The Art of Teaching Mindfulness | Q&A with Jon Kabat-Zinn

The Art of Teaching Mindfulness | Q&A with Jon Kabat-Zinn

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

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Thank you I spent about 25 years in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition And two out of the three teachers I Studied with closely have been Incredibly accused of quite severe Sexual and financial misconduct so it's Heartbreaking and it raises the question Which of these deep profound teachings Are valid for me and which are tainted In a way they're all tainted because the People who taught me weren't sincere Fully but at the same time there's all This wisdom and profound Um Profound insights there do you have some Advice for that Well first I want to just resonate with The pain of it because it is basically a Betrayal The proximal betrayal is that you the Student or the people who put trust in The teachers were betrayed okay The bigger thing is that the Dharma Itself was being betrayed okay because The Cardinal principle is one of Optimizing uh What the Buddhists would refer to as the Wholesome and minimizing the unwholesome And predatory behavior of any kind However manipulative however dressed up In spiritual clothing or anything like That is really an act of violence Huge violence which completely

Contradicts the Dharma so I learned a Long time ago and thanks for sort of Bringing up what I said about learning From some of the teachers who were like You know uh Um as one of my Korean teachers said a Little no good you know Is like I'm I'm fairly disrespectful of The human beings you know I like I have A big you know don't know But not of the Dharma See I've put the Dharma to the test in My own life and I continue to do it and It continues to be you know sort of Valid and valuable so the shorthand is Trust the teachings and put them to the Test in the laboratory of her own life And the teachers Don't venerate them Or notice the impulse to venerate them And even investigate that it's like Where does that come from in you okay Because everybody wants to be favored by The teacher and to be seen and met and You see and and a a teacher ethical Teacher will reflect that back to the Student and it would be like really Grist for the mill and you grow by Recognizing how much you want to be Recognized by the other why because in Some sense you're not recognizing Yourself So this is again you know It's it's perfect in the sense because

We can't control the whole universe even The spiritual teachers I mean it's not Like your teachers invented that it's Been going on forever and yet there's Also this current of deep authentic Selfless transmission And it's in the teachings themselves and The teachings themselves not in some Museum they are in a kind of ongoing Flourishing laboratory so they're Changing over time but the question is While the teachings themselves may Change in form the Dharma the wisdom Element is in some sense timeless And we have to find a way to be in that You know sort of paradoxical situation Of again In time and growing and out of time and Completely whole already and then your Beauty shines through it really is a Love affair but it's not narcissistic or More for me and thank you for asking That question it's like a really Important yeah Here pass Thank you John for your uh authenticity Um How do you operationalize the practice Of mindfulness in in my life I I Practice an instrument I practice at Sports and I've been giving a great deal Of thought in the practice of Mindfulness As letting go of the idea that I'm

Actually practicing anything and just Being in my life so that mindfulness Isn't something that I do in a practice But it's who I am yeah you've just said It You answered your own question now now Which we often do now just believe it You know or or test it because life is Actually the practice And yet it's important to have thoughts About the practice because you know We're continually stretching the Envelope we're evolving but you know Those of us here who are like I'm going To be on the stage this afternoon with My old friend Stephen Mitchell and we Called it old Dharma Brothers okay Underscore the old part you know Um Before you know it you're going to be Over 70. At least that was my experience You'll still feel like you're 20 or 5 or Something like that but you won't be and People will begin to sort of treat you Differently Seriously uh from the inside it's like You've been practicing your whole life And And really it's like Am I there yet And It's really interesting to ask that Question once it's over because you know

Uh in the process you always think that There's a destination but then at Certain point you begin to realize that There is no there It's like am I here And there's no then and now So that way you can save yourself Decades By just getting out of your own way and Trusting that the world is your Dharma Teacher and the more you're really Listening The more you don't have to actually be Concerned about The deepening the deepening is going to Do you And it will do you in unique ways Because of what you love you might be Drawn to this or you might be drawn to That I mean one of my particular sort of Teachers I mean you know is a collection Of people who died over 1500 years ago The Tang Dynasty Chan Masters and I mean Their teaching is available you know uh And it's phenomenal but people draw on The larger Dharma tradition in many many Different ways yoga is an incredibly Powerful practice I mean yoga is a deep And very big and important part of mbsr Why it's a different door they're an Infinite number of doors same room Okay do a first approximation same room And the world really is requiring you to Do this ethically responsibly

And lovingly By letting go of doing anything And I know it sounds weird But in my experience It's trustable trustworthy


  • 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.