Praise for the Books
Mindfulness for Health: A Practical Guide to Relieving Pain,
Reducing Stress and Restoring Wellbeing (available in US/Canada as
You Are Not Your Pain)
‘A beautiful and compassionate book, Mindfulness for Health will put you back in touch with the extraordinary person you already are,’ Professor Mark Williams, University of Oxford
‘This book provides an extremely effective and elegant mind-body approach to healing . . . Highly recommended,’ Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, author of Full Catastrophe Living and Coming to Our Senses
‘In a world of much suffering, this book is a gift of wisdom and practical help,’ Professor Paul Gilbert, PhD, OBE, author of The Compassionate Mind and Mindful Compassion, Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, UK
‘If you have chronic pain or another persistent health problem, if you struggle, feel stuck or feel alone, read and follow this book. It will encourage, guide and liberate you,’ Lance M. McCracken, PhD, Professor of Behavioural Medicine, King’s College London
“Drawing on their own experiences, ancient wisdom, and the latest science, Vidyamala Burch and Dr. Danny Penman have created a program of simple daily practices that anyone struggling with pain and stress can follow. You Are Not Your Painis a powerful testament to the ways mindfulness and meditation can help us tap into our own resilience, even in the most painful times.”—Arianna Huffington
“You Are Not Your Pain shares essential tools for harnessing the power of our minds and hearts to navigate all kinds of pain. The authors have clearly learned a lot both from their personal experiences and their clinical work. A wonderful support for the many people who face the challenge of pain.” —Sharon Salzberg, cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society and author of Real Happiness
“It’s said that pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. This compassionate program shows how to meet pain and reduce suffering, soften around it rather than freeze in fear, drop despair, and reclaim a full, rich life.” —Amy Gross, former editor in chief of O, The Oprah Magazine, now teaching Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
“One of the most important outcomes of mindfulness practice is the reconnecting of body and mind. You Are Not Your Pain brilliantly shows us how to develop that crucial connection and use it to cope with pain and illness. A deeply valuable contribution.” —Chade-Meng Tan, Jolly Good Fellow of Google and bestselling author of Search Inside Yourself
“This book is a true gift to anyone suffering from chronic pain. The authors have distilled mindfulness down to simple, core concepts and practices that are accessible to anyone. The pages are imbued with wisdom and compassion born of personal experience. When pain drives you to distraction, please begin here.” —Christopher Germer, PhD, author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion
“Pain is the great equalizer. No matter who you are, rich or poor, woman or man, young or old, pain will be part of your life. However, with the right tools pain does not have to be a source of suffering. You Are Not Your Pain provides a lucid and powerful guide to meeting life’s inevitabilities. With this book you wil learn to work with pain and use it to catalyze growth and transformation.” —Jeremy Hunter, PhD, Assistant Professor of Practice at The Peter F. Drucker School of Management and creator of The Executive Mind.
Praise for Mindfulness: Finding Peace in a Frantic World
‘Peace can’t be achieved in the outside world unless we have peace on the inside. Mark Williams and Danny Penman’s book gives us this peace,’ Goldie Hawn.
‘This is an inspiring programme for anyone caring about his or her own health and sanity,’ Jon Kabat-Zinn.
‘Want a happier, more content life? I highly recommend the down-to-earth methods you’ll find in Mindfulness. Professor Mark Williams and Dr. Danny Penman have teamed up to give us scientifically grounded techniques we can apply in the midst of our everyday challenges and catastrophes,’ Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence.
What Doctors and Surgeons Say About Our New Book Mindfulness for Health: A Practical Guide to Relieving Pain, Reducing Stress and Restoring Wellbeing
‘This book provides an extremely effective and elegant mind–body approach to healing for people dealing with the potentially hugely eroding effects of chronic pain and illness in their lives. The Breathworks approach to Mindfulness-Based Pain Management (MBPM) is the most comprehensive, in-depth, scientifically up-to-date and user-friendly approach to learning the how of living with chronic pain and reclaiming one’s life that I know of. This is not surprising, given the authors’ direct personal experience with severe injury, extensive rehabilitation, and discovering the need to take charge of their own recovery to optimize long- term wellbeing. Highly recommended,’
Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD author of Full Catastrophe Living and Coming to Our Senses Professor Emeritus of the University of Massachusetts Medical School
‘Written by authors for whom pain is no stranger, and with many years’ experience of mindfulness, this wonderful book carries readers through ways of engaging with pain. All the mindfulness practices are described with gentleness and compassion, helping sufferers shift from anger and fighting with pain, to becoming accepting and compassionate to pain. In a world of much suffering, this book is a gift of wisdom and practical help,’
Professor Paul Gilbert, PhD, OBE author of The Compassionate Mind and Mindful Compassion Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, UK
‘If you have chronic pain or another persistent health problem, if you struggle, feel stuck or feel alone, read and follow this book. It will encourage, guide and liberate you. This generously conceived and practically organised book will help you, just as it says, to find your new chances, watch your suffering dissolve, find pleasure in small things, and to learn that you are not alone,’
Lance M. McCracken, PhD Professor of Behavioural Medicine, King’s College London Psychology Lead, INPUT Pain Management Service, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, London
‘This book will be an excellent resource for people in the community who live with pain and long-term health conditions, and also for those health-care professionals who support them.
Persistent pain is one of the most challenging health conditions to understand, treat and to manage. What I like most about Mindfulness for Health is that it’s been written by authors who actually live with pain, and it provides simple, easy-to-understand, practical ways to manage it. I know many readers will benefit from using it as a ‘buddy’ whilst on their journey living with pain,’
Peter Moore co-author of the Pain Toolkit www.paintoolkit.org
‘The authors manage to tackle one of the most fundamental of human problems, suffering with pain, in a practical, lucid and kind manner. They draw on their own experience, and on accounts of others’ struggles and discoveries, in exploring mindfulness, as well as on Buddhism and findings from medicine and neuroscience. Their descriptions use effortlessly integrated language of mind and body, with neither the bossiness of some self-help texts nor the mystification and fake positivity of others. Through simple exercises, well explained and prepared, and with a parallel CD, they guide the reader through the principles and practice of mindfulness applied to pain, and towards self-understanding, gentle control and connectedness,’
Dr Amanda C de C Williams Reader in Clinical Health Psychology University College London
‘Being challenged by ongoing illness or pain is not for the faint- hearted. And neither is mindfulness; it takes some courage, time and commitment to practise. However, mindfulness does offer us a way of rediscovering our capacity for ease, choice and participation in life, no matter what our circumstances.
Vidyamala and Danny have written an inspiring book which can be a vital guide on your journey to integrating mindfulness into your life. It is alive with heart-warming stories and practical and engaging ways of managing your distress and finding more joy, peace, wisdom and compassion for yourself and others – from day one of this excellent programme. It is a guidebook for thriving and not just surviving each day,’
Timothea Goddard MBSR teacher, Psychotherapist – Openground, Australia
‘This book is an excellent resource for starting a journey with mindfulness approaches to pain and health problems. It draws on the authors’ own knowledge and experience of pain and ill health, so builds confidence in the reader’s mind that the authors know and understand the journey only too well, and the changes needed to lessen suffering. The carefully guided weekly instructions that form the eight-week course make mindfulness practice feasible even for those not completely committed or enthusias- tic. The numerous examples of people using the course for their illness, stress or pain guide the individual as they progress and provide encour- agement to stay with the practice to sustain change.
The evidence drawn from numerous scientific sources helps support the book’s content and is invaluable for ‘disbelievers’. This book will be enormously valuable for numerous clinicians and practitioners in helping them develop mindfulness, and frame and deliver mindfulness programmes for patients with long-term health problems and chronic pain. It highlights so very well that “life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to be and dance in the rain”.
Mindfulness for Health offers those who struggle with the painful loss of health much support to become more alive and compassionate and not trapped by pain and ill health. This truly resourceful book will help people grow their own sense of self and a new more rewarding life, and lessen their suffering. Readers will want to touch and refresh its kindly guidance every day,’
Dr Frances Cole, GP Pain Rehabilitation Specialist and CBT therapist Leeds Community Trust Spinal Pain Management Service, UK
‘Vidyamala and Danny have demonstrated their compassion and ability to teach mindfulness from the inside out in this book. The programme detailed is transparent and user-friendly. Thoughtful and practical strate- gies are offered for those with pain. For health professionals assisting those with ill-health, it intuitively re-orders the guiding of the develop- ment of a mindfulness practice and boldly integrates compassion. This will be an important resource for the mindfulness community,’
Dr Elizabeth Foley Senior MBCT Facilitator & Researcher Sydney, Australia
‘Living with pain, illness and stress is challenging. Through a lens of kindness, compassion and acceptance Vidyamala Burch and Danny Penman bring a softer focus to pain and suffering. Drawing on personal experience and wise counsel, they guide the reader through practical and proven techniques to empower and support them through their journey to wholeness and healing. They show how the benefits of mind- fulness can bring a different kind of healing so that the mind–body can be calmed, focused, refreshed and renewed,’
Liz Lobb Professor of Palliative Care, Sydney, Australia
‘The appealing thing about mindfulness is that it is a technique you can learn yourself and practise to continuously enhance your own health. The distress of persistent pain often drives us to repeatedly seek escape and control through medication, interventions and ther- apies. Yet for many of us, pain remains the dominant part of our lives. Mindfulness offers a distinctly compassionate and authentic way to reconcile our experiences of pain. Vidyamala Burch and Danny Penman have set out a humane and accessible pathway to bring mindfulness into a daily routine. I would really encourage you to give yourself eight weeks with this book. You will be rewarded with a profound change,’
Dr Margaret Macky, FAFOEM Occupational Medicine Specialist, New Zealand
‘Meeting pain with the “tender gravity of kindness” is courageous and transformative. Vidyamala Burch and Danny Penman “walk the talk”; they invite people suffering pain to reclaim their lives through this acces- sible, personal, wise and eminently commonsensical guide,’
Willem Kuyken Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Exeter