Jon Kabat-Zinn —
Opening to Our Lives

Jon Kabat-Zinn has learned, through science and experience, about mindfulness as a way of life. This is wisdom with immediate relevance to the ordinary and extreme stresses of our time — from economic peril, to parenting, to life in a digital age.

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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.

Pertinent Posts

Our weekend exercise. Try this 10-minute bell sound meditation and then share your experience with us.

Selected Poems

"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.

About the Image

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

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Meditation has played a powerful role in two pivotal events in my life. The first time was after being laid off from a dot-com company for which I had worked (and identified myself with) for four years. In that crucial moment I was introduced to "Full Catastrophe Living," which powerfully opened my analytic mind to the possibilities of mind-body connections and the mysteries-- and answers-- that they offer. The book and my resultant meditation practice (supported by guided meditation cd's by Belleruth Naparstek) gradually healed me from many of the powerful anxiety symptoms that I was experiencing physically as a result of my mental anguish.

I continued the practice in a nominal way for a few years after that, but still had vestiges of the anxiety symptoms from my initial layoff. Seeking to be completely healed, I found an opportunity to attend a 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat and took it. The results were transformative. During the retreat I felt as if I caught a glimpse of the true power and limitless potential of the spirit-- a glimpse sufficient to propel me into deeper practice. Also, during that same retreat, the idea for a life-transforming environmental road trip project dropped into my consciousness. It resonated so profoundly with me that I decided to embrace it fully-- resulting in YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip-- a trip to all 50 United States to explore and personalize environmental sustainability through fun, engaging short films and other forms of new media. During the adventure we made a point to stop and interview Krista Tippett, not to mention a wide variety of spiritual, business, government, and activist leaders and average citizens of all stripes. You can find the resultant video work documented online at, and the project is ongoing as we are giving presentations about the project at colleges nationwide.

I never expected meditation to play such a profound role in my life. My background is in industrial engineering with amateur threads in the performing arts. As I trace my own willingness to accept the idea of a mind-body connection back to a humble origin, however, it could quite possibly be through early voice lessons that I experienced when I was 17 years old. During those voice lessons I was first introduced to the concept that you can-- indeed, that you must-- affect the production of vocal sound through indirect, subconscious control of the vocal chords. You just have to let go into it to create the conditions for proper vocalization. As a result of this training, when I was presented with the idea that I can affect my anxiety symptoms by indirect means through my subconscious mind, that latent vocal training supported that idea and helped me embrace it-- changing my life in profound ways.

Thank you for creating the opportunity for me to share this story!

Sincerely Yours,
Mark Dixon

Mindfulness is a good thing but it contrasts some with the religious isea of being mindful of the presence of God. Then, I don't worry about how much I'm perceiving or missing, but only on my awareness of God. Buddhism vs. Judaio-Christianity, perhaps.

President Bush might not have been so mindful, but he felt enough empathy and connectedness not to promote the killing of the unborn, which President Obama seems to lack.

No, Bush killed Iraqi children instead! And how about the NRA promoting the sale of machine guns? When will you anti-abortionists open your eyes to the real pain in this world? Fetuses do not suffer, but neglected unwanted children certainly do. We can prevent abortions when a whole lot of other things are set right -- like stopping the persistent violence and abuse of their mothers.

If we can step back from proselytising and be mindful of our earth home and its residents, we can stop blindly making babies just because we can and value the babies we do create, which includes valuing this beautiful planet we call home.
“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” would be a first step.

Edward , sure, you're right.W was too busy lying us into wars that killed thousands of Iraqis and Afghanistanis ,plus practicing torture in secret ,to kill the "unborn".

First off, why must you bring abortioninto this? And secondly if you are going to do that and throw issues around lets promote what Obama is doing and what you Bush supporters trird to stop, birth control. Birth control will prevent more abortions than all of your intervaginal probes, your ultrasound videos women will be FORCED to watch, rape victims forced to bear a child from that rape, etc. Birth control, free and open to everyone and anyone at anyntime and place will prevent unwanted children from being conceived and will put an end to abortions. Or, you and your kind could adopt all of those unwanted babies!!

I completely agree - birth control is the answer to many problems. I also agree that it's not the place to discuss it here on this site.

Mindfulness meditation has filled the missing link for me in my spiritual practice, living my values and reached a place beyond what psychotherapy can achieve since I began 4+ years ago. It took me about 1.5 years to get into the discipline and deep experience of this practice, which has included coaching from others more experienced in the practice.

I totally resonant with Jon Kabat-Zinn's history and reflections the many benefits from working towards complete "presence" with our senses and being in the moment--how it opens up unknown possibilities of who we are and what we are capable of but also most profoundly the deep compassion and love that results in having an open mind and heart in my daily interactions with others (and which I've been seeking to REALLY fee most of my life--now I do so naturally).

I see the practice as being compatible with any traditional religion. We can all benefit by being fully present--open mind and heart, curious and listening fully to other people, no matter our differences.

I've seen maybe 5 or 10 episodes of Speaking of Faith and I have enjoyed each of them. I'm strongly cynical and even hateful about most faiths and i find that this show has a way of massaging my gut reactions into tolerance long enough to slip some really worthwhile perspectives into my brain. In any case, this show was almost painfully on the mark for me as a person, which is both enormously satisfying and a little unsettling. Kabat-Zinn has just the slightest salesman's affect, a magnificently persuasive, borderline hypnotic way of , well, selling his philosophy that would make me skeptical if it were not for the fact that his "product" is so damned appealing. My skepticism is likely heightened by a recent experience with transcendental meditation. I attended an informational presentation about TM and was sold. Then I got home and read a debunking of the philosophy by former adherent Joe Kellett. In 24 hours, I went from feeling excited about something that might help me become a happier, more peaceful and productive person to being slightly crestfallen at Kellett's suggestion that the TM technique is simply hypnosis with post-trance suggestion. Anyway, I bought Kabat-Zinn's book, because ultimately I decided that I could do worse than surrounding myself with the teachings of someone with such incredible wisdom, passion and common sense. I just hope I don;t become frustrated by reading about a shining example of peace and serenity while continuing to be troubled by the opposite. Many thanks to the show and Kabat-Zinn.

I don't trust Kabat-Zinn. He doesn't listen.

This program enforced my belief that my practice of mindfulness and meditation is the right thing to do.But,it also told me that I do not know much, only a little. I moved from Islam to Christinaity to Buddhism, but I always thought that to label any spiritual practice is to put oneself in a box. this program with Jon Kabat-Zinn freed me from all labels. So, I feel that I can take from all spiritual practices and be mindful and be a Zen student without labeling myself a muslim, Christian or Buddhist.
Thanks for all your programs, they are all great and I always feel lifted up and encouraged by listening to speaking of Faith.

Bassel Abdul-Hadi

Although I did not sleep last night until 2:00 a.m., when I woke at 7:00 a.m. I thought to myself I wonder what's on Speaking of Faith this morning. I am so glad I did. It was surely no coincidence.

The insights gained from Krista's interview with Jon Kabat-Zinn were mind-altering. From mindfulness comes mind fullness. I could not take notes fast enough and will have to work to learn more.

Thank you, again, for what you do and how you do it. Anybody can ask questions. It takes a special kind of skill to interview in such a way as to promote understanding. Krista is blessed with that skill and my life is better because of it.

I cannot thank you (Krista and Jon) enough for such a powerful "pointing to the moon". This topic and its airing were so perfect; it was nothing short of the message from the universe I've been waiting to hear.

My story, my journey, has been so convoluted and's just too much for this venue. I will try to be brief about my last 72 hours.

I am a Medical Laboratory Technician and I work the 6p-6a Thu, Fri, Sat shift in a rural hospital. It is somewhat known that those who work in healthcare are some of the most "wounded" souls around. Add to the equation the "wounded" patients that gather at the weekend/night
Emergency Room. For the last 6-9 months I have felt the building of the stress and my inability to allow the suffering that I see go through me. I have been mindful of it and I've contemplated it but I haven't been able to stop it. I visualize being chased by Zombies. They are slow enough that I see them coming, but I cannot escape them. They pull on me and tug at me until I become one of them. And my friends have noticed...and my partner has noticed that my light has gone so very dim.

I cannot say what exact phrase from this broadcast struck me, but my eyes welled up and forceful breath exited from my depths (like the beginning of a really hard cry session). And as I left the highway and began driving through my neighborhood to my house I saw the "color change", and the dogwoods, now in full bloom, became so pink and so white. And I sat on my front porch and I watched the colors through my tears of joy.

(worry not, my next meditation/contemplation will be changing the Zombies into...well, something else.)

Thank you for sending out your voices into the universe.


(last name--shoestack)

breathing with you... for you... until we are in the same space again... hug my sister

So today I was organizing all of my yoga training paperwork that had been spread out on the kitchen table for two weeks and finally finding the homework that was due so I could obtain my teaching certificate from the training (which ended 1 1/2 years ago). I was putting papers where they belonged, and in doing so I was feeling so empowered, so directed, so organized. Then I popped in a video I wanted to see for "background noise", but because it was in Italian, I realized I'd have to watch the screen to get the subtitles. I had a decision to make at that point: watch the video and enjoy the movie, which I wanted to see before a busy work-week, or finish working on what I was doing and finally get somewhere and have the satisfaction of finishing something I had been running away from. I realized that at that moment my situation was very similar to what happens when you meditate: if you stay focused, you get somewhere. The mind may jump, may tell you to stop focusing or to do something else. But if you stay there, you get to where you want to go and you obtain something, either the learning that comes from staying in one place for some time, or maybe it's the practice of reciting a passage you're been memorizing. The point is, being distracted is being distracted, whether you're meditating or doing something in everyday life. My changing focus was akin to getting up or stopping the meditation before it should have been through. My work, my daily chores, my obligations and responsibilities is similar to what happens when I have a successful meditation: I can choose to finish what I begin, stay focused, and obtain the fruits of that work or "practice."

For most of my 46 years I've been an obsessed worrier - agonizing over every choice and decision, judging and re-judging every thought and action I've taken. I thought living that way was the best method to be productive, obedient and 'good'.
Whenever stressful incidents occurred, the insomnia and pessimism that resulted from the obsessive thoughts usually passed after a few days (or a week or two at the most) so I didn't really believe it was a problem in my life. I thought I was just giving my best effort.
Just over a year ago, however, I began to have more severe symptoms, even experiencing two events of paralyzing anxiety.
I was very fortunate to have been referred to a behavioral therapist who provided cognitive behavioral therapy and introduced mindfulness-based stress reduction to me through Jon Kabat-Zinn's Full Catastrophe Living.
Dr. Kabat-Zinn's approach, especially by presenting mindfulness and meditation as practical and scientifically sound tools for living life more fully, has quite frankly saved my life.
I will always be grateful to my therapist, Josie, and Jon Kabat-Zinn for crossing my path at just the right time, in just the right way. I now practice mindfulness as if my life depends upon it . . . because it does!
Thank you so much for this show - Dr. Kabat-Zinn's message is so valuable and needed at this time!

Jon's insights are brilliant. What he says resonates a lot with my own inner work. His words are those of a scientist, yet he sounds like a student of Gurdjieff. He has a way of stating very clearly for the western mind, some of the paradoxical thruths that Mr. Gurdjieff spoke about during his life.

Buddha's "abandonment" Hi...thanks for your good work... However, one small point from this past week's show on Mindfulness training, which indeed the medical community has allowed in to its regimen...(and they're trying to sell it). Krista Tippett said to Jon Kabat-Zinn that the Buddha abandoned his wife and child. This is true in one sense, in a close perspective, but pulling back for the bigger picture, not true. Please bear in mind Siddhartha Gautama had been severely manipulated by his father to ensure he would avoid a spiritual career, and live a strictly secular life, ignorant as long as possible of a full understanding of the facts of life which include old age, disease and death. Where in the palace and government structure was the Buddha going to get his training? No one in all the years had offered him any such thing, other than his charioteer who (possibly against the rules) took the prince on rides into the he left. But Yasodhara,[Yasodara] his wife, was hardly abandoned, having the royal lifestyle, and Rahula, their son, likewise was within the highest level of the society of the time and place and so presumptively lived the royal life as well. The Buddha returned. The following link explains his re-connection with his son: In another context, we read that Yasodara too became a disciple of the Buddha and set about training herself in the spiritual path he had discovered and developed. In this way the Buddha fulfilled his obligations to his wife and child. "Yasodhara gave up the household life and entered the order of nuns at the same time as Maha Pajapati Gotami . She attained Arahanthship and was declared the chief disciple among the nuns who attained supernormal powers (Maha Abhiaaa) to recall infinite eras of the past. Only four of the Buddha’s disciples had such powers. In general, the Buddha’s disciples could only recall up to 100,000 world cycles. Yasodara, the Buddha’s two chief male disciples and the Elder Bakkula, however, had supernormal powers and could recall incalculable eras. The nun Yasodhara passed away at the age of 78, prior to the Lord Buddha."

I want to comment on Krista's question to John Kabat-Zinn about the Buddha leaving/abandoning his wife and son to seek enlightenment.

In some versions of the Buddha's biography it is explained that having a son was actually the key piece of his motivation for renouncing his worldly life and leaving his family. That becoming a father was what awakened his compassion and drove him to discover and share the truth possessed by an awakened being (Buddha).

When his son was born, the Prince of the Shakya clan realized that while he could offer his son a great worldly legacy, he had nothing he could give him that was permanent. Only by becoming spiritually liberated would he be able to bestow a legacy that was truly meaningful, truly worthwhile...

Further, on attaining enlightenment he returned to his family home and his wife and son both became members of his sangha (spiritual community).

John Cabbotsin questions our self-identification as Homo sapiens. I do too, but not because we haven't yet measured up to it, but because we've surpassed it. Ever since man began leaving behind written records of his existence, about six thousand years ago, we've become what I call Homo scribiens. For just as to function as Homo sapiens, men must rewire their brains for speech; they must rewire it again to read and write. That's the point at which God created man in his own image. For if God is ho Logos, the recorded Word or Code, man can't function in his image unless the species records the word.

Thank you so much for all your shows. My life is truly enriched by what you do. Listening to Jon Kabat-Zinn I was struck by his comments about the "mind" and the perceiving "body." In my practice of movement and bodywork, I am fascinated to find that people see the self that internally speaks as the mind. Talking internally so loudly we can't hear, see, or touch can certainly limit our sense of belonging to this world. What he spoke of requires an engagement with the sensual. This culture's fears and hesitations about actually enjoying the tasting, sensing, and feeling, limit our abilities to be mindful as much as our confusions about change and suffering. I am fascinated with how expanding perception also necessitates a different development of moral sense, as so much of our culture's moral theory is based on limiting the sensual with the very internal talking that causes us to feel disconnected from others and from the planet.

Having just started my meditation practice in the past year I am continually shocked at how radically simple the activity is. I was introduced to the practice of mindfulness through a course offered at my university and as a college student, I cannot express how much meditation has enabled me to forget the pressures of impending deadlines and exams, and allowed me to drop in and bring focus and attention to the task of making each moment, even the stressful and sorrowful moments, moments on interest and beauty.

Sublimating Prejudice, Anachronizing Racism: A Short Essay

I'm what some people would call a racist. I mean I have a deeply learned aversion to black people and other people different than me, a white, educated-into-the-middle-class, male, with working-class roots. This bothers me. I've taken on progressive, democratic ideals and come to recognize and critique systemic, psychological, and discursive elements of oppression. However, ingrained prejudice is still present within me. For instance, whenever I see a black person, anxiety arises in me from a learned aversion to blackness. That hasn’t gone away.

The topic this week on Speaking of Faith was mindfulness. It is through academic mindfulness in my education at The Evergreen State College (TESC), and through personal meditations like centering prayer, study of scripture, continuous faith in Jesus Christ, and reflective writing (sometimes overlapping with my academic practice), that I have come to see elements of internalized oppression and prejudice and how they are connected to my interpersonal interactions. Currently, I am working on a master's paper in TESC's Master in Teaching program (MIT) in which I ask, "How can I support my white students in the rearticulation of whiteness as an anti-oppressive identity?" This is not just for my students, it represents a question I have for myself: How does transformation happen?

Even after learning and practicing a new way of being, the old way is not unlearned. For instance, I have learned, and am learning, how to have an anti-racist white identity--how to advocate for justice, respect and awareness in political and interpersonal ways. However, as I mentioned, my internalized racism and prejudice has not disappeared. It still rises up within me. The question, then, becomes how to manage the dissonance between my ideals and my multiple responses to difference, not necessarily how to unlearn prejudice. The question is how to stop practicing racism and start practicing justice.

My self-management technique is not to try to stop the prejudicial impulse, but to sublimate the prejudicial impulse into an internal process of naming it instead of acting on it in a racist, exclusionary way. I join this sublimation with a purposeful action on new, anti-racist, inclusionary impulses that I am cultivating. These anti-racist impulses are growing with practice, and I seek out new ways I can act on them. I can only hope that the sublimation of my prejudicial impulses into an internal naming of them progressively deadens them along with my racist identity until it disappears. Until then, I manage my identity in a conscious, purposeful process. Hopefully, this personal work, along with my professional practice, will give the next generations that I touch a boost toward, in a sense, anachronizing racism and truly celebrating diversity.

"Spring Cleaning The Chicken Coop, Mindfully"

The day comes around every year when the ice and mud are gone, and it's time to clean out the chicken coop. It's not a big chicken coop, and I don't have a lot of chickens. But it's been a long winter and the chickens have been mostly indoors since November, eating and pooping. To keep down the mess I've been adding hay periodically, so that now there is about a foot of caked-down hay, manure, food, and general chicken dust.

I put on my gloves and carry the garden fork and a big plastic tub into the coop. I dig the fork into the bedding and pry up a big chunk of wet litter, half of which falls off on the way to the tub. "I'll never be able to do this," I tell myself as my arms and back begin to ache.

I have CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome), so with every exertion comes the thought of future pay-back. "I won't be able to get out of bed tomorrow," I think, lifting another forkful. "It didn't seem this hard last year. That's because I'm getting older, losing strength. How long am I going to be able to keep this up?"

In years past, I rushed impatiently through this coop cleaning. After all, there was a garden to be planted, cold-season crops to be got in before the weather turned hot. That was what I was focused on, the future garden, not the tedious, messy task of picking up and composting manure that wouldn't be ready until fall.

Now, after a few more forkfuls, I notice that I am sweating--the first real sweat of the season--just as a chickadee's spring song rings out from the still-bare trees. I become aware that yet again I am worrying about tomorrow's relapse, and the aging process, and the fate of my chickens when I am old. And I determine to put all that aside and deal with each forkful of manure as if it were the only one. Dig, lift, pant, dump into the tub. Dig, lift, pant, dump into the tub.

When the tub is full, I carry it down the steps and around the corner, and empty it into the compost big. Then I dig, lift, pant and dump all over again.

Coop cleaning is a dusty business. I feel the dust collecting on my skin, cloud my glasses, tickle my nose. There is grit on my teeth. I dig, lift, dump, and carry the tub some more. Somehow my muscles are holding up, and I can see the coop's wooden floor.

Then the chickens are scratching in their new, clean bed of hay and I am on my way to the shower. I try to pay attention to the blessing of hot water rinsing off the chicken dust, making everything clean and new.

I enjoyed the end of the show particularly; "an occupational hazard of having a body is the impression that the universe revolves around us" (paraphrased.) An "occupational hazard."

I offer another view side of the "being as occupation."

I make things and give them away in public spaces now and then; kites, musical instruments, boomerangs. People (especially kids) sometimes will ask "why are you being nice to me." I say "its my job."

I love your program and have set up my Sunday morning walk with a friend around the broadcast time.

I especially enjoyed this week's program about mindfulness. I work as an accent modification trainer and have been trying to find ways to bring mindfulness training into my work for some time. It's hard! I struggle with being mindful myself (and it's something I actively want to do), but trying to nudge someone else towards mindfulness is quite a challenge...

My clients are people who aren't tuned into their bodies, aren't listening to their voices, and aren't paying attention to the physical ways they are creating sound. The core of my training is recording and playback, but the problem is teaching people to listen as they speak -- it's all mindfulness.

I'm going to try out some of Jon Kabat-Zinn's techniques on my students. I picked up one of his books at the library this morning, and hope to glean some helpful suggestions from it.

Thanks for the great shows!

I had practiced mindfulness meditation before, but not with any regularity until last summer. I was suddenly deeply depressed over the death of my daughter 4 years before, and my therapist whom I saw for help suggested starting with just 3 minutes. My symptoms started easing and the therapist suggested 20 minutes which I simply couldn't imagine having time for so we ended at a compromise of 8 minutes. I meditated for 8 minutes every morning before I left for the gym. At one point things were going so well that I was pretty sure traffic patterns were even in my favor. At Christmas my sister said, "You're're's weird." Meditation is genius in its simplicity. Through simply sitting I went from a being full of despair to describing myself this way: I am love.

This program came along at a very critical time for me. I had been dating a wonderful man for about 4 months and our relationship was very good, except for one thing. I didn't realize that I was doing it at the time, but I had a bad habit of trying to get him to predict the future. I would worry about how our relationship will look in 6 months, one year or 10 years. When I would talk to him about it, he would become uncomfortable. It eventually caused him to feel so pressured that he walked away from the relationship.

This program helped me realize that no one can predict the future and it is pointless to ask someone to do so. I realized that each moment I spent focusing on that impossible-to-predict future was a moment of wasted time in the present. And worse, it created "bad" memories that would linger in the past.

I learned that the best use of my time is to focus on the "now" so that it will be pleasant and meaningful. These "now" moments will then accumulate to create the future that I desire. So, I've begun to do just that: I try to stay focused on the "now" in every relationship I have: my kids, friends, coworkers and relatives.

The best part is that after explaining my new-found attitude and approach to that wonderful man, he decided to give our relationship another try.

Thanks, Krista, for having Jon Kabat-Zinn on your program to share the Science of Mindfullness.

I meditate for an hour every morning and have been doing so for about thirty years. Meditation has given me the strength to deal with adversity and failure if and when I face them. At the same time, I have also developed an ability to view success as another routine event of life which is no different from other events. This is what the faith that I come from - Hinduism - equates to a Lotus Leaf personality. Lotus plants grow in ponds and lakes in India. Despite the fact that they are floating on water, the leaves stay remarkably dry as every drop of water just slides off the leaves or just sits on the leaf as a drop without penetrating the leaf.

But, in order to gain the strength and inner peace that meditation is capable of giving us, I feel that one has to meditate on a being or an all-pervasive spirit that may not be physically obvious. This higher spirit doesn't have to be labeled as God but has to be recognized as something that is omnipotent, omniscient and benevolent to all. The goal of meditation should be to connect one's mind to this spirit. If this can be achieved even for a few seconds, during the meditation, the resulting inner peace and strength will be enormous and carry one through the day with equanimity.

(I wanted to share my experience with meditation in case it can benefit others. I would, however, prefer that my name not be published if you decide to publish this. Thank you.)

The poem "Love after Love" seems really, really cosmic when you are sleeping through the program on the clock radio, and the voices on the radio are prompting the dream!

I was dreaming about being in church at one point, and was really confused at first when I woke up.

A while later I got on the internet and tracked dow the April 16th show (April 19th on KUT), and found the poem that I still partially remembered. I had some problem, because I thought that it was "meet yourself" instead of "greet yourself" that was mentioned in the poem. Oh, well - it's hard to pay attention while sleeping...

Reading it while awake did not have nearly the same impact as hearing it while asleep, but nevertheless, it is a stirring poem.

Thank you for putting it on the show.

I'm writing a book. It's about my family's and America's history up to the present day and how they have impacted me. I am inside writing, both figuratively and physically. Today is a beautiful Spring Sunday in Birmingham and I needed a break! I put on my ipod, walking shoes and opted for your recent podcast with jon Kabat-Zinn. While being attached to a ipod may be contradictory to the possibility of mindfulness, it felt to me like an opening of my mind. When I went to the doctor recently and discovered I had high blood pressure, I freaked out and have been attempting to resurrect the things I know are good for keeping balance.Stress has been a major factor in the rise. When Mr. Kabat-Zinn said something about the definition of heart and mind being the same in some Asian language, I realized my cluttered mind was similar to the cluttered arteries and with cleansing and tending, both would benefit. So much of his talk with you, The Spaciousness of our minds being the place for creativity, the lovely quotes from Thoreau, and the poem at the end, all seemed pertinent to my journey. To stop, like he said we all will, breath, come to my senses, was just what I needed today, this day, this moment, so I can continue with my book. He guided me to remember how important it is to stay aware of the simplicity and beauty of this present moment and not lose myself in my ancestor's past lives.

I so enjoyed listening to this woman, what an inspiration! Thank you.

Time...something we all want and something we all search for, but no one ever finds it. I have lived my life on the express train and seem to always live by tomorrow and not today. This broadcast was enlightening to me to open my eyes, take the time to reflect on today, pay attention to things that matter to me and be aware!

I have to devote time for the things in life that "should" matter to me and to embrace technology and the "24/7" mentality. With that we must not be trapped by it, but be aware it is always sucking us in to steal the time we are always looking for.

How we accept mindfullness reflects how we are or want to be and how we treat others. We need to live in the now and not the tomorrow.
We don't look for time it is here, we just need to embrace it and stop it.

In the weeks leading up to the start of my service with the Peace Corps, lots of people have asked me why it is I've chosen to do this. Usually, I say something about how it’s a great opportunity to have an adventure, how it will help me to get work in international development, or that it’s a good way to avoid looking for a job during this economic crisis.

All of these things are true. But there’s more to it than that. The more I think about it, the more I realize that my reasons for wanting to join the Peace Corps are spiritual. While listening to a Speaking of Faith podcast the other day, I was struck by something that Jon Kabat-Zinn (the author of several books on Mindfulness) said:

“In a sense I think all of us, each in our own unique way, are being called upon to find out who we are, and to live that, authentically, in the service of this world.”

I went back and listened to it several times. This is it, I thought. This is why I want to go on this adventure. I want to find out who I am and to live it in the service of the world. I want to face head on some of the fundamental questions I have about life:

How can a person who has grown up with privilege find ways to give back?
What kind of work is worth doing?
How will I define myself while existing outside of my own culture?
What kind of comforts can I live without?
And what will giving up those comforts teach me about what is truly
important and meaningful?

As regards this last question, I’ve been thinking a lot about a phrase that the mother of one of my college friends used to always say:

“Live simply so that others may simply live.”

I believe in this concept, and it is partly an interest in finding out just how simply I am capable of living that I want to do the Peace Corps. It strikes me that here in the US, we are constantly encouraged not to live simply, not just by advertisers but also as a component of our civic duty. In fact, we are told that we must live consumptively so that others may simply continue to have jobs to support themselves.

Throughout everything that has gone down with the economy over the past year, I have felt a sense of optimism. Maybe it is through this crisis that people will be inspired to live more simply, to reconnect with what really makes life worth living – our connections with each other, the pleasures of food and family and nature. I am hopeful that the whole culture will start down a spiritual path of simplicity and service. But I’m not willing to wait around.

This was an excellent program on mindful meditation. I thought it was astonishing Mr. Kobat-Zinn was a that a molecular biology major from MIT but is now in the field of medicine, particularly in the stress reduction clinic and the center for mindfulness in medicine. This just shows the diverse field of medicine.

Mr. Kobat-Zinn does a great job of explaining the importance of mediation and what meditation can do for the body and mind, and how the awareness aspect of mediation is one of the most important principles in mediation. I think our lack of awareness sometimes limits our capabilities as human beings. Now with the stress of the economy and all, meditation can play a big part of how we handle the situation.

I was disappointed by the speaker's naive appropriation of Buddhist techniques as if they are no less culturally embedded with anthropological assumptions. Westerners who have little familiarity with western traditions (e.g. hesychasm, etc...) pushing buddhism wrapped in scientistic authority seems misguided and, again, naive.

As soon as I noticed that Speaking of Faith had made a programme with Jon Kabat-Zinn, I could wait to listen to it! Probably my last favorite programme was the Krista's interview with Thich Nhat Hanh, and I feel this interview was in the same league - simple yet challenging and 'life changing'.

My journey has been been a search for deepen meaning and desire to taste each moment in life more vividly. It began over ten years ago when I saw a poster about meditation in a London Underground. I soon discovered that my calling, the job I was born to do, was to teach meditation. They say we teach what we really need to learn, so perhaps it was a desire to practice mindfulness that prompted me to look for ways to teach it. For eight years I taught in a unique school in south west London where the children practice meditation every day. Then, having discovered the simplicity, beauty and depth of the 8 week mindfulness based stress reduction course, I developed an organisation so that I could teach mindfulness to others called Learn Mindfulness ( I now feel I have a way of sharing the essence of meditation without all the ritual, dogma and false expectations that can sometimes get in the way. It is an honor to share the practice of mindfulness with another human being, and reflect together on its value in our lives together. It is particularly touching to see those suffering with physical or emotional pain to find that the mindfulness practice is healing and uplifting in a gradual yet tremendously powerful way.

Thank you so much to all those that were involved in the production of the program.

May the benefits of mindfulness be enjoyed by you, and those you work and live with.

Krista and Jon's conversation was like a duet. I felt privy to a piece of lovely music, voices softly exploring the essence of what it means to be human, to be in the world in this time and in anytime. Our challenges, our children's challenges, were looked at in a real way, not sugar-coated, yet the conversation left me feeling hopeful. Such a good point Jon made that we will need to learn from our children (as they make their way in a world that I think will become somewhat foreign to us). The poetry that ended their conversation... tying art and science, body and mind, mind and heart, us and the world together...brought tears to my eyes.

I am a counselor at a community college and have facilitated a stress management class for the past 10 years or so, in Flint, Michigan, and other sites in the surrounding county. As you can imagine, this is an environment where the stress experienced by my students is often extreme. They tend to be very grateful and apply many of the strategies we practice in class, including yoga and meditation, to their daily lives. Thank you for a program that inspired me and reinforces me in what I do.

When I first read Jon Kabat-Zinn's "Wherever you go, there you are," I was hoping to drop into the most pleasurable moments of my life. After beginning a meditation practice I realized I gained an ability to drop into all moments of my life, even those that are uncomfortable. Mindfulness practice has helped me heal myself in times of suffering by really paying attention to what is going on in my body and mind. It's also enriched my life by reminding me that I really do only have moments to live and it's time to pay attention to them. I'm a much better listener and more compassionate because of my meditation practice.

Hasn't practiced enough to answer your question

I met with a friend today and time became insignificant as we listened and shared stories. I get in the car to go home, and listened to Jon Kabat-Zinn; he answered many of our questions of the day--the best for me was his reading of the poem, "Love After Love."

I have been listening to Kristia Tippit for several years. In 2008 my husband died and my grief journey turned into complicated grief. Listening to Jon Kabit Zinn tapes was a piece of the grief journey for me and important particularly in the first 2 years. I have very much appreciated Kristia's Sunday morning program and the gentle way she interviews her guests. Thank you so much. You are unique and a voice I look forward to listening to.

this show reminded me much i loved this program. thank you krista and team. thank you lilly foundation and others who make it possible!

His practical approach that includes leaving the Buddhist guru baggage or even the word spiritual behind and seeing raising children as little Zen Buddhists parachuted down, this approach reverberates like jello.

if i could get my usb ports to work i could show the glory of this massive ice storm. The storm has pounced us for two days and i finally checked the weather only to laugh at how silly it is they talk about it. if they say their is a shortage of milk, they have to show you a milk clip, then a bread clip then one guy in the emergency room who slipped on the ice and hurt his head.

But the beauty made my wife risk waking me up a 1am and to come out side to see how completely unusual and unique it was to see this super high gloss everywhere. My mundane neighborhood looked like a beautiful dream. Each garage light and street light sprawled as if the whole place where floating in white water.

I am so glad she was aware that I would not have wanted to miss this for all the cozy warm sleep in the world.

ah and his thoughts about the unknown known and the known known were fresh takes i really needed to hear. Especially his honesty about our real status about the known known.

i will try to upload the pictures from another computer later.

keep up the great work.

I live in a wilderness area, where we do not have access to technology beyond a land-line telephone and dial-up internet. We are exposed to the elements of weather, animals, plants, and natural land formations. At night, the sky is so dark, the constellations are easy to view, and when the moon is full, we walk the land. Every sunrise, and every sunset is breathtakingly beautiful w/intense lighting that hits the desert mountains. Given this backdrop, I have made the space in my mind to become a Human Being (versus a Human Doing).

I loved how Jon spoke of living, where we can live mindfully as we go through our life instead of running towards death. For myself, each moment I live mindfully, I am aware of the finiteness of my "life". This process simply makes me smile and remember. I have taken this time during our economic downturn to use my time to get healthy, calm, feel joy, as well as providing compassionate care to my family and friends whom are suffering from illness, poverty, loneliness.

Learning mindfulness made come into terms with life as it is.

Suffering made the opening to this: It was only after suffering and realizing that no matter what I wanted , things were the way it were , only then I grasped that idea that there may be another way to live.
Accepting that there were possibilities outside my ingrained thoughts of what things should be.
Then is the journey, immersing into it and DISCOVER possibilities for me, customized to my life in a way that nothing else would be able to. Those discovering were important to me and made me feel OK with things as they were. The experience of feeling better when nothing is different and not “fixed” changed my personal paradigm.

Then I realized another important part: accepting things as they are, being OK with my self and my conditions made people around me feel better.

Nothing is magic, you need to sit and see what happen, no expectations, put the effort everyday in the middle of that uncertainty. It is then and only then when you just sit that you start getting understanding.

Clearly. While I was focused on mindfulness, I seemed better able to flow with the ups and downs of each day able to maintain a sense of calm & peace. I fell off from this study and felt its loss but did not pay attention. While I became more fragmented, I still did not return. I am returning now after having made some spectacular errors in judgment due largely, I believe, to being way off center and having abandoned myself. I thoroughly enjoyed this show and Jon Kabat-Zinn's ability to present mindfulness & meditation as more accessible - well, more accessible to me. After listening, and with a lot of work, I am hopeful for the first time in a while that I will be back on track soon. I already feel better!

On Missing the Point; I subscribe to the podcast but haven't been good about making the time to listen. Last week I decided to take the time to do something healthy to deal with stress; I'd listen to John Kabat-Zinn address mindfulness and I'd do yoga that I follow on a DVD. At the same time. In case you were wondering, multi-tasking, even in the name of stress relief, is counterproductive to mindfulness! It did give a laugh, though.

Krista and Jon's conversation was like a duet. I felt privy to a piece of lovely music, voices softly exploring the essence of what it means to be human, to be in the world in this time and in anytime. Our challenges, our children's challenges, were looked at in a real way, not sugar-coated, yet the conversation left me feeling hopeful. Such a good point Jon made that we will need to learn from our children (as they make their way in a world that I think will become somewhat foreign to us). The poetry that ended their conversation... tying art and science, body and mind, mind and heart, us and the world together...brought tears to my eyes.

I am a counselor at a community college and have facilitated a stress management class for the past 10 years or so, in Flint, Michigan, and other sites in the surrounding county. As you can imagine, this is an environment where the stress experienced by my students is often extreme. They tend to be very grateful and apply many of the strategies we practice in class, including yoga and meditation, to their daily lives. Thank you for a program that inspired me and reinforces me in what I do.

I decided to go back to some of Zabat-Zinn's materials and came across this webpage. I looked at the latest postings
and came across yours. I am now retired, but I began my career at the City University of New York as a counselor
many years ago. In a community college, at that. So I thought I'd touch base with a kindred spirit and wish you well
in your work.. So many in community colleges are trying so hard to juggle multiple responsibilities that
they often collapse under that weight. Some of the faculty also. Best wishes in your 'vocation.'

I would like to find a center in Miami.I am from Argentina,I am here for more than 8 years,living in Aventura.Actually I heard about you from an argentinian professional.I will really appreciate if you could guide me in this search
Thank you in advance.
Kind regards

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

ADD/ ADHD,..."Characterized by extreme distractabily, and inability to stay on task". I am sold on meditation and mindfullness,..but I have ADHD its an even bigger struggle for me to keep my mind from wandering. Is there a
program,....designed to help ADHD people cope with the additional distraction challenges they face? Is there a book written with this in mind?

Your place is valueble for me. Thanks!…