Saturday, April 05, 2008

"Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction" - Jon Kabat-Zinn

I finally checked out Jon Kabat-Zinn more closely, after having heard about him and his work several years ago. He has written several books, some or all of which entered the world of persistent pain via pain clinics, probably because of the obvious overlap of stress reduction. I heard him interviewed on a radio program a few years back, and very much liked his blend of common sense coupled with description of the kinds of ordinary stressors meditation can help with. His book, Full Catastrophe Living (one of many) has been around since 1990, and I'm embarrassed to admit I've never read it.

Here are some links:

1. Mindfulness Meditation, 72-minute you-tube presentation to google employees (recommended)

2. "Coming to Our Senses" a short (9.15 minute) you-tube video

3. Coming to Our Senses, a 57 minute google video (long intro by someone at UCSD Medical Center)

4. A simple bio. Excerpt:
Dr. Kabat-Zinn received his Ph.D. in molecular biology from MIT in 1971 with the Nobel Laureate in Medicine, Salvador Luria. Dr. Kabat-Zinn’s research between 1979 and 2002 focused on mind/body interactions for healing, on various clinical applications of mindfulness meditation training for people with chronic pain and/or stress-related disorders, on the effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) on the brain and how it processes emotions, particularly under stress, and on the immune system; on the use and effects of MBSR with women with breast cancer and men with prostate cancer; on patients undergoing bone marrow transplant; with prison inmates and staff; in multicultural settings; and on stress in various corporate settings and work environments.

5. Wikipedia entry on JKZ.

6. An interview, "Mindful Medicine". Excerpt I:
Jon Kabat-Zinn was one of the earliest students of Zen Master Seung Sahn and was a founding member of Cambridge Zen Center. Over the years he has studied with a number of Buddhist teachers and incorporated their teachings, especially the practice of mindfulness, into his practice of medicine. His book Full Catastrophe Living (New York: Delacorte Press, 1990) was on the New York Times bestseller list.
Excerpt II:
"The two fundamental things that most people get out of the program, independent of symptom reduction, are these. First, the breath is an ally and can be used to calm down and see more clearly. The other, related discovery, is that you are not the content of your thoughts. You don't have to believe them or react to them. That's incredibly liberating."- JKZ

After seeing him, especially in the 72 minute video linked higher up, I might actually acquire and read that book. What he says is simple and it makes total sense.

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