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John Kabat Zinn: How Mindfulness can improve your Life
If you’ve ever taken an interest in Mindfulness or Meditation, John Kabat Zinn’s name might be familiar to you.
He is the pioneer of a meditative approach called ‘Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (or in short MBSR). His approach 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 some of his most popular speeches and mindfulness programs, below!
For nearly 50 years, Jon Kabat-Zinn has guided millions from all walks of life to explore and embrace mindfulness. By skilfully combining science-backed practices with Zen meditation philosophies, this MIT Ph.D. created the world-renowned Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
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)
Given the piling every–day demands we encounter, it can feel like we exist on autopilot. Now, there’s nothing wrong with 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 really are. That can be a massive sense of 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:
Anyone can integrate mindful practices into their lives. Even small strides like taking a five-minute mindful walk, writing a quick gratitude list, or immersing yourself fully into the present moment can make a difference. However, that doesn’t mean that living or leading with mindfulness is easy. “Mindfulness is the hardest thing in the world,” Kabat-Zinn says. “It’s very important to bring a huge sense of humour, as well as not building a romantic notion of mindfulness or meditation. Just live your life as if it really, 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 greatest rewards, mindful leaders need to dedicate themselves to literally practicing 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 mindfully eating. You can start by following this guided 10 minute meditation:
Growth won’t happen overnight, and changes might start subtly. But as time goes by, you will notice more clarity when making tough decisions, feel fewer moments of stress and anger, or even realize that it’s time for a new path altogether. It’s all part of discovering our purpose and our path.
As Kabat-Zinn says, “the more we learn, the more we grow—and this includes knowing who we are.”
If you would like to learn how to improve your life, become conscious, strong, and emotionally balanced to build resilience in stressful times this program is ideal for you: click here
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