The True Motivation with Jon Kabat-Zinn

The True Motivation with Jon Kabat-Zinn

Subscribe to Wisdom 2.0 here:

Learn more at:


Thank you Well it's Really sweet to be here and really sweet To see those of you I can see when I Shield my eyes like this I can see all The way to the back of the room and it's Very very impressive I don't know if Captured in your own mind how many People are in this room But it is staggering and we've already Seen from the people who are presenting Who've been presenting since it started That This is A kind of deep encounter with our own Humanity and how many different ways There are to actually articulate it and To articulate it so that it's not just Talk but it it goes in some sense Straight Into the Heart And Um you know I just want to recognize That my my colleague Sharon salzberg and Uh roshi Joan Halifax are here sitting In the audience and and probably many Other really uh pioneering Dharma Teachers meditation teachers who are uh Transforming the world and I feel like Any number of you could be up here uh in This position at the moment with the Assignment that I've been given which is Do whatever you want basically because If you look up on your program it says I'm going to give a talk and then if you

Look on some other program it says I'm Going to do a guided meditation and I Don't know what I was told actually so I'm just permanently confused which Doesn't necessarily have to be a problem Because let's say you are confused at a Particular moment has anyone else Experienced confusion ever in your life So but how do you know you're confused Who knows that you're confused And who actually uh Is is driving the bus you know I mean if If there's the knowing of confusion then There's the potential to be in a wiser Maybe even a wiser 2.0 version of uh the Awareness of the mental state of Confusion and how it Expresses in the Body and then all of a sudden You have freedom you have degrees of Freedom to navigate your own like not Knowing or your own you know discomfort And that's the whole point That it's not like everything else you Know if you're on the learning curve of Like becoming of this or becoming of That uh that you have to work hard and Make it happen and then you'll finally Get to some place and if you bring that Meditative that perspective to Meditation practice You're already dead as they would say in Some traditions It's not that there isn't growth is There's not that there isn't development

Along the meditative trajectory through Practice But it's not merely instrumental there's A non-instrumental element to it and This is really hard for us to take in For us to digest for us to believe Because we usually feel like there's Something wrong with us and if only we Could get it tuned if we could fine-tune It enough then we'd be okay And maybe you've come here to find the Secret to the fine-tuning so that you Would be okay And the non-instrumental piece of Mindfulness or wisdom practices of any Kind is that you're already okay And maybe again that thing about who Knows who's confused or who knows who's Anxious or who knows who's uh Angry Maybe there's a whole universe sitting Inside there that we just haven't ever Figured out how to inhabit so we're Caught in so our own impulses we're Caught in our own believing of our Thought processes and our emotions and You know we say I'm angry but we don't Know who's using the personal pronoun And if you start to inquire like who is Meditating who is breathing You know it's fairly obvious You know we say well I'm breathing you Know of course I'm breathing and I like To joke that well that's true in a Conventional sense but let's face it if

It were up to you to be breathing you Would have died a long time ago whoops Forgot you know the Dead So the powers that be however you want To frame them don't let you anywhere Near the actual uh brain stem Functioning for breathing cardiac Function liver function anything else Like you whoever you think you are with Your liver and your brainstem and so Forth you're not allowed anywhere near That Because who you think you are and who You really are Are like infinitesimally close And also Potentially infinitely far apart And there's an enormous amount of Suffering in the distance And so what meditation really is at Least the way we teach it in what's Called mindfulness-based stress Reduction and that is really an attempt To bring deep wisdom from many many Different Traditions but mindfulness is Often spoken of as the heart of Buddhist Meditation and there can be lots of Disputes about whether my Deaf working definition operational Definition of mindfulness is orthodox or Not or if it's a renegade definition or If it's going to set the world in Buddhism back 3000 years or whatever but The fact of the matter is that uh

When we get into excuse me when we get In touch With what's deepest and best the most Beautiful in ourselves already then we Don't actually have to get anywhere else And in the heart Sutra which is you know What the fundamental teaching of the Maha Mahayana Buddhist Traditions the Zen Traditions Chan in China and Zen in in Japan and song in Korea The Core teaching is that there's no Place to go nothing to do and nothing to Attain Now that doesn't mean that there's Nothing to attain I mean there's like a Huge Paradox here but if you're trying To attain something if you're using the Instrumental to without the Non-instrumental the knowing that it's Already here That you're already whole that they're Literally and metaphorically is no place To go nothing to do and nothing to Attain because Whatever you think you're looking for as I think Saint Francis said is who's Looking And so it's like this beautiful mystery And we saw it in the photographs and we Saw it in the the place from which the Comments the the talk so far in this Stage has come Whether it's from the president of the

Country torn apart by genocide or Whether it's a photographer who's Traveled around the world or whether It's from a little girl with a lemonade Stand There's no one catechism And yet we're always secretly looking For the catechism or my catechism is Better than your catechism or something Like that so again I was told not to Give a talk but to do a guided Meditation so I'm doing a this is a Guided meditation you know Because you know how the the T-shirt Sometimes says I have one of these I Don't wear these kinds of t-shirts but It says meditation it's not what you Think And it is So my suggestion is that we actually Drop in Okay a lot of talk about presence a lot Of talk about silence in fact there Could be so much talk about presence and Talk about silence that we won't have Any And the kind of Silence that's true Silence of course Doesn't necessarily mean that we can't Speak Okay it's a deep inner Listening in interior silence that's Never not here In the same way as the heart is never

Not beating in the same way as the eyes Are never not working in the same way as Your liver is you know sort of Generating so many different enzymatic Reactions per second to keep your whole Physiology and if you you know A famous molecular biologist once said I'd rather be at the controls of a 747 Trying to land without any training and Being a pilot then at the controls of my Liver for 30 seconds so we take an Enormous amount for granted about our Own Deep Beauty and when the Buddhists Talk about true nature or Buddha nature Duality of it but when we're lost in Thought Underline the Lost So it's not that there's anything wrong With thought but there's this whole Other element Of human human Experience potential and it's simple you Already have it it's called awareness It's not it's like so camouflaged it's Out in the open it's like awareness Mindfulness to First approximation it's Awareness If you think your mindfulness and you're Not hearing heartfulness in every Asian Language the words for mind and heart Are the same so we're not talking about Some cold clinical You know Um cognitive task we're talking about

Some profound aspect of our being that's Already available to us so let's Actually learn how to A lot of talk about resting you know of Finding some place where we can be calm Or you know where our brains can settle Or blah blah blah about this or that Which is all beautiful and I do it I Mean I'm a scientist and I love that Stuff but the fact of the matter is That when all is said and done We shouldn't be doing this for our Brains And not necessarily even so that we will Age gracefully I would say that the motivation for Doing this is to not miss your life And you only have You only have The conceit as well We've got a long time I've got nine Minutes and 36 seconds and counting but The fact of the matter is that you know When push comes to shove we only have This moment If we miss this moment to moment of life If you miss The look in your children's eyes or your Grandchildren's eyes or the opportunity To put down the newspaper and Be awake for this moment even though It's not the best moment your mind tells You it could be better if blah blah blah No this is the best moment of your life

It's a Wonderful Chinese poem by Wu men That goes if your mind is not clouded by Unnecessarily unnecessary things This Is the best moment of your life So let's actually Enjoy it okay and I will sit down Although you could do this standing on Your head you could do this flying Through the air I mean it's a non-doing And doesn't have to do with posture so Much it has to do with relationality With your relationship to the entirety The multi-dimensional Potentially infinite dimension of Human life And everything is inside of it gratitude Is inside of it loving kindness inside Of it compassion isn't there's nothing Missing so you don't have to stick Anything in You just actually be who you already are And let that just be good enough for now Of course the mind will say that's not Good enough but I'll get better as the Meditation goes on or whatever that but Uh you know the more you see that just As a thought and Let It Go come and go As it was said just now is A weather pattern in the mind the clouds In the sky so let's just uh see if we Can drop Into this moment If you want to assume a dignified

Posture that embodies wakefulness and Dignity Even at the end of a long day maybe a Lot of you travel from very far maybe Some of you are jet-like still it's this Moment Presumably the breath is moving in and Out of your body if there's anybody Who's having trouble with that one Please see me afterwards And let's see if we can just Be here And rest in an awareness that Doesn't shut anything out inwardly or Outwardly Sensations in the body including breath Sensations We just ride on the waves Or sounds or thoughts Or any kind of emotional currents Putting the welcome mat out for Absolutely everything That you're carrying which is the root Meaning of the word to suffer everything That you're carrying you can just put The welcome mat out And rest and There's the being the knowing Of whatever's arising lingering passing Without judging it without pushing it Away without preferring or noticing how Much you judge and prefer or push away And just Continually coming back to

This moment just as it is held in this Embrace if you will I would say loving Embrace Of Life unfolding Moment by moment In your own awareness And awareness can sometimes a synonym Synonym for silence In inner silence Sometimes an outer silence So a silence beneath my words In between my words Beneath your thoughts In between your thoughts Justice Justice Now for those of you who are new to Formal meditation practice And people have said it on the stage it Doesn't take very long before you Realize maybe for the first time in a Long time or ever that your mind has a Life of its own and You may want silence or Stillness but It feels anything but silent or still or Calm or happy inside and The message is that's okay Awareness can hold it all Things as they are Pleasant unpleasant Neither Pleasant nor unpleasant neutral Boring Anxious Off all inspiring And just allowing the

It all to just come and go in the Embrace of your own Awareness Moment by Moment by moment And Breath by Breath by breath as if You're very life dependent on it Which it of course does You would not have come to this Conference if you didn't already know That And it depends on it in more more ways Than you think And it depends on it in more ways than We can think That's why we need wisdom 1.0 2.0 3.0 Foreign Now if your eyes have been closed Mindfully while you maintain moment to Moment Awareness seeing if you can just allow Your eyes to open and just drink in Whatever's coming through the eyes There's just one part of the entire uh World of the senses And just maintaining a seamless Continuity In the awareness thing And whether you there's nobody in front Of you or there are many many people Around you and before you seeing if you Can now allow your awareness and your Heartfulness too in some sense include Not just your own

Field of awareness but a sense of Everybody else included in Our Collective intentionality to not Only be present but the actual present Thing Are showing up in this moment Together Because we are not isolated Mo nods and And we all share in a certain common Aspiration Or we would not be here And so as the conference unfolds Please remember keep in mind whether you Know this or not always Bears reminding Ourselves that the real meditation Practice isn't sitting like a statue of A Buddha in the British museum or Standing on your head or some elaborate Pretzel pose the real meditation Practice is how we live our lives from Moment to moment And there's never a Time So perhaps from deep as except for for Perhaps deep sleep where we can't Bring awareness to the Domain of whatever it is that's going on And with all the doing that we're doing Wrap the doing and being And it will modulate and modify the Doing as per what has been Already shown by the science And guide us in an ongoing cultivation Of certain kinds of muscles that we very Often didn't even know we were born with

And bring us back to the full Dimensionality of what it means to be Human maybe for the first time And the realization And the embodiment and actualization of That in how we actually conduct Ourselves and this conference Is a perfect place A perfect laboratory for us to do that In relationship with each other Moment by Moment by moment Breath by Breath by breath Mind Moment by mind moment as we get Distracted and then whatever I noticed That by the clock I'm getting more time As I speak which is really beautiful I Think I've bottomed out at zero and now I'm coming up on the other direction and I'm just getting warmed up so uh I think That means that if I don't end this Quickly some Hook is going to come out And drag me off the stage so I just want To say that Ordinarily at the end of a meditation we Could bring ring some bells or hit a Gong or a Clapper or whatever but in the Spirit of the meditation never ending Thank you Let's take a moment and just look around Just look around stand up look around Connect I mean just sort of drink in the Beauty of each other I mean with the Photographs on on the on the screen yes All of those people are incredibly

Beautiful the people in this room There's no person in this room that's Not as beautiful as any of the most Beautiful people on those slides So thank you folks

Recommended For You

About the Author: James Quinto

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