|Basic InformationLatest NewsVideosLinksBook Reviews|10 Minute Solution: Butt Lift10 Minute Solution: High Intensity Interval Training101 Ways to Meditate29 Gifts3-In-1 Total Body Fitness with Desi Bartlett30 Minute Ab & Butt Blaster5 Day Fit Yoga5 Mega Miles with Toning Band7 Weeks to 100 Push-Ups8 Keys to Body Brain Balance8 Keys to Practicing MindfulnessA.M. EnergyAccessible Yoga for Every Body DVDAfter the Ecstasy, the LaundryAge-Proof Your MindAgeless Mobility: Pain-Free Wellness For LongevityAlmost MeatlessAM/PM YogaAnswers for AristotleAnywhere, Anytime, Any Body YogaAthlete's Guide to YogaAuthentic HappinessAwakening Self-EsteemBack in Action: Yoga for a Healthy BackBack To Basics: Fitness with Charlotte OrdBalanced AssetsBedroom Body: Booty Burner, Core & Pelvic Floor WorkoutBeginners Meditation & Mindful StretchingBeginners Yoga DVDBeginning YogaBellyFit ElementsBetter Sex Through YogaBody By BethennyBorn to Balance - Balance BasicsBreath-Centered YogaBreathingBrightening Our Inner SkiesBuddhist Boot CampCalm Body Clear MindCalm EnergyCalm Focus JoyChakra MeditationsChoosing CivilityClassical Pilates Technique DVDComplementary and Alternative Therapies ResearchCore Fusion - Pilates PlusCore Fusion - Pure Abs & ArmsCore Fusion - Thighs & GlutesCore Fusion Body SculptCore Fusion Lean & TonedCore Fusion Power SculptCore Strength PilatesCore Strength Vinyasa Yoga Power Hour with Sadie NardiniCore YogaCreative Core AbsCreative Writing In Health And Social CareDance Off the Inches: Cardio Hip Hop PartyDance the Chakras Yoga WorkoutDeep ListeningDeep Stretch / Yin YogaDetox YogaDr. Andrew Weil's Guide to Eating WellDr. Andrew Weil's Guide to Optimum HealthDr. Andrew Weil's Mindbody ToolkitEastern Body, Western MindEasy YogaElement: Barre ConditioningElement: Targeted Toning Pilates for BeginnersElement: Yoga for Stress Relief & FlexibilityElements of Yoga, Earth FoundationsElements of Yoga, Fire DynamicElements of Yoga: Air & WaterEmotional Chaos to ClarityEmotions, Stress, and HealthEvamarie Pilipuf's Yoga Express DVDEvery Day Yoga for Every Body DVDEveryday GreensEveryday Workout for the Everyday WomanEveryday Yoga for Stress Release Everything VeganExhale Core Fusion 30 Day SculptFamily YogaFast Food for the SoulFat and FuriousFear and Other Uninvited GuestsFit Family Fun CircuitFit in 5 DVDFlat Abs PilatesFlow and YinFlow YogaFluid Power Vinyasa Flow YogaFully PresentGaiam Pilates Slide and Sculpt Kit with DVDGaiam Pilates Total Toning KitGaiam Yoga For Weight Loss KitGet Ripped & ChiseledGood MedicineGoodbye, ThingsHandbook of MindfulnessHealing the Heart and Mind with MindfulnessHealing Through Movement: Pilates Head to ToeHealthy AgingHealthy Sexy Beautiful Kundalini YogaHemalayaa's Yoga for Young Bodies DVDHemalayaa: Bollywood BootyHot Body Cool Mind - Level 1Hot Body Cool Mind: Waking Energy How to Cook Everything VegetarianHow Would Buddha Act?I Contain MultitudesI'd Rather LaughIn Defense of FoodInsight Yoga Earth: Balancing Yin EnergyInsight Yoga Heaven: Balancing YangInsight Yoga with Sarah PowersIntegrated YogaIntegrative MedicineIntroduction to Ashtanga Yoga DVDIntroduction to Qi YogaIntroduction to Yoga DVDIt's Up to YouJanis Saffell Beverly Hills YogaKids Teach Yoga - Flying EagleKidYogi - Yoga for ChildrenKnowing the Nature of FearKripalu YogaKripalu Yoga Dynamic DVDKripalu Yoga Gentle DVDKundalini Yoga : DVDKundalini Yoga for Beginners & BeyondKUNDALINI YOGA for Your Week - MONDAYKUNDALINI YOGA for Your Week - TUESDAY - CoreKundalini Yoga Meditation for Beginners & BeyondKundalini Yoga Meditation for Complex Psychiatric DisordersKundalini Yoga on the BallKundalini Yoga Solar Power All-In-One WorkoutKundalini Yoga to Detox and Destress DVDKundalini Yoga Transformer All-In-One WorkoutKundalini Yoga: Green Energy of the HeartLife MakeoversLifeForce Yoga to Beat the Blues--Level 1LifeForce Yoga to Beat the Blues: Level 2Living BeautifullyLiving Room Yoga DVDLiving Room Yoga: Twist and BendLiving Your Best LifeLiving Your DreamLunar Flow YogaMadhur Jaffrey's World VegetarianMake It Fast, Cook It SlowManage Your Depression Through ExerciseMaui PilatesMayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for Back PainMayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for IBSMayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for InsomniaMean GenesMeditation in a New York MinuteMeditations for BeginnersMindful AmericaMindful AngerMindfulnessMindfulness for BeginnersMindfulness-Based Treatment Approaches: Clinician's Guide to Evidence Base and ApplicationsMisadventures of a Garden State YogiMozart's Brain and the Fighter PilotNamaste Yoga: Season 3 Part 1NeuroLogicNew York PilatesNext-Level PilatesNutrition Essentials for Mental HealthPassionate VegetarianPerfect in Ten AbsPerfect in Ten: PilatesPerfect in Ten: StretchPerfect in Ten: YogaPilates AnatomyPilates for BeginnersPilates for MenPositivityPower to the Peaceful YogaPower YogaPower YogaPower Yoga for HappinessPower Yoga: Core PowerPower Yoga: Fat BurnerPrenatal FlowPrescriptive StretchingPresence Through Movement: Yin YogaPsychology Moment by MomentPure and Simple YogaPure SculptPure Yoga Pilates with Kerry BestwickQi Gong Fire & Water With Matthew CohenQi Gong Flow for BeginnersQi Gong for Low Back PainQi Gong for Upper Back and Neck PainQi Gong for Weight LossQi Workout AM/PMQiGong for Healthy Joints & BonesQiGong IllustratedQuick Blast MethodReach - Upbeat Toning & Flexibility for a Dancer's BodyRed Lotus YogaResistance Stretching With Dara TorresRestorative Yoga PracticeSara Ivanhoe's Taste DVDSaving NormalSelf-CompassionSeven Challenges To Change Your Life DVDSleep BetterSolar Flow Yoga DVDSoupsSparkSpontaneous HappinessSports Hypnosis in PracticeStep By Step Strength TrainingStep by Step Tai ChiStrength & SpiritStrength, Grace, HealingStress ReliefStrong & SculptedStrong Body, Ageless BodySun SalutationsSuper Natural CookingSuper Seniors: Box, Balance, & Lift SupersurvivorsSurf Yoga SoulSybel's Yoga For Sports & FitnessSybel's Yoga For Sports & Fitness Vol 2Tai Chi for Beginners with Grandmaster William C. C. ChenTaming Your Inner BratTeach Yourself MeditationTeen YogaTeenYogi DVDTen Minutes to RelaxThe Accidental VeganThe Angelica Home KitchenThe Art and Science of MindfulnessThe Athlete's Guide to YogaThe Beginner's Guide to Healthy EatingThe Best Things You Can EatThe Booty Barre -Total New BodyThe Breathing FieldThe Cafe Brenda CookbookThe Complete Book of Raw FoodThe Complete Vegetarian HandbookThe Easy Yoga WorkbookThe Feeling Good HandbookThe Five Things We Cannot Change ...The Good LifeThe Happiness of PursuitThe Harvard Medical School Guide to YogaThe Healing Remedies SourcebookThe Healing Remedies SourcebookThe Health Psychology HandbookThe Healthy KitchenThe Heart of YogaThe Indian VegetarianThe Jewel Tree of TibetThe Joy of MeditatingThe Kettlebell BoomerThe Little Book of Healthy TeasThe Little Soy BookThe Little Yoga BookThe Mood CureThe Mozart EffectThe Myth of Freedom and the Way of MeditationThe Nature FixThe Perfect ExerciseThe Pilates Workout JournalThe Playful BrainThe Quest for Peace, Love, and a 24'' WaistThe Road to Calm WorkbookThe Self-Compassion Skills WorkbookThe Spa DeckThe Spirit of Buddhist MeditationThe Stoic Art of LivingThe Ultimate BALLET YOGAThe Ultra MindsetThe Way of StretchingThe Weight of the NationThe Well-Tuned BrainThe Will to Live and Other MysteriesThe Yin Yoga KitThink SmartTotal AstangaTotal Health the Chinese WayTotal PilatesTotal-Body ToningTransform Yourself with Jivamukti YogaTransformative YogaTrudie Styler's Warrior YogaV-Core WorkoutVegan ExpressVegan for LifeVegetarian Turkish CookingViva Vegan!Walk It Off in 30 DaysWalk to the HITS Radio RemixesWalkingWalking a Literary LabyrinthWatch Me Do YogaWeight Loss Cardio KickWellbeingWhat We Say MattersWhen Things Fall ApartWriting in FlowYin and Yang YogaYin Yoga DVDYogaYogaYogaYoga & Pilates Workouts for DummiesYoga 4 TeensYoga : Beginners Flow for EveryoneYoga AnatomyYoga and PsychologyYoga as MedicineYoga Beauty BodyYoga Bliss HipsYoga Body : Lean & Defined Total Body WorkoutYoga By Teens DVDYoga Emergency DVD: Arms & ShouldersYoga Emergency DVD: BackYoga Emergency DVD: Full Leg StretchYoga Emergency DVD: HipsYoga Flow DVDYoga for AnxietyYoga for Back CareYoga for BeginnersYoga for Energy & Stress ReliefYoga for EveryoneYoga for MeditatorsYoga for OsteoporosisYoga for Pain ReliefYoga for Regular GuysYoga for Strength & EnergyYoga for Strength & FlexibilityYoga for the Young at HeartYoga for Your WeekYoga In BedYoga in BedYoga Inside Out: Go DeeperYoga Inside Out: The Healing WayYoga Journal's Yoga for StressYoga Journal: Yoga for Strength and Toning DVDYoga Link: Core IntegrationYoga Link: Hip HelpersYoga Link: Shoulder Shape-UpYoga Nidra for Complete Relaxation and Stress ReliefYoga on DemandYoga Quick FixesYoga SanctuaryYoga SculptYoga ShaktiYoga TherapyYoga Therapy for Back PainYoga Therapy Prescriptions - 60 Health Restorative SequencesYoga To Go's Yoga Quick Fixes DVDYoga to the Rescue - Feel Good from Head to ToeYoga to the Rescue for Back PainYoga to the Rescue for Neck & ShouldersYoga to the Rescue for Pain-Free Back, Neck & ShouldersYoga Weight Loss for DummiesYoga: Freedom from Back PainYoga: Relief from Neck and Shoulder PainYoga: Spirit of Vinyasa FlowYogabodyYogawomanYou Can Think Yourself ThinYou'll See It When You Believe ItYour Body Breakthru - Your Best Body Circuit DVDYour Brain on FoodYour Brain on Food: How Chemicals Control Your Thoughts and Feelings,Your Miracle BrainZen Encounters with Loneliness
by Malcolm Huxter
Review by Lee David Perlman on Jun 28th 2016
Healing the Heart and Mind with Mindfulness seems intended to be a practical course of study, which applies the theory and practice of Buddhism to modern psychological dilemmas. It is meant, I think, not so much to be 'read' as to be employed. Itis a useful book. I found myself putting it to use almost immediately, and experienced changes in my own attitudes and approach to the world as I read through it and put it into practice. The book is inspiring, not so much in the writing style which, while it occasionally contains inspirational flourishes (especially in the guided meditations), is often straightforward and a little textbook-ish. But the immediate usefulness of much of the book is inspirational in itself.
The book is a bit of a hybrid. For the most part it takes the reader on an active journey of mindful attention to different aspects of personal experience. The journey is informed largely through a reading of the core Theravedic text, Satipatthana Sutta, but it does so with continuing reference to contemporary psychological treatment modalities, specifically Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). While providing a progressive practical course in mindfulness, the book also proposes particular approaches and exercises for specific psychological disturbances, such as depression and anxiety. In this lies the hybrid character of the book. In those instances it addresses specific audiences rather than the general reader. For me, this interrupted the flow of the book, and made it less of a 'read' and more of a resource. Those sections also read as if the primary purpose was to provide tools for the therapist for a variety of psychological conditions. Organizationally, I would have preferred to see these section consigned to an appendix. I also found the references to the particular treatment modalities, while often interesting and helpful, somewhat scattered and unsystematic.
The general theoretical stance of the book is that mindfulness is a 'technology' developed by the Buddha and within Buddhism, but that it stands on its own; as the algebra developed by Islamic thinkers need not be regarded as a Muslim art, so the teachings of Satipatthana Sutta and other Buddhist texts need not be treated as Buddhist religious doctrine (pg. 9). These teachings are truly psychological technologies which, employed correctly, will inventory our physical and psychological state on all levels. The result of that inventory is a return to 'freedom' and psychic health, suggesting that the human organism is psychologically homeostatic, not just in terms of survival, but we have a homeostatic impulse towards freedom from dukkha (unsatisfactoriness). Huxter never stakes that claim in theory, but his book presupposes it (perhaps most strongly in the guided meditation "Settling the mind in its natural state"). I was at first a little disappointed that studies and other evidence were not brought to bear on this central thesis, nor on the more particular claims that mindfulness exercises can dispel depression, anxiety and other psychological infirmities. But once I realized that this is not that kind of book – it is more a 'proof is in the pudding' approach – I set out to put his exercises into practice. Doing so I encountered substantial evidence in favor of this presumption. For instance, I have experienced that the simple mindfulness practice of 'noting' – of simply bringing to awareness and naming what is present in the body and the psyche can have an almost automatic equilibrating effect. Though Huxter eschews metaphysical and spiritual speculation, the claim that mere awareness of our unbalanced condition – without any evaluation or judgement of that condition – will dissolve destructive patterns, seems to point strongly to a harmony of the human organism with the cosmos that far exceeds evolutionary needs. That this claim is validated experientially, rather than theoretically, both supports it more strongly, and perhaps obviates the need for theoretical articulation.
But those less interested in philosophy (it's my job), will not need to entertain such questions. The book contains some interesting intellectual background, but again, this is a book that you don't simply read, but rather do. The path you are taken on proceeds from  exercises for mindfulness of body and body sensation ('bare awareness') through  mindfulness of feelings (not the equivalent of 'emotions' – but rather awareness of sensations with the addition of the hedonic evaluation pleasant/unpleasant/neutral), through  mindfulness of thoughts to  awareness of emotions, which, unlike feelings, are fully developed response patterns to external and internal stimuli, and then finally,  contemplation of the 'self' (pg. 184). This course has the feeling of a progression, though Huxter does not explicitly present it as such. I found the section on emotions most interesting. Huxter presents a convincing anatomy of emotion as a process response, and the isolation of the elements of the process is itself, for me, a tool of awareness. Based in this clarity of elements, Huxter gives specific strategies for inducing balance and dissolving destructive patterns at each stage of the process.
In addition he begins to describe a kind of dialectic of 'serenity meditation' and 'insight meditation'. I found this distinction helpful and the description of the interaction between these two types of meditation intriguing. I would have like to have seen this woven more throughout his progression of levels of mindfulness.
In conclusion, I found this book helpful and strong in its core. The strongest aspect was the very well formulated meditation exercises and guided meditations. As an extra bonus, these are all available as audio downloads at the author's website. There were a number of peripheral aspects that I found less helpful, but perhaps this will be untrue for other readers. For instance, his summaries of psychological maladies with accompanying catalogues of symptoms, found primarily in the first chapter but sprinkled throughout, seemed unnecessary and interrupted the flow of reading. Huxter also has a habit of throwing bits of information in that don't advance his argument. An example – at one point he notes that Buddha was not the only person in history to teach how to live a happy life – Aristotle did too! (pg. 158). Again, I found these kinds of extraneous detours distracting, and they made reading at times tedious. Last, he very occasionally gives a 'case study', seemingly as a piece of empirical evidence. I didn't find these helpful, and they obstructed my ability to appreciate the strength of the book. All of these distractions obscured the structure of the book for me. When I did pull that out, however, and put it into practice, I found a well-organized and practical path of personal discovery and equilibrium.
© 2016 Lee David Perlman
Lee David Perlman is Senior Lecturer in the Experimental Study Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology