The Science of Mindfulness Jon Kabat-Zinn

The Science of Mindfulness: How Changing Your Brain Changes Your Life

One thing you might want to think about doing is starting a daily mindfulness practice. Long recognized for its benefits to well-being in many wisdom traditions, mindfulness is now being looked at by neuroscientists with the research-based conclusion that it can reduce stress and produce many other healthful outcomes.

To be mindful is to pay attention to whatever arises in the moment. Whether in response to thoughts, feelings, emotions, or bodily sensations, when we are present to our experience in an open and nonjudgmental way, we are practicing mindfulness.

The Science of Mindfulness How Changing Your Brain Changes Your Life

With The Science of Mindfulness, you will join five Sounds True authors for an introductory program exploring the ways that science has begun to validate what the world’s wisdom traditions have said for centuries: mindfulness practice has the power to transform every facet of our lives.

The Science Of Mindfulness Panel Discussion Video

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Many of us go through daily life on autopilot, without being fully aware of our conscious experience.

and Amishi Jha join clinical mindfulness expert Jon Kabat-Zinn to explore the role of consciousness in mental and physical health, how we can train the mind to become more flexible and adaptable, and what cutting-edge neuroscience is revealing about the transformation of consciousness through mindfulness and contemplative practice.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013
The New York Academy of Sciences

This event is part of The Emerging Science of Consciousness Series, which brings together leading experts from various fields to discuss how the latest research is challenging our understanding of the very and function of consciousness in our daily lives.
Jon Kabat-Zinn was first introduced to meditation by Philip Kapleau, a Zen missionary who came to speak at MIT while Kabat-Zinn was a student. Kabat-Zinn went on to study meditation with other Buddhist teachers such as Thich Nhat Hanh and Seung Sahn.

He also studied at the and eventually also taught there.

In 1979 he founded the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he adapted the Buddhist teachings on mindfulness and developed the Stress Reduction and Relaxation Program.

He subsequently renamed the structured eight-week course Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). He removed the Buddhist framework and eventually downplayed any connection between mindfulness and Buddhism, instead putting MBSR in a scientific context.

He subsequently also founded the Center for Mindfulness in , Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. His secular technique, which combines meditation and Hatha yoga, has since spread worldwide.

The course claims to help patients cope with stress, pain, and illness by using what is called “moment-to-moment awareness.”

What Mindfulness Studies Show

Recent scientific findings on the benefits of practicing mindfulness.

University of New Mexico researchers found that participation in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course decreased anxiety and binge eating.
Office workers who practiced MBSR for twenty minutes a day reported an average 11% reduction in perceived stress.

Eight weeks of MBSR resulted in an improvement in the immune profiles of people with breast or prostate cancer, which corresponded with decreased depressive symptoms.

A prison offering Vipassana meditation training for inmates found that those who completed the course showed lower levels of drug use, greater optimism, and better self-control, which could reduce recidivism.

Fifth- girls who did a ten-week program of yoga and other mindfulness practices were more satisfied with their bodies and less preoccupied with weight.

A mix of cancer patients who tried MBSR showed significant improvement in mood and reduced stress. These results were maintained at a checkup six months later.

The likelihood of recurrence for patients who had experienced three or more bouts of depression was reduced by half through Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, an offshoot of MBSR.

After fifteen weeks of practicing MBSR, mindfulness counseling students reported improved physical and emotional well-being, and a positive effect on their counseling skills and therapeutic relationships.


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