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If we don’t pay attention to the world inside us and the world around us, we can miss the most beautiful and significant moments of our lives. Practising mindfulness and living mindfully means being open to all experiences as they are, rather than wishing for things to be different, hiding from our life’s challenges or blindly clinging to pleasure. Training the mind in order to enhance its inherent qualities of awareness and wisdom are not a new concept. The mindfulness practice found its way into mainstream Western society through the work of Dr. There have been numerous studies confirming the transformative power of mindfulness, including its ability to change the patterns of brain activity associated with negative emotions. Studies of brain function have shown that we all tend to build ‘stories’ out of our everyday ‘momentary’ experiences. Mindfulness meditation teacher, researcher, writer, and world-renowned expert Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, will give two public presentations at Dartmouth to introduce mindfulness meditation and how it is being incorporated into a wide range of clinical programs in medicine and psychology as well as in personal lives. Ira Byock, MD, Director of the D-H Palliative Care Service, notes the special significance of Dr. Kabat-Zinn is founding Executive Director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Palliative care is a team approach to enhancing comfort and quality of life for people with serious illness and their families. It is an awareness developed by paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgementally.

We develop this ability by intentionally bringing our attention back to the present moment. Wandering off into past or future and following our thought stories is the opposite of being present. It is a way of life, a particular way of being, characterised by curiosity, bravery, gentleness and a sense of humour. The practices of mindfulness  have been part of Buddhist culture for many thousands of years and have been passed on from teacher to student in the form of uninterrupted lineages. Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) is now recommended by the British National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) as an effective treatment for patients that have suffered from three or more major episodes of depression.
Using brain imaging techniques, it has been shown that certain brain areas light up when we are thinking in this ‘story’ way. He is also the founding director of its Stress Reduction Clinic and is Professor of Medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Kabat-Zinn will describe findings in mindfulness meditation research and discuss how consciously interfacing with one's unfolding life from moment to moment, both inwardly and outwardly, can make a huge difference in mental, emotional, and physical well-being as well as in society as a whole. Norris Cotton Cancer Center combines advanced cancer research at Dartmouth College and Dartmouth Medical School with patient-centered cancer care provided at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, at Dartmouth-Hitchcock regional locations in Manchester and Keene, NH, and St. In 1979, he developed the Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programme at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, which was aimed at helping patients suffering from chronic disease, chronic pain and stress find a way of coping with their difficult situation. Kabat-Zinn will direct "A Day of Mindfulness Practice and Dialogue," an all-day retreat at Rollins Chapel on the College campus.

It's a new way of being in relationship with one's experience." In clinical settings, it has proven to be an effective path for patients to be integrated into their treatment. He teaches mindfulness and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in various venues around the world."The potential to ask interesting questions about the mind-body connection and mindfulness meditation's role in that connection has never been higher," he says.
During the April 9 all-day retreat, he will present a range of methods for cultivating mindfulness, becoming familiar with "spacious wakefulness and silence," and "coming into" the senses literally and metaphorically.
Since then, mindfulness has proved to be very effective for alleviating the effects of physical and psychological distress. This then means that the stories we tell about ourselves become self-denigrating, or fearful. Scientific studies of the brain before and after taking part in an eight-week mindfulness course show that, after mindfulness training, people are much better able to focus on moment by moment experience, and are far less prone to getting caught up in the stories. It helps us live lives that are more authentic and accepting," he comments, adding that the National Institutes of Health is "really getting behind this. The retreat requires advance registration with a $25 registration fee, and the day includes a light lunch.

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