Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness Insights

Jon Kabat-Zinn is one of the founders of the modern Mindfulness Movement in the West. We’re proud to feature his story and his insights in our film which is available here worldwide with subtitles in many languages (plus 4 free resource videos).

Bringing mindfulness into the mainstream:

Jon first had his idea to bring secular mindfulness into mainstream society in the late 1970s. He decided to strip away the spiritual traditions associated with the practice and try to help chronic pain patients at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center where he was working as a researcher. He was savvy enough to know that he needed to change the way he referred to the practice, which is why he called his facility the Stress Reduction Clinic.

As he says in the film, when he helped people bring present moment awareness into their lives they experienced remarkable improvements in their physical and mental health. One of his key insights is, “mindfulness is not about exchanging this moment for some better moment.” For example, the chronic pain patients couldn’t make their pain disappear, but with Jon’s help they were able to change their relationship to the pain and reduce their suffering by developing more awareness of their present moment experiences and their reactions to those experiences. So they learned to notice the pain without judgment and then focus on another aspect of their lives.

An ethical practice:

According to Jon, practicing mindfulness has to be, at its core, an ethical practice. As the Movement grows and is practiced by more people and incorporated into a wider variety of businesses and institutions, Jon feels it’s essential to make sure it’s being used for the right purposes, especially to relieve suffering. As he says, “How would you even know if you’re doing harm unless you’re aware, unless you’re awake, unless you’re mindful of your impulses to control? You’re engaging in the meditation practice for the sake of, as they say, ‘all beings.'”

Jon shares many other insights in the film but we’ll leave you with just one more for now: “There is no moment that’s not a wonderful moment for mindfulness.” So simple. So true.

For more information, inspiring stories of personal transformation and examples of mindfulness helping people of all ages and backgrounds, check out our movie here. It’s already been seen in 90+ countries.

Read more here about what mindfulness is & how it’s different than meditation.

See our curated list of books by Jon Kabat-Zinn and other experts in the film — U.S. orders

Please note: the producers of The Mindfulness Movement may receive an affiliate commission from books purchased through the link above. is a non-profit that supports independent bookstores.