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Why Can't I Meditate?


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About the Author

NIGEL WELLINGS is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and author who works within a broadly contemplative perspective. He first attempted to practice mindfulness in his late teens and has been engaged with the relationship between psychotherapy and meditation for the last forty years. He lives in Bath and is a teacher on the Bath and Bristol Mindfulness Courses.


"Why Can't I Meditate? is, as far as I know, the first in-depth and pragmatic analysis of a key issue that bedevils many people who undertake the practice of meditation. It is not at all uncommon for someone to encounter a deep resistance to meditation even though they are sincerely committed to it. This important study is an invaluable handbook that provides practical guidance and advice for anyone who strives to understand and overcome the obstacles that prevent meditation from becoming an integral part of one's life."
--Stephen Batchelor, author of Buddhism without Beliefs and Confession of a Buddhist Atheist

"I am very happy to finally see someone writing about why people can't meditate. I've known Nigel for many years; he's a sincere practitioner who has been thinking about how to untangle the blockages in the human mind for some time now. We had a lot of discussion together about the ideas presented here and I think his book will be very useful. It's helpful to know the underlying causes of meditation problems--this book shows how to work with them."
--Tsoknyi Rinpoche, author, Open Heart, Open Mind "People learning mindfulness often ask, 'I know mindfulness practice is helpful, how can I best establish my meditation practice?' Now I can recommend this wonderful book. Nigel Wellings offers insightful, compassionate and eminently practical guidance, based on his extensive personal experience as a teacher and practitioner and interviews with some of the most accomplished mindfulness teachers in the field."
--Willem Kuyken, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Exeter ." . .insightful and helpful. I really like the discussion of the different selves within us and how one can be in conflict with another and that people who are fearful of unknown parts of themselves, their shadow, are going to struggle with compassion, becoming caught up in conflicts and struggles in contrast to observing them as 'nature's mind at work.'"
--Professor Paul Gilbert, PhD, OBE, author of The Compassionate Mind and Mindful Compassion "I especially appreciate the explicit kindness and compassion part of the book, it's a beautiful chapter and it unpacks very nicely the threats that people feel when they give themselves love. As we say in the MSC program, 'When you give yourself unconditional love, you discover the conditions under which you felt unloved.'"
--Christopher Germer, PhD, clinical psychologist and author of The Mindful Path to Self-compassion
"I would rate this book as essential reading for anyone who already has a meditation practice or for someone wanting to begin one. Reading it is like being in deep conversation with the author--an experienced and helpful person who really understands the process and pitfalls of meditation--and also with many others who share their experiences with refreshing honesty. The text offers the reader details of the practicalities of meditation, such as how to explore motivation to start, where and how to sit or walk, and how often, and it also offers a deep understanding of the difficulties that can be encountered in a way that is compassionate, easily understood and helpful."
--Elizabeth Wilde McCormick, psychotherapist and author of Change for the Better

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