Jon Kabat-Zinn started running Mindfulness-Based Stress reduction courses at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 1979. Thousands of people have since passed through the program which has expanded internationally. He writes in Full Catastrophe Living, 'This is an invitation to embark upon a journey of self-development, self-discovery, learning and healing. Usually people leave the clinic thanking us for their improvement. But actually the progress they make is entirely due to their own efforts. What they are really thanking us for is the opportunity to get in touch with their own strengths and resources, and also for believing in them and not giving up on them, and for giving them the tools for making such transformations possible'.
Here is a short video from Jon Kabat-Zinn.
These 2 fun videos illustrate perception and surprise.
We spend so much of our time lost in thought, and not paying adequate attention to the present. Try this selective attention test
The acronym STOP is a very useful tool for bringing our awareness back to the present moment. This is a practice out of A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook, Foreword by Jon Kabat-Zinn, and co-authored by Bob Stahl Ph.D. and Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D. (New Harbinger, 2010).
This short mindfulness practice is meant to be sprinkled throughout the day to support you in becoming more present, reducing stress, and being more effective in every day life.
This is a more light-hearted take on STOP
RAIN is a useful practice, presented as a short meditation by teacher Tara Brach.
Matthieu Ricard is a French neuro-scientist who became a Buddhist monk in Nepal. He has participated in many studies that examine the change in brain function and structure with meditation. This video is an hour long where he talks about happiness and compassion, and the resultant brain changes.
Sharon Salzberg is a leading meditation and insight teacher. This is an interview where she answers questions about compassion with Sylvia Boorstein.
Barbara and Janine are both actively involved with mindfulness on a national level. Barbara is a teacher for the Stellenbosch University program which trains mindfulness teachers. Janine helps with supervision of new mindfulness teachers and is a director of IMISA (Institute of Mindfulness of South Africa). They now provide mindfulness courses in east London South Africa