Our lives are filled with distractions; Emails, Twitter, Texting… we are constantly connected to technology, rarely alone with just our thoughts. Which is probably why there is a growing movement in America to train people to get around the stresses of daily life.

It is a practice called mindfulness, which basicity is being aware of your thoughts, physical sensations, and surroundings. Tonight we will introduce you to a man who is largely responsible for mindfulness gaining traction, his name is Jon Kabat- Zinn, and he thinks mindfulness is the answer for the people who are so overwhelmed by life, they feel they are not really living at all. ”

In this 60 minutes, special Anderson Cooper talks with Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn who is an MIT trained scientist who practices mindfulness meditation for 47 years and is the man that brought mindfulness meditation to mainstream  37 years ago. He is the creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center of Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. The stress reduction program created by Kabat-Zinn, mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), is offered by medical centers, hospitals, and health organizations now. He has held many meditation retreats where he talks about mindfulness and how to manage stressful thoughts. He talks about Mindfulness and our brain and how our brain cells change when we practice mindfulness meditation regularly. 

When Anderson asked him: what mindfulness means? He said: It really means awareness, and it needs practice. A lot of people start with a training class to learn how to meditate. 

There was a weekend retreat with Jon Kabat- Zinn that Anderson Cooper attended, and he believes it changed his life.

It was three days of meditation, most of the time he told us to sit there silently, and just rest in awareness, but it was not restful for me! We sat and ate in complete silence….., then we were taught walking meditation”.

In the retreat Jon Kabat-Zin described when the mind wanders, just bring your attention back to your breath, mindfulness means simply being in the present moment, when you eat, just eat; when you walk, just walk….

Published: March 14, 2016

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