Join meditation teachers Will Kabat-Zinn and Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, for a daylong deep dive into the cultivation of mindfulness.
We will make use of the circumstances we find ourselves in to develop and/or deepen a robust and at the same time very simple and practical mindfulness meditation practice capable of supporting us in the face of the full catastrophe of these tumultuous times in which we find ourselves.
The schedule is designed to support you across the span of an entire day in taking up Blaise Pascal’s assertion that all of our human problems stem from our inability to sit quietly in a room by ourselves. As a consequence, we are all too easily imprisoned by our own mind—and its thoughts and emotions—rather than liberated from it so our multiple intelligences can serve us optimally.
This retreat is offered as an opportunity to experiment with learning how to sit quietly with you own mind and perhaps touch a new dimension of inner freedom that both includes and transcends time and space.
Depending on your circumstances on October 25, the invitation is to let all your waking hours be taken up with the meditation practice—both formally and informally. The informal dimension of mindfulness is particularly relevant if you are unable to devote the entire day to the formal meditation practices that we will engage in, along with dialogue/inquiry, during the three online sessions.
The spirit of this day of practice is to let everything that arises become the meditative curriculum of the moment, whether you have to engage with family, work obligations, or other activities. In this way, life and mindfulness are seen and embraced as one seamless whole.
When we understand and meet the meditation practice in this way, the entire day and whatever arises within it become “the curriculum” of the retreat, and thus an intimate element of the meditation practice.
Engaged in with this overriding intention, our six hours together online can serve as a practical and reliable laboratory for investigating how to more effectively navigate the very real ups and downs we are facing every day by virtue of being alive. We will refine our capacity to respond more mindfully to those circumstances and challenges rather than react out of fear or anger or exhaustion. While reactions to stress are inevitable and understandable to some degree, when they dominate our everyday lives, it is tantamount to us losing our minds just when we most need them.
Through the cultivation of mindfulness as a practice and a way of being, we can encourage our minds and hearts (and bodies) to function more effectively for our own benefit and that of our families, our work, our communities, our countries, and our one world.
One powerful element of this online retreat will be an intimate sense of engagement with a highly motivated global community. Exchanges between Will, Jon, and retreat participants during periods of dialogue and inquiry will enhance the experience of our interconnectedness and help us focus on real-life approaches to potentially maddening dilemmas, social contradictions, structural injustices, and very real personal and family challenges.
Will Kabat-Zinn is a meditation teacher whose passion is to help everyone awaken to their deepest nature. He is a long-time member of the Spirit Rock Teachers' Council. He teaches meditation seminars and retreats in the U.S. and around the world, including to neuroscientists studying the effects of meditation on the brain, legal professionals, incarcerated youth, and leaders in business and technology. He also holds a master's degree in Counseling from the California Institute of Integral Studies and is a lecturer at the Haas School of Business at the University of Berkeley.
Jon Kabat-Zinn is a world-renowned scientist, writer and meditation teacher known for introducing mindfulness practices into the medical, health and social mainstream, particularly through the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program he has developed since 1979. Between 1979 and 2002 he has dedicated his research on the mind/body interaction in various clinical applications including chronic pain and stress-related diseases; on the effects of MBSR on the brain, emotional processing and the immune system; on the effects of MBSR in cancer patients; also in other contexts where stress can be encountered such as prisons and the corporate world.
He is Professor Emeritus of the Masschusetts School of Medicine where he founded the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society in 1995. He served for several years on the committee of the Mind and Life Institute, a group of Western scientists around the Dalai Lama, which promotes a greater understanding of the nature of mind, emotions and reality.
Jon is also the author of a dozen books translated into more than 40 languages.