It was during a meditation retreat thirty-five years ago that Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Full Catastrophe Living, Wherever You Go, There You Are, and other books had a vision that shaped his life's work. This meditative insight, a mere ten seconds long, led to the creation of an entire clinical program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center which came to be known as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, also known as MBSR. This powerful program takes the form of an eight-week course, which utilizes the ancient practices of yoga and meditation in order to improve the quality of one's life and health. Dr. Kabat-Zinn has spoken to sold out audiences around the world about the power of the present moment and how to access it using MBSR amidst the seeming chaos of our daily lives.
I loved how physically demanding the hour was, but I missed the philosophical aspects of yoga. Somehow it felt incomplete. When there were small bits of chanting in Sanskrit introduced, I wondered whether the students or the teachers really understood what the chants meant or why they were doing them.