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Myths of Mindfulness

Dr Richard W. Sears

“As I read Myths of Mindfulness I found myself nodding yes, yes to Dr. Sears’s understanding of mindfulness and his skill in identifying the myths that interfere with its practice. Yes, everyone can benefit from being mindful and yes, given it’s popularity there is a need to correct the misinformation surrounding it. I appreciated the clarity, depth of understanding and Dr. Sears’s ability to demystify what it is—and isn’t. Drawing on his personal experience, science and research the book is comprehensive, clear, easy to read and reassuring. Yes, mindfulness is part of the human condition. Yes, you can do it and yes, it’s worthwhile. Thank you for this offering”

Elana Rosenbaum, MS.
Mindfulness Coaching and Consultation, Certified MBSR Teacher, Author: The Heart of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program Being Well. (even when you’re sick) Here for Now: Living Well with Cancer through Mindfulness Faculty: The Center for Mindulness and Compassion, Brown University Mindfulness Center, Center for Mindfulness UMassMemorial Hospital

“What does it mean to be mindful? Though mindfulness has existed since the dawn of consciousness, misunderstandings and misinformation about it flourish in our modern society eager to understand how attending to the moment can lead to a fuller life.

With the experience of a Zen master tethered to the initiative wisdom of beginner’s mind, Dr. Sears explores the complexities of mindfulness while staying true to its foundations. In this way new and experienced practitioners alike will discover a deeper understanding and practice of living in the moment.

As someone who has taught mindfulness for two decades, this book clarified and reinvigorated how I think about, teach, and practice mindfulness. It will do that for you too”

Dr. Lane Pederson
author, trainer, and practitioner of Dialectical Behavior Therapy

“Barriers to the practice of mindfulness come in many forms, some avoidable and others unavoidable. While working with unavoidable barriers provides endless grist for the practice mill, this book shows you how to sidestep barriers that are based on myth and misconception. Richard Sears writes with compassion, and in featuring discussion above disputation, provides a wonderfully accessible approach to address these enduring ideas”

Zindel Segal
co-author, The Mindful Way Through Depression

“At last a clear, lucid and well-articulated read on the excellent benefits of mindfulness. What is most refreshing and clinically useful about this text is the well needed balancing of both the positive benefits of meditation as well as some of the contraindications and often left out side effects. Rich with theory, storytelling from travels in Asia as well as practices to go deeper, it’s simply a real gem and a must read for the client as well as the clinician. Most captivating”

Ronald A Alexander Ph.D
author Wise Mind, Open Mind and soon to be released Core Creativity: A Mindful Path to Unlocking Your Creative Potential (spring 2022). Executive Director, Clinical Psychotherapist, Mindfulness Trainer and Executive and Leadership Coach at the OpenMind Training Institute,0 Santa Monica, CA.

“This is such a useful book. The book has a lovely flow and clearly outlines Dr Sears intention to address common questions that are raised about mindfulness. By focusing on what the science can tell us so far about the practices of mindfulness, on giving us a brief history of mindfulness, as well as using his own experiences of personal practice and of teaching mindfulness, the reader is given a clear picture of how we can examine the myths associated with mindfulness. These are important themes for all of us who would teach or use mindfulness practices.”

Susan Woods
MSW. LICSW. Author, International MBSR/MBCT trainer, Senior Faculty, Centre of Mindfulness Studies, Toronto, Canada.

“Mindfulness is a powerful tool for self-development, something I have been offering instruction in for 40 years now. But many misleading myths have arisen with its growing popularity. Some of these skewed beliefs have actually created harm. In this book, my good friend Dr. Richard Sears shines a clear light on the subject. He separates the facts from the myths. This is a must-read for anyone interested in the role of mindfulness as it relates to self-realization”

Stephen K. Hayes
founder of To-Shin Do Ninja Martial Arts, Shugendo Dai-Sendatsu, author of The Complete Ninja Collection

“Dr. Sears’s simple and straightforward guide can help anyone break through the lingering myths about mindfulness that hinder our ability to truly discover joy and freedom through our practice”

Christopher Willard, PsyD,
Author of Growing Up Mindful.


Paperback isbn: 9781914110061
Pages: 220
Publication Date: November 26th 2021


£17.99Add to basket

Table of contents


Chapter 1: Myths about the Origins of Mindfulness

Mindfulness is strictly a religious practice.

Mindfulness comes from Buddhism.

If you are not practicing the full ethical code of Buddhism, you are not doing real mindfulness.

Mindfulness practice makes you a Zen master.

Chapter 2: Myths about What Mindfulness Is

Mindfulness makes you feel better.

Mindfulness makes you feel worse.

Mindfulness is about thinking positive.

Mindfulness makes you happy.

Mindfulness is about having a clear, empty, or blank mind.

Mindfulness is about changing consciousness.

When you are mindful, you rise above your emotions.

Mindfulness requires nonjudgmental acceptance of things.

Chapter 3: Myths about How Mindfulness is Similar and Different

Mindfulness is just breathing.

Mindfulness is the same as meditation.

Mindfulness is about visualizing peaceful scenes and positive outcomes.

Mindfulness is the same as relaxation.

Mindfulness is a kind of self-hypnosis.

Chapter 4: Myths about The Practice of Mindfulness

Only great saints can do mindfulness – it’s not for me.

Mindfulness can only be done with formal, daily exercises.

Mindfulness takes a great deal of effort.

Mindfulness can only be done sitting still.

Mindfulness can only be done with eyes closed.

Mindfulness exercises have to be at least 45 minutes long.

You must move slowly to be mindful.

Chapter 5: Myths about the Magical and Mystical Effects of Mindfulness Practice

Mindfulness gives you ESP or magical powers.

Mindfulness is a mystical practice that makes you one with the universe.

Mindfulness gives you the meaning of life.

There are secret, advanced forms of mindfulness.

Chapter 6: Myths about Mindfulness and Mental and Physical Health

Mindfulness completely rewires the brain.

Mindfulness cures mental disorders.

Mindfulness always eliminates chronic pain.

Mindfulness cures medical diseases and makes you live a much longer lifespan.

Chapter 7: Myths about Mindfulness in Daily Life and Work

You can only be mindful in a peaceful setting.

It is important to be mindful at all times.

If you become too mindful, you will become unfeeling, and lose compassion for others.

If someone is mindful, they will forget appointments and responsibilities.

It takes years to become mindful.

Mindfulness interferes with your ability to work.

I don’t have time to be mindful.

About the book

Interest in mindfulness has been booming in recent decades, but a lot of misconceptions have grown up around this ancient practice, some of which can cause serious harm. In this book, clinical psychologist, researcher, and Zen master Dr. Richard Sears carefully separates the myths from the facts. He explores myths about the origins of mindfulness, what mindfulness is, how it is similar to and different from other techniques, the practice of mindfulness, its magical and mystical effects, mindfulness and mental and physical health, and about using mindfulness in daily life.

Far more than just debunking myths, Dr. Sears points out the profound ways that mindfulness can help us move through our struggles and enrich our lives with inspiring stories and practical tips. The realities of mindfulness are so much more fascinating than the myths.

About the author

Richard W. Sears, PsyD, PhD, MBA, ABPP is a board-certified clinical psychologist who conducts trainings online and around the world. He is Director of the Center for Clinical Mindfulness & Meditation and a professor at the University of Cincinnati. He is author of over a dozen books, including Mindfulness: Living Through Challenges and Enriching Your Life in This Moment. He has a fifth-degree black belt in Ninjutsu and once served as a bodyguard for the Dalai Lama. He received ordination in three traditions, recognition as a Zen master, and has a PhD in Buddhist Studies. His website is

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