Scientist Jon Kabat-Zinn is best known for creating the groundbreaking program Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, which is available in more than 700 medical centers, hospital and clinics around the world. First developed in 1979, this program helps patients transform the experience of pain by changing their relationship with it.
Even if you don’t suffer from chronic pain, Kabat-Zinn believes that we can all benefit from daily mindful meditation. In fact, it’s how he’s been starting his days for the past 50 years.
“I go downstairs and I get on my yoga mat … that's just what I like to do, and I do that mindfully,” he says in the above video from" Super Soul Sunday." “So it's mindful yoga. And then out of that, when the time is right, maybe it's an hour…maybe it's 40 minutes…I drop into sitting. I usually sit cross-legged on the floor, but you can sit in a chair, and I just kind of drop into the body.”
While doing this, Kabat-Zinn says to “rest” in the awareness of your body and feel yourself waking up. “There are a lot of different ways to do it; there are a lot of different details. But the most important thing I think for [people] is to drop in. Drop in on yourself and rest for a stretch of time. Then, as you go about your daily life, practice mindfulness in everyday life.”
In other words, check in on yourself -- whether it’s once and hour or once a minute -- and take in the present moment. Kabat-Zinn says if you practice this on a regular basis, you’ll get to a point where it won’t feel like work anymore. “It feels more like the practice of doing me. I am learning so much -- it’s like the world is teaching me everything I need to know. If I only get quiet and drop in and attend.”
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