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Video: Jon Kabat-Zinn on mindfulness and "falling awake"
Merlin Mann | Mar 17 2008
Jon Kabat-Zinn is the founder of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at U Mass, and he's highly regarded for his role in bringing mindfulness into the mainstream of medicine. He's also an illuminating writer and speaker on the ways that mindfulness meditation can improve health and reduce stress.
I really enjoyed this hour-plus talk Kabat-Zinn delivered at Google last year. It's a terrific introduction to meditation that includes a long portion where you can "meditate along," learning how to follow your breath and become more aware of being in the moment. (I doubt I'm the only one who'll benefit from that bit of help today).
I admire that K-Z's work is so free of mysticism and faux-spirituality; there's no incense or flutes needed to just be here in the moment -- you only need your willingness to give the monkey mind a break for a few minutes and remember you're here. As he says, this does get easier over time:
Kabat-Zinn also has his share of fun taking the mickey out of over-wired tech people who are obsessed with to-do lists -- don't miss his bit on mindfulness and meetings around 47:40.
No, there's no LOLcats and no one falls on their ass, and -- yes -- a huge piece of this video will feature an oblique view of a 63-year-old man's face as he speaks quietly with his eyes shut. But, who knows? Maybe that's just the thing you need today. If you're looking for a refreshingly nonsense-free introduction to mindfulness and meditation, I think you'll find this one's very much worth your time.
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