Fully Present Book Summary - Fully Present Book explained in key points
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Fully Present summary

Susan L. Smalley and Diana Winston

The Science, Art, and Practice of Mindfulness

4.5 (217 ratings)
21 mins

Brief summary

Fully Present by Susan L. Smalley and Diana Winston is a guide to mindfulness meditation, offering simple techniques to help you cultivate awareness, reduce stress, and live in the present moment.

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    Fully Present
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    Eating mindfully lets you truly appreciate food.

    Maybe you’ve come across the myth that city kids don’t know that milk comes from cows. Why are people so ready to believe these kinds of stories? Perhaps because they describe a real problem – we’ve lost touch with nature and the food we put in our bodies.

    That’s where mindful eating comes in. Mindfulness is generally about focusing your attention on the present moment, so it makes sense that it might help you appreciate the food on the plate in front of you. So, how does it work?

    It’s pretty simple – in fact, it’s something you can practice right now.

    Grab a grape, or whatever fruit you have at hand, and make yourself comfortable. Sit down, cross your legs and close your eyes. Before you take a bite, picture where that grape came from. It must have started as a seed, right? Imagine the long journey that brought it into your home. First, it sprouted and grew into a small vine. As it grew, it absorbed sunlight, water and nutrients until it matured into a fully-grown vine and eventually bore seed-packed fruits.

    But that didn’t happen on its own. Humans planted that seed, tended the vine and harvested the grapes. Others boxed the bunches and put them on trucks, which carried them along roads until they reached a supermarket. Allow your mind to dwell on all the connections that contributed to this single grape’s presence in your life.

    Now you’re ready to taste the grape. Your thoughts will have awakened your curiosity and heightened your sense of awareness. Open your eyes and look at the grape as though you’d never seen one before. What color is it? Is the skin matte or glossy? How does the light reflect off it?

    Finally, ask yourself whether you truly want to eat it. If you do, now’s the time to take a bite. Chew slowly and allow each flavor note to make an impression on your palate. As you savor the taste, pay attention to the thoughts, memories and ideas going through your mind.

    Chances are that’s one of the best tasting grapes you’ll have eaten in a long time! No wonder – mindful eating attunes you to both the “what” and the “why” of the food you’re eating, letting you truly appreciate it.

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    What is Fully Present about?

    Fully Present (2010) is a hands-on guide to mindfulness, full of actionable tips to help you put the ancient practice into use today. Based on the expertise of two of today’s leading mindfulness researchers, these blinks guide you through both the science and the art of meditation, showing you how to integrate it into your everyday life and start transforming mundane activities into rich experiences.

    Fully Present Review

    Fully Present: The Science, Art, and Practice of Mindfulness (2010) is a comprehensive exploration of mindfulness and its positive impact on our well-being. Here's why you should definitely read this book:

    • Incorporating groundbreaking scientific research, it sheds light on the benefits of mindfulness and offers practical exercises to incorporate it into daily life.
    • By merging mindfulness, psychology, and neuroscience, the book provides a holistic approach to cultivating awareness, reducing stress, and enhancing resilience.
    • Its accessible and relatable approach to mindfulness makes it engaging for both beginners and experienced practitioners, captivating readers with its practical guidance and insightful anecdotes.

    Best quote from Fully Present

    Applying mindfulness as a tool of inner exploration […] is a never-ending process.

    —Susan L. Smalley and Diana Winston
    example alt text

    Who should read Fully Present?

    • Mindfulness practitioners
    • Stressed-out workaholics
    • Psychologists and coaches

    About the Author

    Susan L. Smalley is the founder and leader of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at the University of California in Los Angeles. She is a professor of psychiatry whose research focuses on the benefits of mindfulness. Diana Winston is a popular mindfulness teacher who teaches throughout the US and Asia. She is also the head of the Mindfulness Education Department at the University of California in Los Angeles.

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    Fully Present FAQs 

    What is the main message of Fully Present?

    Fully Present teaches us how to live in the present moment and experience life to the fullest.

    How long does it take to read Fully Present?

    The reading time for Fully Present varies, but the Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Fully Present a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Fully Present is a valuable read. It provides practical techniques for mindfulness and improving our overall well-being.

    Who is the author of Fully Present?

    Fully Present is written by Susan L. Smalley and Diana Winston.

    What to read after Fully Present?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Fully Present, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • The Mindful Day by Laurie J. Cameron
    • The Art of Stopping Time by Pedram Shojai
    • Magnificent Sex by Peggy J. Kleinplatz and A. Dana Ménard
    • Do Breathe by Michael Townsend Williams
    • Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn
    • 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do by Amy Morin
    • The Body by Bill Bryson
    • Listen Like You Mean It by Ximena Vengoechea