In our fast-paced, stressed-out, keep-it-moving culture, many people have chosen to slow down and embrace the concept of mindfulness. The ancient practice is becoming a growing movement due to its long list of physical and mental health benefits, though the idea can be intimidating to those who aren't familiar with the Eastern philosophy.
Scientist and author Jon Kabat-Zinn, who has studied mindfulness and meditation for 35 years, says the act of being mindful isn't a mystifying or religious experience -- it is simply the practice of being aware of the present moment. Mindfulness means paying attention to the situation you are currently in, rather than letting your mind wander into the past or future.
"It's a gateway into the full dimensionality of being human and being alive," Kabat-Zinn tells Oprah in the above clip from his upcoming "Super Soul Sunday" interview.
"Oh, I love that," Oprah says. "And without it, you're just missing out."
Kabat-Zinn agrees -- when you're not mindful, you miss meaningful things. "If you miss the look in your child's eye one day, you've missed it. If you've missed the look in your lover's eyes the next day, you've missed that. If you miss the beauty of sitting under trees, well, you've missed that. If you sum that over many moments, many years, you may wind up missing the most beautiful aspects of your own life," he says.
We may have a number of excuses, but Kabat-Zinn says it's up to us to make the effort. "Who are you going to blame for that? I was too busy? Well, who was too busy? Who tells oneself I don't have any time? When all you've got is time. All you've got is this moment," he says.
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