More from and about
Jon Kabat-Zinn
(biographical info at bottom of page)


Practice sharing the fullness of your being, your best self, your enthusiasm,
your vitality, your spirit, your trust, your openness, above all, your presence.
Share it with yourself, with your family, with the world.


You might be tempted to avoid the messiness of daily living for the tranquility of stillness and peacefulness. This of course would be an attachment to stillness, and like any strong attachment, it leads to delusion. It arrests development and short-circuits the cultivation of wisdom.

To let go means to give up coercing, resisting, or struggling, in exchange for something more powerful and wholesome which comes out of allowing things to be as they are without getting caught up in your attraction to or rejection of them, in the intrinsic stickiness of wanting, of liking and disliking.
Perhaps we just need little reminders from time to time that we are already dignified, deserving, worthy.  Sometimes we don't feel that way because of the wounds and the scars we carry from the past or because of the uncertainty of the future.  It is doubtful that we came to feel undeserving on our own.  We were helped to feel unworthy.  We were taught it in a thousand ways when we were little, and we learned our lessons well.
Just watch this moment, without trying to change it at all.  What is happening?  What do you feel?  What do you see?  What do you hear?

Symptoms of illness and distress, plus your feelings about them, can be viewed as messengers coming to tell you something important about your body or about your mind.  In the old days, if a king didn't like the message he was given, he would sometimes have the messenger killed.  This is tantamount to suppressing your symptoms or your feelings because they are unwanted.  Killing the messenger and denying the message or raging against it are not intelligent ways of approaching healing.  The one thing we don't want to do is to ignore or rupture the essential connections that can complete relevant feedback loops and restore self-regulation and balance.  Our real challenge when we have symptoms is to see if we can listen to their message and really hear them and take them to heart, that is, make the connection fully.


The best way to capture moments is to pay attention.  This is how
we cultivate mindfulness.  Mindfulness means being awake.
It means knowing what you are doing.


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Note that this journey is uniquely yours, no one else's. So the path
has to be your own. You cannot imitate somebody else's journey
and still be true to yourself. Are you prepared to honor
your uniqueness in this way?


I practice saying no to keep my life simple, and I find I never do it
enough.  It's an arduous discipline all its own, and well worth the
effort.  Yet it is also tricky.  There are needs and opportunities to
which one must respond.  A commitment to simplicity in the midst
of the world is a delicate balancing act.  It is always in need of
retuning, further inquiry, attention.  But I find the notion of voluntary
simplicity keeps me mindful of what is important, of an ecology of
mind and body and world in which everything is interconnected
and every choice has far-reaching consequences.


Mindfulness practice means that we commit fully in each moment to be
present; inviting ourselves to interface with this moment in full awareness,
with the intention to embody as best we can an orientation of calmness,
mindfulness, and equanimity right here and right now.

From Wikipedia:

It was on a retreat that Thich Nhat Hanh led in the United States that an American doctor, Jon Kabat-Zinn, first realized the appropriateness of mindfulness in the treatment of chronic medical conditions.  Kabat-Zinn later adapted Hanhís teachings on mindfulness into the structured eight-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course, which has since spread throughout the western World.

Kabat-Zinn is the founder and former Executive Director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is also the founder (1979) and former director of its renowned Stress Reduction Clinic and Professor of Medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Kabat-Zinn began teaching the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the Stress Reduction Clinic in 1979. MBSR is an eight-week course which combines meditation and Hatha yoga and claims to help patients cope with stress, pain, and illness by using what they call "moment-to-moment awareness".

In 1993, Kabat-Zinnís work in the Stress Reduction Clinic was featured in Bill Moyers's PBS special Healing and the Mind and in the book by Moyers of the same title. Kabat-Zinn and his colleagues published a research paper on the effect of the mind on the rate of skin clearing in patients with psoriasis undergoing ultraviolet light therapy.

Kabat-Zinn conducts annual mindfulness retreats for business leaders and conducts training for health professionals in MBSR.

Kabat-Zinn has written Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness, and Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life. He co-authored with Myla Kabat-Zinn Everyday Blessings: The Inner Work of Mindful Parenting. Other books include Coming to Our Senses, The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness, co-authored with J. Mark G. Williams, John D. Teasdale and Zindel V. Segal, and The Mind's Own Physician: A Scientific Dialogue with the Dalai Lama on the Healing Power of Meditation, co-authored with Richard Davidson.

He is a board member of the Mind and Life Institute, a group that organizes dialogues between the Dalai Lama and Western scientists.



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