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Video: Jon Kabat-Zinn on mindfulness and "falling awake"

YouTube - Mindfulness with Jon Kabat-Zinn

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:

And the meditation practice winds up doing you much more than you are doing the meditation practice. And the world and everybody and every thing becomes your teacher. And not in any grandiose new age bullshit kind of way -- just obvious. Basic.

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.

Owen Marcus's picture

Power in simplicity

After taking one of Jon’s first professional trainings 15 years ago, my partner and I created a Mindfulness Stress Reduction company in Phoenix, AZ. It was hugely successful in how it helped people – I can’t say it was hugely profitable.

We were sent patients from hospital networks everyone had given up on. With 8 weeks of practicing every day and one weekly class these students lowered high blood pressure for the first time in their lives, enjoyed work and set new levels of athletic performance.

For us high achievers, it is difficult for us to accept by doing less, we achieve more. Being aware of each moment provides us with a richer life.

I no longer teach the Mindfulness Stress Reduction classes. I do integrate what I learned into other endeavors including my blog – www.stressedout.org.




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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