Wherever You GoLike ‘well being’, ‘mindfulness‘ is an increasingly ubiquitous term (and concept) that has become prevalent on the management coaching circuit. Borrowed from Eastern texts and Buddhist philosophy, ‘mindfulness is beyond all thinking, wishful and otherwise, …the here and now is the stage on which this work unfolds continuously.’ At least, that is how Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn summarises it in Wherever You Go, There You Are – Mindfulness Meditation for Everyday Life (first published in 1994), which I have just finished. An enthusiastic Facebook tipper and the book’s longevity on the shelves piqued my curiosity. Perhaps one of the reasons for its continued popularity is that it is not one of those thin articles waiting to get out of a fat book but, rather, a collection of reflective essays encouraging meditativeness. There are some longeurs, lorryloads of metaphors (inter alia mountains, lakes and fire), selected recycling of Zen Buddhist approaches, analyses of associated concepts such as karma and ahimsa, and plentiful quotations from the Dalai Lama, Einstein, Gandhi, Hesse (Siddhartha), Jung, Lao-Tzu and… I think you have got the picture. For me, perhaps because I have been reading around such concepts for a while, the book improved towards the end. There are useful discussions about being grounded and an interesting distinction between mindfulness and spirituality and, a key statement for anybody motivated by competitiveness or ambition: ‘meditation really is the one human activity in which you are not trying to get anywhere else but simply allowing yourself to be where and as you already are’ (hence the book’s title). Kabat-Zinn is a professor of medecine and the founding director of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts. For anybody in a stressful environment, this book is good on why giving yourself some space to think is not selfish but essential.