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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.

Buy You Are Not Your Pain from Amazon US

Order now from Amazon UK

Praise for Mindfulness: Finding Peace in a Frantic World

Goldie Hawn Pic

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.



danny‘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.


ruby-wax2‘If you want to free yourself from anxiety and depression, and feel truly at ease with yourself, then read this book,’ Ruby Wax.



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


‘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



10 Comments Post a comment
  1. OMAR #

    I liked the concepts applied in this book and all the researches included within; and i have a suggestion for a the future : i hope that one day a big research will include the prayers used in islamic relegion ; all muslims pray 5 times a aday and each prayer lasts on avaerage from 5-15 minutes during which they totally relax and try their best to forget about life issues .
    I feel that a big research like this may add alot to all meditation projects and the way they are applied which will add more to their success for the sake of achieving more happiness for all humanity ……

    December 7, 2017
  2. Living in the “Being Mode” is really life-changing way of thinking and of living.
    I’ve finished the 8 weeks program one month a go, feeling more happy, de-stressed, mind-present and becoming less reactive and worrisome…
    I’m living my life more now and stop putting off living….

    Thx for bringing Mindfulness to the masses all around the word Prof. Mark and Danny 🙂
    Saudi Arabia – Riyadh

    June 19, 2013
  3. Maggie #

    I have been practicing this for 3 weeks and one great significant change, is my sleeping habit. Before, I would be restless and would not get to sleep but after following the CD, as soon as I hit my pillow I’m gone – very quickly. I know that one should follow this practice without having great expectations, but I do look forward to being more focused, improving my memory and achieving my goals.

    February 1, 2013
  4. Jeff Hurst #

    I came across the book Mindfulness: Finding Peace in a Frantic World whilst participating in a Mindfulness class to which I was referred by my mental health practitioner.
    My depression had faded in and out over many years and I had been, not for the first time, on a selection of antidepressants for more than two years. I had completed other “courses” designed to help control stress, learn how to be assertive etc but I was still operating on auto pilot and fluctuating greatly between being just OK and being thoroughly depressed.
    On completion of the Mindfulness class, taken over an eight week period, I found a big improvement in my mood and my outlook and so wanted to continue with the practices. I decided to buy the book and have, over the last 3 months, worked through the programme as described.
    It has made a profound difference to my life. It has helped me switch off the auto pilot and the vicious circle of habitual negative behaviour and thought. It has awakened me to how being aware of what’s happening within me now and letting it be can be liberating both physically and emotionally.
    In short it has achieved in a few months what medication and other therapies could not achieve over a period of years. Not to say that these other therapies are not right for other people with the same difficulties.
    I continue to practice Mindfulness meditation and follow the advice in the book and look forward to ongoing improvement in the state of my mental health, and so my life, and in the lives of those around me on which my depression has taken it’s toll.
    Thank you!

    January 9, 2013
  5. Dr Karon Buck #

    Mindfulness: Finding Peace in a Frantic World was on my Amazon wish list for ages, but I was waiting for the glitches in the Kindle edition to be ironed out (which they now have). I downloaded and started reading the book and following the mindfulness programme 2 weeks before I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer (which, at 47, has come completely out of the blue).
    Needless to say, that the mindfulness programme is completely changing my journey, and I can not thank you enough, for helping me make ‘scientific sense’ of techniques that I have been ‘dabbling’ with (previously impatiently, hence unsuccessfully) for a number of years.

    My operation is on Friday (7th September) and, thanks the influence of the mindfulness programme, I am feeling very positive and non-stressed; and perhaps more importantly, I know how best to face my challenges ahead.

    Thank you again,

    Dr Karon Buck

    September 2, 2012
  6. Willem Ehlers #

    Good Morning Dr. Williams and Dr. Penman

    I feel like your programme was designed specifically for me. You couldn’t have made a more accurate treatment designed specifically for me and the predicament which I found myself in.

    See, I am a stutterer. And thus meaning every speaking situation used to be a feared and dreadful situation, until I finally retreated to within my shell and enclosed myself from the world. I escaped from speaking situations like an ostrich would stick his head into the ground, in this way I retreated into my thoughts whilst I would be talking to someone. The anxiety became unbearable.

    It became so bad that it crept into my private life and when I was on my own as well. I was stuck in this closed loop of ever repeating self-criticism and negative thoughts for what seemed like an eternity. I was jealous of people being able to talk fluently which would lead to further self-criticism. There was no escape.

    But then I started your MBCT course. During the first week of starting your course one of my friends was sick in hospital and asked me to come and visit him. When I returned to work after seeing him, I had an overwhelming feeling of sympathy. Out of nowhere and for the first time in my life I could feel someone else’s pain. The reason being that I was no longer in my head, I was no longer enmeshed in my own problems. I suddenly started to cry. It was the most wonderful feeling I have ever had.

    Since then I have discovered that I am an extremely creative person. I have started to write poems for no apparent reason, just because I want to. I love being creative! And what’s more my stutter is starting to dissolve. I no longer feel anxiety when I speak to people and my stammer is improving each day. I have truly discovered a jounevoire for life.

    I cannot thank you enough. If it wasn’t for your amazing scientific discoveries I would still be hiding away in my room stuck in a negative, self-defeating closed loop of thoughts. You have saved my life in more ways than one.

    May all the good things that possibly can, come to you

    Many, many good wishes


    August 6, 2012
  7. Ruth Roberts #

    I writing to say what a useful book this is. It’s incredibly accessible in style and very well structured so that the meditations build on one another in a very helpful way. I have drawn extensively on the book while delivering two short mindfulness groups for research postgraduates at UEA(only 6 weeks – unfortunately due to room limitations).
    I am a person-centred counsellor and have some training in CBT and mindfulness (as well as a personal practice) although this is the first time I have formally delivered anything of this kind. I luckily discovered the book a week or so before the group was due to start and it helped crystalise my thinking so that I could develop a plan for our sessions. The online resources (being free) were incredibly useful so that students could access some of the material at home.
    So far, the feedback has been very good and the retention rates for the groups were also good given the usual attrition rates for these kinds of offerings for students. I have recommended the book to all the students involved and directed them to your website and we now have 1 copy in the library.
    I would be interested to find out if anything similar has been offered for students at Oxford and whether you have any comments about using this material with students.
    Many thanks

    Ruth Roberts

    May 31, 2012
    • Dear Ruth,
      I’m glad that you and your students found the book so helpful. Students at Oxford have indeed found the book useful. You can read about it in the Oxford Student Newspaper here

      I’m sure Mark Leonard of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre would be happy to compare notes with you.


      May 31, 2012
  8. Sally Jarvis #

    I’m three weeks in and already recommending it to others !
    Thank you so much already – life is becoming coloured again !

    April 19, 2012
  9. Tony Richards #

    Thank you for your wonderful book. At last, a book about meditation without spiritual overtones or those Indian words! The language is plain and the ideas are expressed with clarity and precision. The structure of the chapters is well planned from the rationale through to the various practices. I read the whole book first trying the various meditations with and without the CD, and then I started the program proper. Already it has made a difference even though I was not suffering from depression or scrambling in a frantic life. My objective was develop greater concentration as a performing artist and businessman, and also to separate my work from my family life. The combination of Mindfulness and Cognitive Therapy is a winner. Well done for putting these two together, it’s so sensible, so obvious, everyone should try it. Thank you.

    Tony Richards – Auckland, New Zealand

    October 9, 2011

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