The practice of mindfulness has received increasing attention and recognition in recent years as a simple, important, and effective means for maintaining physical and emotional health and well-being. Mindfulness involves focusing your attention on immediate present experiences with a compassionate, nonjudgmental attitude.

This book presents a practical, step-by-step approach for establishing your own mindfulness practice. Brief introductory chapters explain the scientifically proven effects on health, as well as the philosophy behind this ancient practice. The remainder of the book consists of 25 experiential lessons that guide you through various meditative practices.

You will learn to be mindful of your breath, sounds, sights, tastes, movements, physical sensations, thoughts, and feelings as you maintain a compassionate attitude toward yourself and others. With sustained attention, you will develop the ability to respond to life's experiences with calmness and acceptance, even the difficult experiences that we cannot control.

Given the prevalence of anxiety, stress, depression, and other emotional turmoil in our fast-paced environment, mindfulness has become more important than ever. This book is essential reading for everyone who wants to begin or expand their own mindfulness practice.

Table of Contents



I. Why be Mindful, and How?

  1. Mindfulness and Science
  2. Buddha, Mindfulness, Stress, and Relaxation
  3. Building a Mindfulness Practice Using This Book

II. Cultivating Attention

  1. Mindful Breathing
  2. Distinguishing Thoughts From Awareness
  3. Body Scan
  4. Progressive Muscle Relaxation
  5. Mindful Standing and Walking
  6. Mindful Movements and Yoga
  7. Mindful Eating
  8. Mindful Listening to Sounds
  9. Mindful Silence
  10. Mindful Seeing
  11. Mindful Interactions
  12. Mindful Consumption
  13. Abdominal Breathing
  14. Three-Part Breath
  15. Rhythmic Breathing
  16. Alternate Nostril Breathing
  17. Cleansing Breath

III. Cultivating Compassion

  1. The RAIN Approach
  2. Application of RAIN to Fear and Anger
  3. Cultivating Positive States
  4. Beholding
  5. Loving-Kindness
  6. Giving and Receiving (Tonglen)
  7. Forgiveness
  8. Bring It All Together: A Mindful Day

Concluding Remarks

Additional Resources



About the Author

Author Bio

Rezvan Ameli, PhD, is a senior clinical psychologist who has extensive research, clinical, and teaching experience. For the past 12 years, she has worked at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), where she provides clinical training for diagnosing and measuring mood and anxiety disorders. In addition to being licensed as a psychologist, she is certified as a cognitive therapist by the Academy of Cognitive Therapy and has received training from the Beck Institute for Cognitive Therapy.

Prior to working at the NIMH, Dr. Ameli provided clinical and administrative services, as well as teaching and conducting research, at Yale–New Haven Hospital and Hartford Hospital. She has held academic positions at Yale University, the University of Connecticut, and Howard University. She has worked with diverse clinical populations and age groups and has developed several clinical programs. She has also collaborated on more than 20 research projects and published about 30 journal articles.

Dr. Ameli has been studying mindfulness, yoga, and yoga philosophy for over a decade. She volunteers her services to the National Institutes of Health community and the public in applying mindfulness and meditative practices to reduce stress and enhance the quality of life. For her commitment to promoting employee productivity and well-being by reducing stress at the workplace, she received the NIMH Director's Award.

Reviews & Awards

Although you may already be familiar with some of this material, there are bound to be epiphanies that open up new ways of using it. Ameli has done a fine job of choosing and arranging this material on mindfulness.
Spirituality & Practice

25 Lessons in Mindfulness is a gem. Step by step, moment to moment, Ameli takes us on a journey through the path of mindfulness. Written with grace, compassion, and clarity, every chapter is helpful. Every chapter gives us a new awakening. It is a book that I will treasure and recommend to friends, family, colleagues, and patients.
—Robert L. Leahy, PhD, director, American Institute for Cognitive Therapy; clinical professor of psychology, Department of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell University Medical College, New York Presbyterian Hospital; author of The Worry Cure, Anxiety Free, and Beat the Blues Before They Beat You

Organized around a rich set of practices and clearly articulated teachings, this book will serve anyone seeking to cultivate a compassionate, wise, and mindful presence.
—Tara Brach, PhD, author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge

A triumph! In this groundbreaking book, Ameli has seamlessly merged East and West by bringing a rigorous, scientific mind to ancient spiritual practices. A must-read for anyone who wants to understand the logic behind the mind–body connection and who is seeking powerful tools for living a full, vibrant, purposeful life.
—Alicia Korten, CEO, The Culture Company; author of Change Philanthropy