Welcome to the "Beginning Mindfulness" Website
Your online resource for information on the "Beginning Mindfulness" book and courses, and on mindfulness and spiritual development.
Learn to live a mindful life with Andrew Weiss.
Two New Services from Andrew Weiss:
Living Awareness Classes and Consultations
Justice Spirit Perspectives on Legal Problems
Andrew Weiss has developed the practices of Beginning Mindfulness in two directions:
Living Awareness: Classes and Consultations.  Andrew has joined with his wife Avril Bell Weiss to create new classes in spiritual development and metaphysics.  Both he and Avril are currently offering individual classes and consultations, and in the very near future, they will be offering a school of spiritual development, founded in the spiritual traditions that each has practiced in for years.  You can learn more about their new school and their current services, and how these can help you bring your life to greater levels of awareness and vibrancy, by clicking on the rainbow angel to your right.
Justice Spirit: Spiritual Perspectives on Legal Problems.  Andrew combines his years of experience as a practicing lawyer with his knowledge and understanding as a mindfulness practitioner and teacher to provide spiritual and emotional counseling to those going through legally-oriented problems.  Too often the human side of events get lost or even exacerbated when legal institutions get involved.  Andrew takes up that human end of the equation, providing insight, direction, empowerment and support.  Please note that Andrew no longer practices law and does not offer legal advice or assistance.  Click on the Justice Spirit statue to the right to visit his new website and find out more about how these services can help you.
Living Awareness Classes and Consultations
Justice Spirit
"an excellent 10-week course on meditation . . . Emphasizing the need to take mindful awareness into everyday life, Weiss . . . highlights many mindfulness opportunities for modern people . . . the book is gloriously free of the jargon that can alienate the average person. Weiss' voice is authentic . . ."
-- Publishers Weekly
"Andrew Weiss' new book on mindfulness meditation is a gem. It is clear and comprehensive, a supurb contribution to the subject."
-- Larry Rosenburg, author of "Breath by Breath"
"Clear, accessible, helpful, good teaching to start one on the path of mindfulness"
-- Jack Kornfield, author of "A Path with Heart"
"A skillfully conceived book that guides and inspires new and experienced practitioners."
-- Joan Halifax Roshi, Upaya Zen Center
Mindfulness and Spiritual Development
I’ve always looked at “Beginning Mindfulness” as a complete short-course in mindfulness practice and spiritual development. The practices in the book are so fundamental, and have been proven to work over so many years, that I have confidence that simply using those practices diligently, every day, can lead us to liberation. So when my brother asked me whether I was going to write a sequel to “Beginning Mindfulness” shortly after it was published, I hadn’t looked that far ahead. Still, I was learning and teaching other practices, and I’ve always written from what I teach (and taught from what I do). He planted a seed, and over the last three years I’ve worked on a couple of different manuscripts.
The one closest to fruition has the working title “Crossing the Divide”. It focuses on very specific guided spiritual development practices, and it works primarily with mental formations -- the limiting concepts we apply onto reality that distort our views and create serious trouble; with emotions -- the dimensions of feeling which create those mental formations and can provide a primary focus and energy for spiritual development; and with human relationships -- the fertile ground on which we create our reality.
When I went on my first retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh at Plum Village, his monastery in France, I was surprised to find that he included time for us to talk to each other. In all the other retreats I had done, interaction was discouraged. We were encouraged not to make eye contact and not to talk with one another so as not to disturb our focus. The only conversation was with the teacher during interviews. But Thich Nhat Hanh was trying to make a retreat follow the rhythm and activities of daily life, and in daily life we interact with each other. We had “dharma discussion” groups where we talked about our experiences and we were encouraged to talk with one another in the afternoons. It was like being in junior high school again. Everyone’s fears and doubts rose up -- “Do they like me?” “Do I look ok?” “Am I being spiritual enough?” “Why aren’t I being chosen for this important job?” I could see my own, and others’, jealousy, envy, like and dislike, all magnified by the retreat energy. We were gently encouraged to notice these issues, to see how much suffering they caused us, and to cultivate something different and more wholesome.
This opened my eyes: I saw how central relationships are to practice. My further study with Claude AnShin Thomas took that realization to another level. AnShin directly confronts his students’ conditioned thinking and responses, and he requires his students to address them clearly and honestly. Through him I learned the importance of vigilance and fearlessness, of holding our feet to the fire of our conditioning so we can walk through the fire and into liberation. And my studies with Sharon Turner took me even further into understanding the importance of grounding spiritual development in our emotions. I had touched on these matters in “Beginning Mindfulness,” but now it was time to go deeper, to work directly with using our emotions as the pathway to liberation, and to changing our relationships with ourselves, with our conditioning, with our emotions, and, just as importantly, with each other.
“Crossing The Divide” will offer more ways to walk through the emotions, understand clearly how limited our conditioning makes our view of reality, walk through that into a clear perception of the true nature of things, and create positive changes in our lives, in the lives of others and in the world.
I’m excited about this book. I’ve excerpted a couple of chapters from it on the “Excerpt” page of this website. They concern grounding in the body, common consciousness and karmic agreements.  The first two are key elements in the new book and the third is a powerful tool for transforming relationships. I hope you enjoy them. More importantly, I hope they will spur you to practice with renewed energy and dedication. You are a key to the change we want to see in the world. To quote the Hopi Elders, “We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”
Our thanks to the many people who purchased Beginning MIndfulness and have helped to make it such a success.  Over 20,000 copies are now being used to help people live a mindful life and develop their love and compassion.
Classes and Courses
Beginning Mindfulness Custom Course
Give yourself the gift of personal contact with a teacher with Andrew's personalized Beginning Mindfulness course. Each participant receives:
    •    weekly telephone guidance from Andrew
    •    CD of guided mindfulness practice for each section of the book 
    •    instruction in special practices which Andrew teaches and which are not in the book.
To learn more and for enrollment information, click here.
Ongoing Classes
If you live in the Triangle area of North Carolina (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill) you can take classes with Andrew in person.  Beginner's classes run twice a year, and there is an ongoing Advanced Spiritual Development class meeting every week.  For more information and to enroll, please contact Andrew directly at andrew@beginningmindfulness.com
Recent Events
Please check this page for additional book events with Andrew. If you would like Andrew to present a reading, signing or public talk in your community, please send him an email. And on our "What's Available" page, you will find further information on Andrew's talks, classes and retreats.
What Is Mindfulness?
Learning the Way of Awareness
Mindfulness is our complete, spacious, attentive awareness of everything in the present moment. To live in mindfulness means not to be pulled away by memories of the past or anticipation of the future. Mindful living engages us completely in this moment. We learn to be present to our fears, anxieties, worries or sorrows without being overwhelmed by them. It allows us to live free of judgement, and to make everything in our daily lives sacred and full of meaning, even things as simple as washing the dishes or turning on an electric light.
To live in mindfulness is an art. It requires our attentiveness and skill, and repays us many times over with lightness, calm, honesty and joy. Because it encourages us to live in the present moment, mindful living allows us to heal our relationships, live more consciously, and move through the world gracefully.
Learning mindful living -- "living awareness" -- is a ongoing, lifelong spiritual practice. It is the essence of Buddhist meditation, and it becomes the core of our daily lives.
Why is Beginning Mindfulness Unique?

What’s Available

About Andrew


"Beginning Mindfulness" is a structured course of mindfulness study. It is composed of ten sequential sections. Each section presents a practice which develops out of the preceeding one. Each section focuses on both the formal practices of sitting and walking meditation and on the "informal" practice of daily life mindfulness. "Beginning Mindfulness" instructs us in how to establish a mindfulness practice in the reality of daily life.
Author Andrew Weiss also brings to the book his experience in the practice traditions of Japanese and Korean Zen and in the practice community of the Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh. "The forcefulness of Zen in cutting through confused thinking is balanced by the gentle awareness practices of Thich Nhat Hanh in Andrew's presentation of mindfulness," says Mu Soeng, the director of the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies.
Richard Brady, a mathematics teacher who teaches mindfulness practice to private school teachers and others, has used "Beginning Mindfulness" for years as his core text. Richard says, "Andrew Weiss' book has been a tremendous resource for my students. Its lesseons were easily read and put into practice by newcomers to mindfulness. Experienced practitioners found in them new approaches that expanded their range of practice and insights that deepened their experience of familiar practices."
Links and Contact Information
For more information, click here to contact Andrew Weiss by email.
Log onto New World Library for more information about this book and to purchase it directly from the publisher.  New World Library
Log onto Amazon (Amazon) or Barnes & Noble (Barnes & Noble) for easy online purchasing.
For information about Andrew's in-person classes, log onto the website of Unity Church of the Triangle (www.unitytriangle.org). 
This website and all of its contents, including book excerpts and photographs, are copyright 2008 by Andrew Weiss with all rights reserved.   They may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, whether electronic, mechanical or otherwise, or used for any purpose other than the individual reader's personal use without the expressed written consent of the author.
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