Meditation: Aware of present moment (South Bend Tribune, Indiana)

Diane Evans: Review of “Wherever You Go, There You Are,” by Jon Kabat-Zinn.

The idea of uncluttering our minds transcends faiths and cultures. Teachings about meditation can be found in any age, whether in religion or world literature.

In his book “Wherever You Are There You Go,” Jon Kabat-Zinn described meditation as “the systematic cultivation of wakefulness, of present-moment awareness.” It means we pay attention, on purpose, in the here and now, without passing judgment on anything.

Meditation is a path of self-development. It can mean different things to different people. Some may hope to connect to a higher spirit. Others may seek a sense of harmony and oneness with the universe.

There is no single way to meditate, and you don’t have to chant.

Kabat-Zinn, who founded the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, said in his book that the idea is just to stop and be present in the moment.

On the question of posture, it’s whatever works for you. It is common to sit. But you may also stand, walk or lie down.

In his book, Kabat-Zinn offered a wonderful description of what mountains teach us about meditation.

“The mountain just sits, being itself,” he wrote. All around, there may be violent storms. Still the mountain sits. Or it may be spring when birds sing and flowers bloom. Still the mountain sits. The mountain is unmoved by what happens on the surface and around it.

Similarly, we experience ups and downs in our own lives.

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