Meditation on the State of the World | Jon Kabat Zinn

Meditation on the State of the World | Jon Kabat Zinn

A meditation with Jon Kabat-Zinn live on Zoom hosted by Wisdom 2.0

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Foreign So hi everybody and if if John if I Could actually see have a camera yeah Where I can see people now I can at Least see some of you so let's take a Moment and if you have stuff on your lap Uh why don't you put it on the floor And how nice that you're all together in A room I had this experience as I said Uh early in the week when I was leading A retreat at 1440 with the with my son Will And uh for the first time in two years Out in a group and and so I'm very well Aware that many of you You know may not have been so close to People that uh that you don't know I Mean that aren't part of your you know Sort of tight Circle Uh for two years So let's take a moment to actually Drop in on ourselves And often we can Um Fine-tune that experience by Establishing yourself in a sitting Posture that's In some sense embodies wakefulness and Dignity and certainly reminds you of why You signed up for this in the first Place whether you're here in this room In San Francisco or whether you're in Your own space anywhere in the world So just um

Seeing if you can Sit in a posture that embodies Everything that is bringing you here The Deep motivation To connect with others to connect with Yourself And as Soren was uh pointing out I mean There really is no other time In which to recognize The opportunity for connection because We're only alive in In This Moment And if we miss this one Then it it doesn't bode well for the Next one because we get into the habit Of zoning Along on autopilot and taking Lots of stuff for granted Including just the miracle of your own Body sitting here breathing now And so just dropping into Silence Inside and in between and underneath my Words And just putting out the welcome mat for The entire universe of Sensations in the Body as it's as you're sitting here Contact of the legs with the uh seat of The chair and perhaps with the back of The chair If you're leaning back I encourage you not to lean back on on Those chairs but in some some sense be More self-supporting So that the spine elevates out of the Pelvis and

The head is carried on the neck and Shoulders in such a way that it it Really is to some degree Autonomous And experiencing grounding yourself in The actuality of the sensations Associated with uh What we call breathing Where we're actually drinking in the air Around the body And releasing it And thereby sustaining Our Lives Moment By moment And we're not actually doing it we do it In our sleep So when we say I'm breathing There's a little bit of a problem with That statement Because We don't know who the I is that's Claiming to be breathing when it's Obvious that if it were up to you to be Breathing given how Among other things you're how distracted You are You would have died a long time ago Because Our capacity for attending is so Unreliable and so underdeveloped So In This Moment actually in Awareness Even marveling Delighting in the fact that We are being breathed so to speak And we have this moment wherever we are

On the planet In which to be fully at home In Our body And thus fully at home And fully awake if you will In the world In the midst of all the Sorrow anguish violence hatred Terminal delusion and confusion Amplified by social media and uh insane Levels of political uh machinations Cynical machinations And we're bathing in that as much as We're bathing in the air in the room We're in And awareness can hold it all with Equanimity In This Moment So the gesture of Mindfulness Of meditative awareness Is really not Passive by any stretch of The imagination Although from the outside it looks like There's uh nothing much happening Maybe you can feel that Just In following my words and The silence underneath them into your Own heart that uh It's a little bit like tuning an Instrument So that when it's time to play It plays with a certain kind of fidelity

In this case to your true nature what You most love What you must care for and what you know In the deepest of ways in your heart That go far beyond mere conceptual and Cognitive knowing And this is in some sense uh Accessing a a true superpower that all Of us humans already have don't need to Acquire but the access often gets Overgrown with thorns and brambles And I'm talking about awareness pure Awareness And so when we drop in like this to the Domain of being Whether you call it meditation or Mindfulness or just sitting or you know Any of the Languaging that's used to Invite and describe meditative awareness What we're really doing is reclaiming This superpower Birthright of ours Foreign I'm using the word superpower by you Know inspired by Greta tornberg Who uses that term to describe her own Challenges with uh Autism spectrum And how evidently she makes use of what Many people would consider a deficit To actually Transcend all limitations With a Clarity and ferocity that is

Truly selfless and Right on target And She would be the first to say she's no Different from any of us In any fundamental way so Maybe by breathing in we can Actually inspire on the in-breath Inspiration Before the expiration Inspire ourselves to Tap into what's deepest and best the Most beautiful and most creative and Most imaginative and most embodied in Ourselves and I'm guessing That your motivation to show up either Uh Either Digitally or in the room itself Add this wisdom to point out conference Is a kind of Um Signature Of a certain kind of love that you have Or an intuition of a love that might be Possible and embodied and Enacted When we can in fact Take up residency in our own awareness As a kind of default mode of The flourishing of our humanness in the Only moment we ever have which is called This one A lot of words

But the invitation here is to Drop in to where the words are pointing In your own heart In your own bones in your own Flesh And become intimate and at home with Stillness and silence With what I often call the domain of Being Because when we can learn to take up Residency in the domain of being and in Uh Are the nature of our Being as Capable of Inhabiting awareness in this way Then the kind of doing that comes out of These moments of being Is an entirely different kind of doing And it's just what the world In its suffering and its delusion and Its greed in it in its hatred is Starving for Absolutely starving for no even dying For And we are witnessing it A bit large and horrific in Ukraine But also in so many other domains in our Own worlds And in our own countries and in our own Hearts even Because we too when you come right down To it unless we train the mind in some Way to become more transparent to these

Forces are also subject to uh Self-centeredness to believing Uh that we are special and othering Others that don't look or talk or Have the same values that we might have Which is itself a form of Violence Aggression And when we learned to let our doing Come out of this domain of open-hearted Heartfulness mindfulness awareness it's An entirely different doing When it comes out of Being in this way And it's exactly what the world is Starving for In This Moment So I think now in Awareness anchored in the envelope of The skin and the body sitting here we're Standing we're lying down or whatever Posture you happen to be in And befriending wakefulness Stillness Silence And the hearts intrinsic Tibaciousness That we sometimes call Compassion The kind of Impulse to connect with others that Especially who are suffering in a Particular moment Which is where any kindness that I

Actually ever emerges In our lives is coming from if you Become aware of those impulses They're everywhere So there's no improving on the human Heart You are not as self-centered and selfish Person But if you believe certain narratives That move through your mind of course Then you may actually fall into those Kind of ruts habits That are really habits of synambulance And unconsciousness and semi-automatic Kind of uh zoning Along on autopilot Reacting to stressful conditions rather Than responding mindfully Reacting mindlessly And often generating unwitting or Witting harm in the process to yourself As well as others So in the remaining moments of this uh Extended guided meditation just Again bathing in the silence that's Underneath My words and your thoughts That transcends the room that we're in Which is of course as big as the planet Earth And noticing how easily we can get Caught up in Thoughts in the thought stream And when you notice that your mind is no Longer in your body or with your

Breathing or just resting in the Boundless spaciousness of awareness Itself That noticing is also part of the Awareness function so you're already Back and you don't have to blame Yourself or criticize yourself or push Anything away or pursue anything It's all At your disposal Right In This Moment Without Becoming imprisoned by our own Emotional reactivity and endless Thoughts dreams And attachment To those in naughty personal pronouns I Me and my Or us and them for that matter And awareness can liberate us from that Just like When a finger touches a soap bubble It self-liberates it just goes poof That's how Vulnerable are Attachment to our thoughts and emotions Really is it's like Virtually Empty of any essential Validity When we tap into the wisdom of your own Awareness that as I've been saying you Don't have to acquire because you were Born with this one Access to it that we need to cultivate

And that's why meditation is a way of Being it's a practice every moment has Its own validity Can we let it become our default mode so To speak the default the mind fullness And compassion and kindness Especially when the proverbial stuff is Hitting the proverbial fan in the world And in our lives And then let our doing as I said Come out of this The Moment by moment Um Now when you're ready I would invite you To uh if your eyes have been closed as I See many of your eyes have been closed But you don't need to meditate formally With your eyes closed but when you care To mindfully Becoming aware of your eyes opening And drinking in whatever is in front of You And feeling even Whatever's behind you and on either side Of you without even turning your head or Moving your eyes And sensing that while your whole Sitting here in your chair you're also Part of a much larger wholeness Because you've all shown up in either That room or the bigger room of the Digital Universe

And we're all here together In every single one of us counts And I'm not ringing any bells I don't notice I didn't ring any bells And say okay it is the beginning of the Meditation practice And okay this is the end of the Meditation practice because There's no beginning and there's no end To real meditation practice it's your Life If we're not awake in our lives then We're zoning through on autopilot half Asleep half awake lost in thought Embroiled with Reactions emotional reactions of one Kind or another and um Underscore the Lost part And if the world really does need all Its flowers and every single one of us Is uh flourishing and a flowering of an Insanely An insane Beauty that's intrinsic to Each one of us so that every flower is Somewhat different but the world needs All of us then it's important to ask and I'm kind of guessing that maybe that's What brought you to wisdom 2.0 in large Measure is like to meet other flowers And also to let them reflect back to you What kind of flower you really are And how you can uniquely contribute and Also collaborate with all of the rest of Humanity in doing the one thing that may

Be yours to do that no one else on the Planet will quite configure in the way You could contribute And I think that's our karmic assignment As you as a species at the moment Because if you were to diagnose what's Going on on planet Earth you take a Stethoscope to it that actually measures Either global warming or what's going on With the polar ice caps or what's going On with the glaciers and the water Supply for you know a third of uh the World's population or The uh obscenity of what one country can Do to a neighboring country with it Basically brothers and sisters and even Speak pretty much the same language and Then to Cause the rest of the world to actually Uh be in a condition of moral hazard and Compromise because we see it on our Screens Moment by moment Death and destruction are unimaginable Uh levels for no reason except fantasies In the minds of a few people narratives About uh Russia's grievances or Empire or lost Opportunity or whatever it is and and This is kind of disease That medicine knows a lot about we've Pract been practicing well some people Call mind-body medicine for 40 50 years And cultivating as Soren was saying you Know especially around mindfulness huge

And very rapidly in fact exponentially Growing body of scientific evidence that This is actually transforms every aspect Of us including our genome and its Expression and our brain and potentially Our even our cellular longevity By practicing what looks a whole lot if Somebody was watching you in the room They're a whole lot like nothing people Come in and say wow it's like I don't Know how many people are in your room There but they said they're not doing Anything they're just sitting there And it turns out that non-doing is very Different from doing nothing And it is actually transformative on Every level of our humanity and we've Hardly spent the surface of what that Even means but at this particular moment In time if you were to diagnose The disease of planet Earth it would be The autoimmune disease of homo sapiens Sapiens the species that's supposed to Know itself from the verb separi which Means the taster to know To with a species that is aware and is Aware that it's aware not thought and Meta awareness awareness not thought and Metacognition but awareness and meta Awareness So I Um really urge you to Um throw yourself into this conference Like A Love Affair

Uh whether you're wearing a mask or You're not and whether you're concerned About the social distance and I get it Because I was just doing it myself early In the week first time I've been out in Two years Uh so and if you read the papers like we Don't know where we are in relationship To covet so there's all sorts of Indicators that we need to be really Really really present and attentive and Not caught up in fear narratives or Idiotic hope narratives either but in Some science some sense find the kind of Appropriate way to continually diagnose At the micro level and at the global Level How we can contribute to tipping things In the direction of well-being And Peace And Out from all the other ring and the Hatred and the greed and the delusion That's driving uh incredible levels of Violence that manifest as you know Global warming and murder On a colossal scale at a time when you Know that was thought that we're As Humanity supposed to be inching away From that


  • James Quinto

    James is a content creator who works in the personal development niche. Quinto James

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About the Author: James Quinto

James is a content creator who works in the personal development niche.