In Challenging Times

Jon Kabat-Zinn, longtime mindfulness teacher and writer, is honest. He doesn't pretend that mindfulness is easy. In this way, he makes mindfulness easier. He helps us trust ourselves just as we are at this time. Be ready. He writes in longer sentences than I do.

When facing challenges, Kabat-Zin says, "you can learn to get in touch with and draw upon your deep interior resources for physiological relaxation and calmness.... In doing so, you also learn that it is possible to trust a stable inner core within yourself that is reliable, dependable, and unwavering."

How can this happen? By bringing our attention gently to our bodies, and accepting the sensations we find there.

As Kabat-Zinn writes, "Gradually the tension in your body and the worry and anxiety in your mind become less intrusive and lose some of their force. While the surface of your mind can still be choppy and agitated at times, like the surface of the ocean, you can learn to accept the mind being that way and at the same time, experience an underlying inner peace in a domain that is always right here."

He concludes: "This is what we have been calling the domain of being. Through ongoing practice, you learn to rest in the depths of awareness itself, fully awake, grounded in non-doing and non-striving. You also learn, through ongoing practice, to act with clarity and purpose (when it is appropriate to take action) out of this ground of awareness, as the fully integrated human being you already are and always have been."


All quotes are from Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness, p.442, by John Kabat-Zinn.