Saturday, August 8, 2009

Mindfully Based Stress Reduction

If you are seeking guidance with beginning or deepening your meditation practice, I would like to introduce you to Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, a world-renowned scientist, educator, author, speaker and founder of the Stress Reduction Clinic and Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society at The University of Massachusetts Medical School.

I first became familiar with his work back in the late 1990's when I came across a book called, "Wherever you Go, There you Are." I really didn't know what the book was about, but I was absolutely convinced that the author must have met me in another life and wrote this book with me in mind. Well, maybe me and a few million others. The title was irresistible because I had been going through one of those life moments when I really wanted to go on a vacation but leave my mind at home. Sound familiar anyone?

After reading his book, I began investigating more about Dr. Kabat-Zinn and his work. In the late 1970's he developed and began teaching an eight-week program at his Stress Reduction Clinic called "Mindfully Based Stress Reduction" (MBSR) to help patients recover and cope with stress, anxiety, pain, depression, and chronic illness. Since then he has trained health care professionals to teach this program at various locations throughout the country. Most importantly, he has developed self guided audio programs and books to help average, stress plagued, anxiety prone, needy souls like us learn how to adopt and practice many of these techniques in the sanctuary of our homes with his easy to follow guidance.

Shortly thereafter, I bought his first Mindfulness Meditation CD, which encompasses the core training of his 8 week MBSR class. I listened, re-listened and listened again. Then I practiced, re-practiced and practiced again. I had been one of those cynics who thought meditation was for Woodstock groupies, San Francisco hippies and The Beatles. Then I began to realize, I had a lot to learn. It was the beginning of an unending journey that would teach me that mindfulness comes in many shapes, colors, sizes, and styles, and it is up to each of us to choose from the endless options which choices are best suited for us at any given moment on any given day.

I have not read all of his books, but I continue to work my way through them and have never been disappointed. He is as gifted a writer and communicator as he is a scientist.

Visit his website to learn more about him, his work, and his countless contributions to holistic health, both within the world of health care and communities around the world.

You can order any of his books and many of his audio programs from this site. Just go to the Amazon window, type in Jon Kabat-Zinn and hit go.

I wish you peaceful meditations.

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