Resources and References


[Updated December 2017] Here is a small selection of mindfulness-related books, organizations and references for research findings. There's an ocean of information available once you start looking into mindfulness instruction, practice and research. I offer a few places you can start. My clients are increasingly enthusiatic about mindfulness apps and I am adding apps as I test them. In the past I posted information, support for living with celiac disease & chronic pain, and mindfulness resources at my blog Chronic Joy.

The list includes a few of my favorites and resources that others have told me were particularly helpful for them. There are also books that may not be explicitly focused on mindfulness practice, but which I have found useful and frequently recommend.

If you have questions or suggestions, you are welcome to email me


Headspace (iOS & Android): friendly and accessible animated basic meditation instruction in Aussie-accented English. Requires registration to access any material. Useful introductory content is available for free, and one frequently encounters subscription paywall. Logs meditation sessions and offers pop-up reminders to meditate. At present this seems to be the favorite among my clients. (monthly $12.99 or one-time annual $95.88)

10% Happier (iOS & Android): meditation teachers teaching or leading meditations, and conversations about mindful awareness in English. Requires registration to access any material. First seven video lessons, including guided meditations focused on reducing anxiety and falling asleep, are available for free. Live non-bot remote coaching is available. (monthly $11.99 or one-time annual $79.99)

Smiling Mind (iOS & Android): Australian app offers mindfulness techniques and meditation for people of different ages, including children and teenagers. Provides sample meditation without creating a log in. Entire app is free, though sponsors' brands are visible on some pages.


Cohen, D. (2002). Turning suffering inside out: A Zen approach to living with physical and emotional pain. Boston: Shambhala Publications.

Dowrick, S. (1995). Intimacy & solitude. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Kabat-Zinn, J. (1994). Wherever you go there you are: Mindfulness meditation in everyday life. New York: Hyperion Press.

Lewis, T., Amini, F. & Lannon, R. (2001). A general theory of love. New York: Random House, Inc.

Siegel, R. (2010) The mindfulness solution: Everyday practices for everyday problems. New York: Guildford Press.

Welwood, J. (2006) Perfect love, imperfect relationships: Healing the wound of the heart. Boston: Shambala Publications, Inc.

Williams, M., Teasdale, J. & Segal, Z. (2007). The mindful way through depression: Freeing yourself from chronic unhappiness. New York: Guildford Press.


Massachusetts, USA:

The University of Massachusetts Medical School, Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care & Society's Stress Reduction Program. Located in Worcestor, Massachusetts, Jon Kabat-Zinn and Saki Santorelli developed Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) here. Courses in MBSR are offered through the Stress Reduction Program.

The Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts offers Vipassana meditation programs and retreats.

New York, USA:

In Park Slope, Brooklyn Zen Center holds public meditation six days a week in a welcoming environment; retreats, and beginners' events for those new to Zen meditation.

California, USA:

The California Vipassana Center in North Fork, California, holds three to twenty day meditation retreats. Retreats are by donation and, while rigorous, they offer a great deal of explicit daily instruction and support for developing mindfulness skills.

Kaiser Permanente offers its members Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) courses, yoga and tai chi classes and integrated pain management programs that employ mindfulness skills.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, the life's work of the late Dr. Lee Lipp continues. Rev. David Zimmerman and Paul Irving lead mindfulness-based skills for Transforming Anxiety & Depression. People who have completed in a weekend workshop are welcomed to attend a weekly San Francisco class to support on-going practice and use of mindfulness in daily life.

Moon Mountain Sangha and Dorothy Hunt give silent retreats and teachings in non-dual awareness in Northern California. Once a month evening talks in San Francisco by donation, no-one turned away for lack of funds. Some low fee spaces in retreats, by application.

The University of California, San Francisco, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine provides MBSR courses and classes in skilled relaxation including tai chi and yoga.

Purusha Yoga in San Francisco's Outer Richmond district is a friendly environment for beginning yoga.

There is public meditation six days a week at San Francisco Zen Center. Both the City Center in Hayes Valley, San Francisco, and Green Gulch Farm in Muir Beach, Marin, hold one to seven day retreats. Some lower-fee availability.

Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, Marin, holds one day and extended meditation retreats based in the Insight Meditation practices which inform Mindfulness- Based Stress Reduction. They have some scholarships and reduced fee availability.

A note on finding comfortable places to learn and practice: While much of the language of mindfulness practice emerges from Buddhist meditation traditions, the practice and experience of awareness is not inherently religious. Mindfulness practice brings us into vibrant presence. How one experiences and interprets that vitality and clarity may or may not have spiritual or religious meaning or language. A Catholic monk told me that Zen meditation brought him closer to God and an atheist reported that meditation improved his tennis game. Many people have expressed that mindfulness practices simply improved their lives.

Many of the organizations that offer meditation instruction, public meditation and retreats are based in Buddhist traditions. You do not have to be Buddhist to practice mindfulness or meditation, or to attend retreats at the places I list here.

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) teaches a series of skills over eight weeks and integrates various mindfulness practices including meditation, gentle yoga, and acceptance skills. MBSR courses are available at some hospitals and health centers. Meditation focusing on maintaining present awareness is the central practice at most American Insight Meditation (Vipassana) and Zen meditation centers. For people who are uncomfortable with ritual and ceremony, Zen may not be an accessible place to start. Zen's formality can be profoundly centering when it becomes familiar. Insight meditation and Vipassana practice places are less formal, though there is often religious iconography at the centers.

More and more meditation centers offer programs and events specifically for people with chronic pain and illness.

Research References

Carmody, J. & Baer, R. (2008). Relationships between mindfulness practice and levels of mindfulness, medical and psychological symptoms and well-being in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 31(1), 23-33.

Chang, V., Palesh, O., Caldwell, R., Glasgow, N., Abramson, M., Luskin, F., Gill, M., Burke, A., Koopman, C., et al. (2004). The effects of a mindfulness-based stress reduction program on stress, mindfulness self-efficacy, and positive states of mind. Stress and Health: Journal of the International Society for the Investigation of Stress, 20(3), 141-147.

Grant, J., Courtemanche, J., Duerden, E., Duncan, G., & Rainville, P. (2010) Cortical thickness and pain sensitivity in Zen meditators. Emotion, 10(1), 43-53.

Grant, J., Courtemanche, J., & Rainville, P. (2011). A non-elaborative mental stance and decoupling of executive and pain-related cortices predicts low pain sensitivity in Zen meditators. Pain, 152(1), 150-156.

Grossman, P., Tiefenthaler-Gilmer, U., Raysz, A., & Kesper, U. (2007). Mindfulness training as an intervention for fibromyalgia: Evidence of post-intervention and 3-year follow-up benefits in well-being. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 76(4), 226-233.

Kabat-Zinn, J., Lipworth, L., & Burney, R. (1985). The clinical use of mindfulness meditation for the self-regulation of chronic pain. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 8(2), 163-190.

Kabat-Zinn, J., Wheeler, E., Light, T., Skillings, A., Scharf, M., Cropley, T.G., et al. (1998). Influence of a mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction intervention on rates of skin clearing in patients with moderate to severe psoriasis undergoing phototherapy (UVB) and photochemotherapy (PUVA). Psychosomatic Medicine, 60(5), 625-632.

Ludwig, D. & Kabat-Zinn, J. (2008). Mindfulness in Medicine. Journal of the American Medical Association,300(11):1350-1352. doi: 10.1001/jama.300.11.1350

McCracken, L. & Velleman, S. (2010). Psychological flexibility in adults with chronic pain: A study of acceptance, mindfulness, and values-based action in primary care. Pain, 148(1), 141-147.

Morone, N., Greco, C., & Weiner, D., (2008). Mindfulness meditation for the treatment of chronic low back pain in older adults: A randomized controlled pilot study. Pain, 134(3), 310-319.

Reibel, D., Greeson, J., Brainard, G., & Rosenzweig, S. (2001). Mindfulness-based stress reduction and health-related quality of life in a heterogeneous patient population. General Hospital Psychiatry, 23(4), 183-192.

Rosenzweig, S., Greeson, J., Reibel, D., Green, J.,  Jasser, S., Beasley, D., et al. (2010). Mindfulness-based stress reduction for chronic pain conditions: Variation in treatment outcomes and role of home meditation practice. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 68(1) 29-36.

Sagula, D., & Rice, K. (2004). The effectiveness of mindfulness training on the grieving process and emotional well-being of chronic pain patients. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 11(4), 333-342.

Teasdale, J., Moore, R., Hayhurst, H., Pope, M., Williams, S., & Segal, Z. (2002) Metacognitive awareness and prevention of relapse in depression: Empirical evidence. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 70(2), 275-287.

Zautra, A., Davis, M., Reich, J., Nicassario, P., Tennen, H.,  Finan, P., Kratz, A., Parrish, B., Irwin, M., et al. (2008). Comparison of cognitive behavioral and mindfulness meditation interventions on adaptation to rheumatoid arthritis for patients with and without history of recurrent depression. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 76(3), 408-421.

Zeidan, F., Gordon, N., Merchant, J., & Goolkasian, P. (2010). The effects of brief mindfulness meditation training on experimentally induced pain. The Journal of Pain, 11(3), 199-209.


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