27 Mind Blowing Jon Kabat-Zinn Quotes

Jon Kabat-Zinn is a Professor of Medicine and founder of the Stress Reduction Clinic. Having spent the duration of his career studying how individuals cope with illness, stress, and anxiety, Dr. Kabat-Zinn is known for his bestselling books stress reduction program adapted by hospitals and health maintenance organizations alike. Here is a look at some of the most notable Jon Kabat-Zinn quotes to know.

“At the deepest level, there is no giver, no gift, and no recipient… only the universe rearranging itself.”

“Concentration is a cornerstone of mindfulness practice. Your mindfulness will only be as robust as the capacity of your mind to be calm and stable.”

“Discipline provides a constancy which is independent of what kind of day you had yesterday and what kind of day you anticipate today.”

“For men and women alike, this journey is a the trajectory between birth and death, a human life lived. No one escapes the adventure. We only work with it differently.”

“From the perspective of meditation, every state is a special state, every moment a special moment.”

“Give yourself permission to allow this moment to be exactly as it is, and allow yourself to be exactly as you are.”


“He who dies before he dies does not die when he dies.”

“If we hope to go anywhere or develop ourselves in any way, we can only step from where we are standing. If we don’t really know where we are standing… We may only go in circles…”

“Intelligence is the door to freedom and alert attention is the mother of intelligence.”

“Just watch this moment, without trying to change it at all. What is happening? What do you feel? What do you see? What do you hear?”

“Life on earth is a whole, yet it expresses itself in unique time-bound bodies, microscopic or visible, plant or animal, extinct or living. So there can be no one place to be.”

“Look at other people and ask yourself if you are really seeing them or just your thoughts about them…. Without knowing it, we are coloring everything, putting our spin on it all.”

“Make a list of what is really important to you. Embody it.”

“Meditation is the only intentional, systematic human activity which at bottom is about not trying to improve yourself or get anywhere else, but simply to realize where you already are.”

“Note that this journey is uniquely yours, no one else’s. So the path has to be your own. You cannot imitate somebody else’s journey and still be true to yourself. Are you prepared to honor your uniqueness in this way?”

“One practical way to do this is to look at other people and ask yourself if you are really seeing them or just your thoughts about them.”

“Patience is a form of wisdom. It demonstrates that we understand and accept the fact that sometimes things must unfold in their own time.”

“Perhaps the most “spiritual” thing any of us can do is simply to look through our own eyes, see with eyes of wholeness, and act with integrity and kindness.”

“Perhaps we just need little reminders from time to time that we are already dignified, deserving, worthy.”

“Practice sharing the fullness of your being, your best self, your enthusiasm, your vitality, your spirit, your trust, your openness, above all, your presence. Share it with yourself, with your family, with the world.”

“The best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness. Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing.”

“The little things? The little moments? They aren’t little.”

“We must be willing to encounter darkness and despair when they come up and face them, over and over again if need be, without running away or numbing ourselves in the thousands of ways we conjure up to avoid the unavoidable.”

“Wherever you go, there you are.”

“You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”

“You make problem, you have problem.”

“You might be tempted to avoid the messiness of daily living for the tranquility of stillness and peacefulness.”

Jon Kabat-Zinn appears during a lecture series at the University of Miami as he discusses the topic of mindfulness and practice.

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