John Kabat Zinn: How Mindfulness can improve your life. If you’ve ever been interested in Mindfulness or Meditation, meet John.
John Kabat Zinn pioneered a meditative approach called ‘Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (or MBSR). His method is used all over the world to treat pain and depression. – He skilfully combines science-backed practices with Zen meditation philosophies. A catalyst for bringing meditation and mindfulness into Western mainstream culture, Zinn is our Friday inspiration for this week!
Treat yourself by reading and listening to his famous speeches and mindfulness programs below!
John Kabat Zinn on integrity and kindness
“Perhaps the most “spiritual” thing any of us can do is simply to look through our own eyes, see with eyes of wholeness, and act with integrity and kindness.”
For nearly 50 years, Jon Kabat-Zinn has guided millions from all walks of life to explore and embrace mindfulness. This MIT PhD created the world-renowned Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School by skilfully combining science-backed practices with Zen meditation philosophies.
Recently, Kabat-Zinn has partnered with MasterClass to launch an online MasterClass course. With his inspiring guidance and insights, students learn the power of living in the present moment while enjoying more fulfilling and less stressful lives.
Here is an excerpt of his Masterclass (which you can find in full here)
John Kabat Zinn on living in the moment
“The only lifetime we have to live is in each passing moment. Once it’s gone, that moment is gone.”
Given the piling every–day demands we encounter, it can feel like we exist on autopilot. Now, there’s nothing wrong with the routine itself.
However, routine without mindfulness makes it easy to get stuck within these perpetual cycles. By going through life and rarely looking up, who knows how many opportunities slip away unnoticed? Without focusing on that all-important Now, what have we missed?
“We can miss not just years but decades of our lives,” says Kabat-Zinn. “Or, living a narrative that’s not true to who you are. That can be a massive pain and discomfort, especially the older you get.”
Watch his interview with Melissa Daimler, Head of Learning and Organizational Development at Twitter, to learn more about how to apply mindfulness in business and life.
John Kabat Zinn, on knowing our baseline
“If we hope to go anywhere or develop ourselves in any way, we can only step from where we are standing. If we don’t really know where we are standing… We may only go in circles….”
Anyone can integrate mindful practices into their lives. Small strides like taking a five-minute mindful walk, writing a quick gratitude list, or immersing yourself fully in the present moment can make a difference. However, that doesn’t mean living or leading with mindfulness is easy. “Mindfulness is the hardest thing in the world,” Kabat-Zinn says. “It’s essential to bring a huge sense of humour and not build a romantic notion of mindfulness or meditation. Just live your life as if it really, really mattered.”
It sounds simple, “but it’s not just a little relaxation exercise or some new age gobbledegook,” Kabat-Zinn says. “That’s why mindfulness is so powerful.” To reap the most significant rewards, mindful leaders need to dedicate themselves to literally practising it (it is called a practice for a reason). “Mindfulness does more than you think—more than you possibly can think.”
There are countless ways to practice mindfulness, from daily meditation to mindful eating. You can start by following this guided 10-minute meditation:
Are you inspired?
Growth won’t happen overnight, and changes might start subtly. But as time passes, you will notice more clarity when making tough decisions, feel fewer moments of stress and anger, or even realise it’s time for a new path. It’s all part of discovering our purpose and our approach.
Kabat-Zinn says, “The more we learn, the more we grow—including knowing who we are.”
If you want to learn how to improve your life and become conscious, strong, and emotionally balanced to build resilience in stressful times, this program is ideal for you: click here.