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Mindful : April 2019
In 1979, Jon Kabat-Zinn, a micro- biologist working at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, MA , started a modest eight-week program called Mind- fulness-Based Stress Reduction— inviting patients to take some time for self-care down in the hospital’s basement. Forty years later, MBSR is taught the world over and has become the gold standard for apply- ing mindfulness to the stresses of everyday life and for researching whether mindfulness practice can improve mental and physical health. Kabat-Zinn has emphasized that mindfulness is not a mental trick. Rather it is a basic human inheri- tance that is essential to life. We need to be optimally aware of who we are, where we are, and how we are in order to survive individually and as communities, and even as a species, in Kabat-Zinn’s view. In these excerpts from a recent series of books, he offers his under- standing of how mindfulness practice enhances our very understanding of how we inhabit our own body as we make our way through life. → How we feel in our body is central to our identity as humans. But what happens when this sense is lost? And what happens when we give it our full attention? Mindfulness pioneer Jon Kabat-Zinn explores this primary relationship. Jon Kabat-Zinn on TUNING IN TO THE BODY April 2019 mindful 63 PHOTOGRAPHBYJOSHUASIMPSON body awareness