all. 

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.