, Volume 6, Issue 6, pp 1481–1483 | Cite as


  • Jon Kabat-ZinnEmail author

So, after all this talk of mindfulness, what is it really anyway?

According to the Buddhist scholar and monk Nyanaponika Thera, mindfulness is “the unfailing master key for knowing the mind and is thus the starting point; the perfect tool for shaping the mind, and is thus the focal point; and the lofty manifestation of the achieved freedom of the mind, and is thus the culminating point.” Not bad for something that basically boils down to paying attention.

Mindfulness can be thought of as moment-to-moment, non-judgmental awareness, cultivated by paying attention in a specific way, that is, in the present moment, and as non-reactively, as non-judgmentally, and as openheartedly as possible. When it is cultivated intentionally, it is sometimes referred to as deliberate mindfulness. When it spontaneously arises, as it tends to do more and more the more it is cultivated intentionally, it is sometimes referred to as effortless mindfulness. Ultimately, however arrived at, mindfulness is...


Buddhist Tradition Cardinal Virtue Cable Modem Buddhist Meditation Intentional Cultivation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Jon Kabat-Zinn 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for MindfulnessUniversity of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcesterUSA

Personalised recommendations