BALANCE LIFE

Meditation makes you more attractive! And kindness is trainable....

Wisdom 2.0 Conference, 2013

Great 9 mins with Chade-Meng Tan - humour with a serious undertone...

Jon Kabat-Zinn

The Healing Power of Mindfulness

Jon gives a more in-depth overview to delegates (April 2011) at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Centre.  (You might want to skip the long-winded intro to this talk.)


Mark Williams

The Science of Mindfulness 

Professor Mark Williams heads up the Oxford Centre for Mindfulness - an international centre of excellence at Oxford University. 

This is the home of MBCT (Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy), which grew out of MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction), and was specifically developed to help people vulnerable to depression.

In this short YouTube clip, the second in a series of four short videos on mindfulness, he talks in a very accessible way about some of the science. (2011)

Mindfulness with

Jon Kabat-Zinn.

Some years ago, I had the immense good fortune and privilege of training with Jon Kabat-Zinn. If you key in 'mindfulness' together with his name on YouTube, you get over 44,000 results! Here, Jon leads a session on Mindfulness at Google (2007). Since that time, with his help, Google went on to develop the acclaimed Google mindfulness training program, Search Inside Yourself (SIY), which is now being taken into countries and corporations worldwide. 

Wherever You Go, There You Are, by Jon Kabat-Zinn (1994)   

A beautiful, accessible book for a first forage in to mindfulness practice. It provides brief and easy access to the essence of mindfulness meditation and its practical applications in everyday life.

"To allow ourselves to be truly in touch with where we already are, no matter what it is, we have got to pause in our experience long enough to let the present moment sink in; long enough to actually feel the present moment, to see it in is fullness, to hold it in awareness and thereby come to know and understand it better. Only then can we accept the truth of this moment of our life, learn from it, and move on. Instead, it often seems as if we are preoccupied with the past, with what has already happened, or with a future that hasn't arrived yet....."   Introduction

Mindfulness news

In the past 30 years, since Jon Kabat-Zinn pioneered the first Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program at the Massachusetts Medical Centre (its origins in ancient Buddhist  psychologies), mindfulness has moved from the margins to the mainstream. There's a wealth of rich resources available, and I'll be sharing some of them with you below.

Full Catastrophe Living, by Jon Kabat-Zinn (1990)

Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness.

This seminal work details the 8-week MBSR program at the Stress Reduction Clinic at the
Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society at University of Massachusetts
​Medical School. My cherished copy has seen so much use over the past 15 years, it's  falling

apart. Written with such heartfulness. Highly recommended. Reading it changed my life, literally.

(See About page.) Jon's impact on humanity by bringing mindfulness via MBSR (Mindfulness- 

Based Stress Reduction) into medicine, health care and society is huge worldwide, and can only

grow further over time. 

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Ruby Wax. "All In The Mind"

Interview with ABC, Radio National,  May 2013

Ruby Wax may be known to some, or many, from her comedy work over many years in the UK, including Ab Fab, and much more - her experience with severe depression, and advocacy for de-stigmatising mental illness may be less well known.
I'm grateful to a colleague for pointing this out to me. In recent years, Ruby came to learn about mindfulness, through an 8-week MBSR course in London, and then went on to complete a Masters in Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy at Oxford. She has recently been in Sydney, as part of Sydney Writers Festival, and is a great advocate for mindfulness practice - and de-mystifies the related neuroscience in her own uniquely  hilarious style. Also, she points out that mindfulness worked for her, but it may not suit everyone. She isn't zealous, just very open and honest.

Ruby did several interviews while in Australia, including this one here.

Healing and the Mind

Bill Moyers

This famous 42 minute overview of MBSR, which had a lot to do with the rapid growth in its uptake in the 90s, has been available on YouTube since 2011.
It was originally aired on PBS in 1993.

A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook

By Bob Stahl and Elisha Goldstein

This excellent educational and experiential workbook is for anyone living with stress, anxiety, pain, or illness. Weaving mindfulness into your everyday life not only helps to reduce stress and anxiety, it can also guide you to a life of greater self-compassion, health, wellbeing and peace. (Pub. 2010)

The authors emphasise that it isn't meant to be a substitute for taking the MBSR course itself, but that the workbook can be an avenue to greater peace and healing in your life. It comes with a CD containing all the formal mindfulness meditation practices. 

Peace Is Every Step

The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life

by Thich Nhat Hanh (1991)

Another deeply influential book, when starting out on the path of mindfulness a decade and a half ago. "Tangerine Meditation", "Washing Dishes", "Telephone Meditation" and "Driving Meditation" made a big impact, and still inform my life now.... This is a gem-laden, highly-accessible small book.  
"Driving is a daily task in this society. I am not suggesting that you stop driving, just that you do so consciously. While we are driving, we think only about arriving. Therefore, every time we see a red light, we are not happy. The red light is a kind of enemy that prevents us from attaining our goal. But we can also see the red light as a bell of mindfulness, reminding us to return to the present moment. The next time you see a red light, please smile at it, and bo back to your breathing." (from Driving Meditation)

You might like to test this out for yourself.

Heal Thyself

Lessons on Mindfulness in Medicine 

by Saki Santorelli (1999)

(Director, Centre for Mindfulness, Uni. of Massachusetts Medical School)

This beautiful, lyrical, often painfully direct book, withstands a second, even a third reading - and there's still more wisdom to be harvested...the chapter titles hint at the depth of this work - "Keep Looking At The Bandaged Place", "Going Down", "The Devil's Sooty Brother"...

Here's a short excerpt from Being Present (Week 1)

"DON'T TURN YOUR HEAD."

"This single sentence conveys an essential ingredient of mindfulness practice. The words simply ask us to be present. Looking deeply into whatever is before us, looking closely at that which we'd rather not. Nothing more.
In the interdependent domains of personal health and the health care professions, mindfulness - our capacity to pay attention, moment to moment, on purpose - is an immediately accessible ally. For those in pain, as well as those serving to alleviate it, such careful attentiveness is one of the most vital elements of the healing process. Health practitioners find themselves, on a daily basis, face to face with the "bandaged place". This tends to arrive in the guise of another. yet so often it seems as if all of those whom we call patients have concealed and brought with them, into our unknowing presence an empty mirror. Then, when we glimpse "their" torn and wounded places, we behold, quite unexpectedly, reflections of ourselves."

Jon Kabat-Zinn 

What is Mindfulness? 

A short clip where Jon defines mindfulness, from a talk Jon gave earlier this year (Jan 2013) for PsychAlive.

Mark Williams

Science of Mindfulness

(2012)

If your interest was peaked with the short clip above, here is a more in-depth discussion from Mark Williams about the science of mindfulness. Enjoy!

Mindfulness All Parliamentary Party launch, UK May 2014

Great 12 minutes here from the BBC.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01ylkmw

Meditation as Medicine:Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

Bob Stahl  

(Google Tech Talk, 2010)

I've been lucky enough to have attended trainings with Bob Stahl (Centre for Mindfulness, Massachusetts)

on a number of occasions. He is a remarkable teacher. Here in Australia, among the some MBSR community, he is known as 'a heart on legs'.  Enjoy.

"If you take care of each moment,

you will take care of all time.

There is only one time when it is essential to awaken.

That time is now."

Jack Kornfield

Saki Santorelli and Jon Kabat-Zinn

7-day Training Retreat,  MBSR in Mind-Body Medicine, Australia 2009

Zen and the art of keeping the NHS bill under control

Jon Kabat-Zinn is widely credited as the man who brought Zen Buddhism to the masses. Now he's bringing it to Downing Street

The Guardian, Monday 8 April, 2013

Last year, Jon Kabat-Zinn was invited to Downing St to advise Downing Street policy makers on how to reduce the UK's National Health Service ballooning costs. 

Read more... http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/apr/07/zen-buddhism-nhs