Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), spoke at a conference in October 2017 in the British House of Parliament in Londen. Politicions from more than 10 countries, the Netherlands included, had gathered there to brainstorm how mindfulness can influence politics and policy. At the highest level people are convinced of the power of mindfulness.
Mindfulness evidence based
Kabat-Zinn is realistic in his statement dat even after 35 years the research into the effects of mindfulness meditation is still in its infancy. But it has been shown that mindfulness training is as effective as anti-depressants to prevent relapse into depression. Only think what that could mean in terms of cost effectiveness in healthcare. More important however is that the quality of life of millions of people with depressive periods can improve through mindfulness.
Jon Kabat-Zinn now travels the world. Teaching to many Chinese people and fascinated by the rebirth of traditions in China through which they deal with current challenges. He leads intensive five-day retreats in the USA, and teaches in Austria, South-Korea and Japan.
Recently he spoke with David Simons, former advisor of te White House and now director of the Obama Foundation. Simons is inspired Kabat-Zinn and is an active mindfulness meditator. “I feel it’s my responsibility,” says Kabat-Zinn, “since to a large degree people blame me for starting this whole ball rolling to participate in whatever way I can. This is, in some sense, the fruition of that 10-second vision I had in 1979.”
MBSR: created in a flash moment
When we realize that mindfulness in its modern, western form was created by accident, the worldwide growth expansion of mindfulness is remarkable. In 1979 Jon Kabat-Zinn had his 10-second vision. In a flash he not only saw what the eight-week program should look like, he was immediately aware of the implications. He imagined thousands of people would earn an income from teaching mindfulness. In a 10 seconds flash! And he saw it right, we now know after 35 years of mindfulness.
Not all choices are made after lengthy deliberations. That also holds for starting with mindfulness yourself. Everyday a small dose has already effects. It doesn’t have to be a life’s work. Just start. Research has shown mindfulness to be effective, making your life more comfortable.
People are losing their minds
Directly after his arrival from Boston Kabat-Zinn, now 73, adressed the politicians in London. He made clear why he still is travelling the world with his message. Talking about politics in general, the politics of Trump and his confrontation with the police during the Vietnam War protests in 1970. Read the article in The Guardian, titled: People are losing their minds. That is what we need to wake up to.