05/21/2014 08:42 am ET Updated May 21, 2014

What Our Recent Obsession With Mindfulness Really Means


If you've been paying attention in the last few years, you've likely seen the word mindfulness pop up more frequently, especially in business media. We've certainly mentioned it a lot.

Simply put, mindfulness is about living in the moment. The concept has roots in Buddhism and other Eastern philosophies, but is much more complicated than just meditation. The way that we talk about mindfulness in the present day has become something its originators might not recognize.

While the true notion of mindfulness started centuries ago, the Western mindfulness movement gained a bare-foothold at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and Jon Kabat-Zinn’s founding of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society in 1979. Since then--and recently, especially--it’s move from sunny kumbaya hillsides to office spaces.

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