Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), talks about the present moment and the "thousand-year view" with Omega. Omega: The Stress Reduction Clinic, which you founded in 1979, recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. I loved science, and when I discovered Buddhist meditative practices and martial arts, I was able to bridge those ways of knowing the world into my own unique way.
Jon: Too much of the education system orients students toward becoming better thinkers, but there is almost no focus on our capacity to pay attention and cultivate awareness. Omega: Not just education, but modern science also tends to look at just numbers and data, which only gives part of the picture. Jon: Yes, that's often true, but any really good scientist is as much an artist as a scientist. Jon: I thought it was a stroke of genius that Selye used the word "stress," because it's true that if you don't know how to be in wise relationship to life, certain health consequences are bound to happen.
Omega: How did you know you wanted to pursue studying mindfulness as a way to reduce stress? Omega: Did you know that mindfulness would help reduce stress when you started your research in 1979? Jon: No, there was no indication it would work or that people would be willing to engage in something that, frankly, looked a lot like nothing. Omega: The MBSR training you teach with Saki Santorelli at Omega is one of our most popular programs. Jon: We experience it as fresh when we're teaching because it's coming out of present moment experience.
Jon: I've just become a grandfather for the first time, so I've been looking at how I spend my time and how I balance the demands of my life. The other edge is trying to maintain a fidelity to the practice -- to embody it, articulate the mysteries of it, and not fall into the trap of thinking I have arrived. Omega: That's interesting how mindfulness is about being in the present moment and yet it includes the long view. Jon: Yes, it's what helps people realize this is a way of being that not only has a long view into the future, but a history as well. Jon Kabat-Zinn will be presenting at Veterans, Trauma, & Treatment, a professional conference addressing resiliency to recovery, October 12-14, 2012 at at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York. All the suffering, stress, and addiction comes from not realizing you already are what you are looking for. You don't need the iPhone: you have the most exquisite apparatus in the known universe sitting right in your head - the most complex organization of matter in the entire universe.
I'm challenging everybody on every side of every divide to be more who they are, to cultivate their capacity for awareness. Sometimes shutting off the sound on the television can allow you to actually watch the game and take it in in an entirely different and more direct way - a first-order, first-person experience - rather than filtered through the mind of another. Science gave me a cosmic religious feeling, and I would get the same feeling when I was dragged to the Met and the Museum of Modern Art.
The notion that the mind and body are actually different sides of the same coin goes all the way back to the origins of medicine.
To drop into being means to recognize your interconnectedness with all life, and with being itself.

When you have children, you realize how easy it is to not see them fully, and perhaps miss all those early years. There are certain ways in which I cultivate awareness, both through mindful yoga and taking care of my body and taking time to actually drop as deeply as possible into stillness, into whatever is unfolding in the present moment. Meditation had never been tried before in a medical center, so we had no idea whether mainstream Americans would accept a clinic whose foundation was intensive training in meditative discipline. Most people think that to meditate, I should feel a particular special something, and if I don't, then I must be doing something wrong. Jon Kabat-Zinn is Professor of Medicine Emeritus and creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Since that time, we've seen incredible changes in the fields of health and healing, including the introduction of mindfulness into mainstream medicine and culture.
From that grew the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, which became my karmic assignment.
He was the first scientist to use the word "stress" as it relates to the human condition, rather than as an engineering term. If you stand up 12 hours a day on an assembly line, or constantly tell yourself life is not worth living, the body will respond in certain somewhat predictable ways.
You can bring together the body's various systems to fine-tune the body and mind in order to navigate life's ups and downs in a way that minimizes stress and maximizes well-being and satisfaction. In a flash, I saw what I had to do in quite some detail -- I know this sounds weird -- but it almost seems like it's a dream fulfilling itself and I don't have much to do with it except as a kind of instrument in making it happen. Paying attention to obvious things like your breath, or the sensations in your body, probably seemed like a waste of time.
What was it like to reintroduce a tradition that originated there but they haven't had since the cultural revolution of the 1970s? When you cultivate this love, it gives you clarity and compassion for life, and your actions happen in accordance with that.
There's an overwhelming need for bringing more mindfulness into society, but I have to say no to about 99 percent of the speaking and teaching requests or I won't be walking my talk, and that's hard. Given the state of the world, I find it challenging to take what one Zen teacher called "the thousand-year view." The crises of today will sort themselves out over the next three, four, or five generations, and all I can do is strive to have as much integrity with what I'm doing in this brief moment. Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Tibetan, or other historical traditions are all different streams in the same river, different currents in the same ocean. And here are we, feeling a little depressed, feeling like we're not getting where we need to be, when really you might be exactly where you need to be.
So if you're not hearing mindfulness in some deep way as heartfulness, you're not really understanding it. For most of its history, the practice was not separated from other aspects of human activity. If you are not careful, you can be too absorbed in work, and they will be only too happy to tell you about it later. But the real meditation practice is how you interface with life from moment-to-moment, no matter what's happening.
And yet, that chatter winds up being the force that drives us much of the day in terms of what we do, what we react to, and how we feel. I could see that my parents had completely different ways of knowing and understanding the world, and relating to it.

I went to a school where you had to learn how to get along with everybody or fight with everybody, and I did my fair share of both.
That's the normal state of affairs, but it leaves us out of touch with a great deal in life, including our bodies.
The idea of bringing Buddhist meditation without the Buddhism into the mainstream of medicine was tantamount to the Visigoths being at the gates about to tear down the citadel of Western civilization.
Kabat-Zinn was a student of Buddhist teachers such as Thich Nhat Hanh and Zen Master Seung Sahn and a founding member of Cambridge Zen Center.
Instead of being lost in thought, or caught up in emotional upheaval, we can tip the scale in the direction of greater equanimity, clarity, wisdom, and self-compassion by actually learning how to inhabit that other dimension of our being. I know that sounds like a meditation teacher speaking, but when you're in the laboratory, or you're theorizing about physics, you need to know what you know, but if you can't get out from under that, you won't be able to make that insightful, first-time connection that nobody else has seen before. On the other hand, of course, there was a very strong intention and huge amount of work on my part -- something like this doesn't just happen. Today, people recognize that they're not going to find well-being from the outside, or from a pill; they're going to find it by looking inside. We're feeling our way moment by moment through what is needed when we sit in front of the group. I kept asking myself what it would be like if China got back in touch with its deep wisdom roots -- the Taoist and Chan Buddhist traditions -- as it plays an increasing leadership role in the world over the next hundred years. All ethics and morality, and a sense of interconnectedness, come out of the act of paying attention.
With the long view, we can trust that the seeds that we're planting are transforming the world. The real reason is transformation, and societal transformation isn't going to happen in one month, one year, or even one lifetime.
Especially when you are awake, which is pretty much most of the time except for deep sleep. To call what happens 'the placebo effect' is just to give a name to something we don't understand. My father approached things through scientific inquiry and exploration, while my mother experienced things through her emotions and senses. His practice of yoga and studies with Buddhist teachers led him to integrate their teachings with those of science. It's sad how much of their tradition has been lost, but exciting to see their interest in it. But we see it happen person by person in front of us, and we don't have to worry about the future if we're taking care of the present. He teaches mindfulness, which he says can help people cope with stress, anxiety, pain, and illness.
I encouraged them to not just adopt MBSR, but to look deeply into their own roots and see how they can inform the way health care, industry, environment, and society are being treated.

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  1. 15.03.2014 at 13:45:20
    I_LIVE_FOR_YOU writes:
    Relationship between mindfulness and retreats.
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  3. 15.03.2014 at 14:34:31
    SEKS_POTOLOQ writes:
    Cannot afford to be in those situations because it can lead to an irregular respiration you do not.
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    4e_LOVE_4ek_134 writes:
    The idea of renouncing every little workouts and yoga respiration exercises for have collaborated with.