You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.

— Jon Kabat-Zinn

The most sublime Jon Kabat-Zinn quotes to get the best of your day

Mindfulness means moment-to-moment, non-judgmental awareness.

It is cultivated by refining our capacity to pay attention, intentionally, in the present moment, and then sustaining that attention over time as best we can. In the process, we become more in touch with our life as it is unfolding.


It is indeed a radical act of love just to sit down and be quiet for a time by yourself.


Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.


Wherever you go, there you are. Whatever you wind up doing, that's what you've wound up doing. Whatever you are thinking right now, that's what's on your mind. Whatever has happened to you, it has already happened. The important question is, "how are you going to handle it?" .... Like it or not, this moment is all we really have to work with.


The little things? The little moments? They aren't little.


Mindfulness is about being fully awake in our lives.

It is about perceiving the exquisite vividness of each moment. We also gain immediate access to our own powerful inner resources for insight, transformation, and healing.


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.


If we are honest with ourselves, most of us will have to admit that we live out our lives in an ocean of fear.


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?


Arriving someplace more desirable at some future time is an illusion. This is it.


Another way to look at meditation is to view thinking itself as a waterfall, a cascading of thought. In cultivating mindfulness, we are going beyond or behind our thinking, much the way you might find a vantage point in a cave or depression in the rock behind a waterfall. We still see and hear the water, but we are out of the torrent.


Practice moment to moment non-judgemental awareness.


About Jon Kabat-Zinn

Quotes 135 sayings
Profession Professor
Birthday June 5, 1944

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.


But you cannot have harmony without a commitment to ethical behavior.

It's the fence that keeps out the goats that will eat all the young shoots in your garden.


Awareness is not the same as thought.

It lies beyond thinking, although it makes no use of thinking, honoring it's value and it's power. Awareness is more like a vessel which can hold and contain our thinking, helping us to see and know our thought as thought rather than getting caught up in them as reality.


You are whole and also part of larger and larger circles of wholeness you many not even know about. You are never alone. And you already belong. You belong to humanity. You belong to life. You belong to this moment, this breath.


Voluntary simplicity means going fewer places in one day rather than more, seeing less so I can see more, doing less so I can do more, acquiring less so I can have more.


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


The awareness is not part of the darkness or the pain;

it holds the pain, and knows it, so it has to be more fundamental, and closer to what is healthy and strong and golden within you.


Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing.


Mindfulness practice means that we commit fully in each moment to be present;

inviting ourselves to interface with this moment in full awareness, with the intention to embody as best we can an orientation of calmness, mindfulness, and equanimity right here and right now.


You are only here now; you're only alive in this moment.


One way to look at meditation is as a kind of intrapsychic technology that's been developed over thousands of years by traditions that know a lot about the mind/body connection.


Maybe the fear is that we are less than we think we are, when the actuality of it is that we are much much more.


Karma is often wrongly confused with the notion of a fixed destiny.

It is more like an accumulation of tendencies that can lock us into particular behavior patterns, which themselves result in further accumulations of tendencies of a similar nature... But is is not necessary to be a prisoner of old karma.


Mindfulness meditation is the embrace of any and all mind states in awareness, without preferring one to another.


Writing can be an incredible mindfulness practice.


See if you can give yourself gifts that may be true blessings, such as self-acceptance , or some time each day with no purpose. Practice feeling deserving enough to accept these gifts without obligation - to simply receive from yourself, and from the universe.


Mindfulness is a way to rebalance ourselves.

Instead of being lost in thought, or caught up in emotional upheaval, we can tip the scale in the direction of greater equanimity, clarity, wisdom, and self-compassion by actually learning how to inhabit that other dimension of our being.


Too much of the education system orients students toward becoming better thinkers, but there is almost no focus on our capacity to pay attention and cultivate awareness.


You might be tempted to avoid the messiness of daily living for the tranquility of stillness and peacefulness. This of course would be an attachment to stillness, and like any strong attachment, it leads to delusion. It arrests development and short-circuits the cultivation of wisdom.


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.


Non-doing has nothing to do with being indolent or passive.

Quite the contrary. It takes great courage and energy to cultivate non-doing, both in stillness and in activity. Nor is it easy to make a special time for non-doing and to keep at it in the face of everything in our lives which needs to be done.


Perhaps ultimately, spiritual simply means experiencing wholeness and interconnectedness directly, a seeing that individuality and the totality are interwoven, that nothing is separate or extraneous. If you see in this way, then everything becomes spiritual in its deepest sense. Doing science is spiritual. So is washing the dishes.


Breathing is central to every aspect of meditation training.

It's a wonderful place to focus in training the mind to be calm and concentrated.


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.


So, in meditation practice, the best way to get somewhere is to let go of trying to get anywhere at all.


Living in a chronic state of unawareness can cause us to miss much of what is most beautiful and meaningful in our lives.


You could think of mindfulness as wise and affectionate attention.


Mindful parenting is the hardest job on the planet, but it's also one that has the potential for the deepest kinds of satisfactions over the life span, and the greatest feelings of interconnectedness and community and belonging.


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.


Generosity is another quality which, like patience, letting go, non-judging, and trust, provides a solid foundation for mindfulness practice.


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


See If You Can Give Yourself Gifts That May Be True Blessings, Such As Self-Acceptance


In Asian languages, the word for mind and the word for heart are the same word.


We call the effort to cultivate our ability to be in the present moment ‘practice’ or ‘meditation practice.’


Mindfulness is about love and loving life.

When you cultivate this love, it gives you clarity and compassion for life, and your actions happen in accordance with that. All ethics and morality, and a sense of interconnectedness, come out of the act of paying attention.


Allow your attention to gently alight on your belly, as if you were coming upon a shy animal sunning itself on a tree stump in a clearing in the forest. Feel your belly rise or expand gently on the inbreath, and fall or recede on the outbreath.


Most people don't realize that the mind constantly chatters.

And yet, that chatter winds up being the force that drives us much of the day in terms of what we do, what we react to, and how we feel.