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My sisters, Yaffa, Batsheva, and Shira, and brother, Ari, have also been a tremendous source of inspiration and love. I’m grateful to my in-laws, Judy and George Nassif, and to Audrey and Karl Jacobs for their encouragement, love, and support. Last but not least in respect to family, I’d like to thank my cats, Shechinah and Mr. Butternut, who have spent endless hours on my lap keeping me company while I was writing this book. I also want to extend many thanks to Trudy Goodman and Christiane Wolf, at InsightLA, for their friendship, support, and wise guidance, and to fellow teacher and kindred spirit Roger Nolan.
Put simply, mindfulness consists of cultivating awareness of the mind and body and living in the here and now. While mindfulness as a practice is historically rooted in ancient Buddhist meditative disciplines, it’s also a universal practice that anyone can benefit from. And indeed, being present and mindful is an important concept in many spiritual traditions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Taoism. In Sanskrit, it’s known as smrti, from the root word smr, meaning “to remember,” and in Pali, the language of the earliest Buddhist scriptures, it’s known as sati (mindfulness).