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"Love after Love"

Here you can read Derek Walcott's poem recited by Kabat-Zinn, saying a prose statement was "bound to be inadequate" in communicating his point. Download the poem and read along.

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A meditation labyrinth located at Land's End Park in San Francisco, California. (photo: Jess Liotta and Colin Bulthaup/Flickr)

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Although Dr. Kabat-Zinn has tried to take the Buddhist theological context out of his mindfulness system for people who are not Buddhist, he has not completely succeeded. By making "being here, in this moment", "effortless activity" and "everything is perfect as it is" to be the centers of his mindfulness path, he elevates those foci to God status.

If serious Jews (for example) wanted to take advantage of mindfulness's benefits, "mindfulness" would have to be a system that was consonant with Jewish theology. It'll take a lot more effort to purge the subtly Buddhist theology from Dr. Kabat-Zinn's system.

I can't speak specifically about serious Judaism, but mindfulness resonated well with the New Testament teachings of Jesus and the Apostles. "Take no thought for tomorrow..." and "redeem the time for the days are evil" are examples of mindfulness thinking. Also, Jesus used illustrations from nature where every sense would be engaged to teach powerful lessons of life.

By the way, In Hebrew the single word "lev" means heart/mind.

And the Jewish Sabbath is a day when media, information and travel technologies are simply turned off, allowing a return to our humanity without technology's distractions.

Another great show. I retired from Catholicism at age 13 in 1963 and didn't discover that I was a Buddhist until I took an Eastern Philosophies class in college at age 20 in 1970. Mindfulness is a great way to live and as your guest points out, there really is only this moment. At age 62, living each moment is even more useful now, as most people around me are instead "rushing toward their deaths." Thanks for the interview and also I enjoyed the clip on your site explaining the evolution from Speaking on Faith to On Being. The change has been exactly as you intended and the broader focus is fantastic and a logical extension.

Perhaps the best of the best - John Kabat-Zinn's interview was outstanding - and so relevant. Thank you.

As an individual, I was captivated MR. Kabat-Zinn's ideas and would like to apply them to my life. But the "Google Corporation" was mentiond twice on this show . Hence the ambivalence ,I feel about the whole human potential or "New Age" movement.It seems to preserve a status quo that allows $$$$ elites to profit at the expense of the rest of us but in a more "enlightened " way. Would Mr. Kabat -Zinn ever consider adressing working people , Union organizations , or citizen advocates ? I also wonder why ,he's often speaking to the military. To train more "enlightened " killers and soldiers for wars of less than questionable national security value? Were it not for these serious reservations ,I would run out and buy one of his books and throw myself into it for something that might well feed my soul.

i want to read her sayings

I heard this in my car. I also heard the interesting comment that the words for mind and spirit are the same in "all Asian languages". That seems to involve a profound insight. However it is not true. As far as I can tell using Google translation, they are the same in no Asian languages.

My previous comment was not accurate because I relied on my memory. I thought that the two words were mind and spirit. They were mind and heart. The observations are the same.

I'm sorry to say that while there is likely much to gain from this conversation, Mr. Kabat-Zinn's political perspective injected repeatedly into his teaching greatly detracted from the valuable information he had to offer. Mr. Kabat-Zinn undermines what it is he is trying to convey by constantly tracking back to his opinions and interpretations of recent history. His moaning about the damage done to the economy by capitalists, bankers, the financial sector,greedy CEOs, blah, blah, blah, it completely turned me off to his message. If this is what "mindfulness" gets us...stop already. Until Mr. Kabat-Zinn can let go of all that political anger, he won't be able to further his work, message and ideas like he wants to or like he could.

Hello, could you put me on your email subscription list please. Many thanks.

This science is interesting

The next level that comes after Mindfulness is Zenfulness. Zenfulness I teach removes you from the situation allowing you to be more of it by not being aware of yourself. This has been my mindset since a traumatic experience almost ended my life. Psychologists are puzzled by my success. The key to keeping stress out of your life depends on how good you are at not feeling or knowing what you are experiencing at that moment. There will be a calmness around you like everything is in slow motion. You will not be 100% in any situation as long as you are aware of what you are feeling or experiencing at that moment. Thus, preventing you from having perfect focus and concentration. And once, you Master Zen, there will be no more need for meditation. @rustycovey


Voices on the Radio

is founding director of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. His books include Coming To Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness.

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