the Practical Mindfulness book cover

Learn the nuts and bolts of meditation — without the crystals and granola

“An insightful and demystifying look at mindfulness practice.” -Kirkus Reviews

“California psychiatrist and meditation expert Greg Sazima’s audiobook exhibits the casual abandon of someone who has truly mastered the art of “giving it a rest.” He trains family medicine residents at a Stanford hospital and, with his history of surviving serious bone cancer, comes across as a complex but accessible meditation teacher who knows a lot about the pleasures and misunderstandings surrounding the ancient practice. Narrator Daniel Henning’s enjoyable performance captures the author’s likable persona and grasp of the human condition. The community theater director’s cheery performance serves as a bouncy, complementary vehicle for the author’s conversational writing. His delivery is crisp and dramatic but never upstages Sazima’s optimistic sensibilities or minimizes the pathos in the author’s personal journey.”  – AudioFile

Practical Mindfulness is the no-nonsense, no-incense guide to mindfulness and meditation. It explains and trains an essential human capacity: clear awareness in and of our experience of everyday life. This book was written for smart, curious readers interested in the nuts and bolts of mindfulness, but skeptical of the crystals and granola.


New! Audio book narrated by Daniel Henning

Lost in the woods of distraction?
Finding home is closer than you think.

We all search for that safe, comfortable feeling of “home” – the experience of peace of mind. But that search seems like stumbling in the dark for many of us, blinded as we often are by distractions both inside and outside of ourselves. Those of us who don’t have a more developed interior awareness — of our blind spots, quick triggers, and repetitive reactions — are especially prone to suffering: anxiety, depression, and difficulty managing change.

It’s not a comfortable place to come home to.

Practical Mindfulness teaches readers that our real home, a place we can always return to, no matter the circumstances, is actually inside of ourselves. Practical Mindfulness’ clear training helps readers respond and adapt to the inevitable opportunities and stresses of contemporary life. Beginning meditation is often made more complicated than it needs to be. Practical Mindfulness simplifies it and eases the way to getting a solid practice going.

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    Practically Mindfulness stands out from other mindfulness books.

    • It works. The author is living proof. Dr. Sazima has been meditating for twenty-plus years, both helping others and managing the peaks and valleys in his own complicated life, including navigating cancer. Concepts and techniques are conveyed in an effective way, with practical maps of our “mindscapes.” Readers will find clear, sequential exercises that progress from introductory breath practices out to wide-angle meditation on all experience. There’s a special emphasis on practical tools, tips and troubleshooting for the early struggles that can accompany the “startup.” Dr. Sazima leverages his own meditative history to help readers along.
    • It’s no-nonsense. And no incense. As a physician and educator, Dr. Sazima’s outlook is naturally evidence-based and oriented toward simplifying the complex. From this practical perspective, the science-minded, curious reader is offered a go-to resource on mindfulness. From an innovative foundation that weaves together common aspects of science and wisdom traditions, Dr. Sazima demystifies how we experience our minds in the moment-to-moment of living. No New Age accessorizing is necessary (unless you like that kind of thing.)
    • It’s irreverent. Bookshelves are bursting with hundreds of sincere, serious books on mindfulness and meditation. Yet, readers are ready for self-help that doesn’t take itself so seriously. Practical Mindfulness is open-hearted, funny, and allergic to pretense. It’s a read that’s warm, informal, and occasionally snarky, to teach and model the benefits of meditation.

    We can use meditation to examine our interior home – every sunny spot and dark corner – and cultivate the rewards of calm, contentment, and better coping. With a more adaptive and settled sense of our own mindscape, we can spend more time in real engagement with the world and less time escaping its discomforts. We can cultivate a deeper appreciation of all of our experiences, from the everyday to the extraordinary, and can live our lives more fully, joyfully and wisely. That home is closer than you think.

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A Practically Mindful Moment

Greg Sazima, MD

The Practically Mindful Moment podcast features brief morsels of information on concepts and tactics from Dr. Greg Sazima’s new book, Practical Mindfulness: A Physician’s No-Nonsense Guide to Meditation for Beginners (Mango Media, release date 1/19/2021). Each PMM clocks in at a user-friendly ten minutes or so; just a brief tuning in, a learning opportunity, and brief guided exercise in mindfulness. (And a quick, shameless plug for the book.) Enjoy!

12 Episodes 

Listen on Apple Podcast

Listen on Audible

Meet The Author

a headshot of Greg Sazima

Greg Sazima, MD

Senior Behavioral Faculty,
Stanford/O’Connor Family Medicine Residency Program

Dr. Greg Sazima is a board-certified psychiatrist and psychotherapist, an educator of doctors-in-training, a writer, and a long-time meditator and meditation teacher. He is also a survivor of a rare bone cancer who’s used the powerful practice of meditation to navigate his own medical crisis. Now, he is on a “pay it forward” mission to help us gain a practical understanding and basic mastery of mindful awareness. In Practical Mindfulness, he leverages lessons from his experience in a personal, informal style to show why and how meditation works.

Learn More

Enjoying these blog posts?  Please also check out my Psychology Today blog, Your Mindfulness Toolkit.