Jon Kabat-Zinn was born in June of 1944. He studied molecular biology at MIT and earned his Ph.D. in 1971. Among his many teachers was Nobel Prize winner Salvador Luria. He studied yoga and Buddhism under Zen Master Seung Sahn. In addition to co-founding the Cambridge Zen Center, Kabat-Zinn founded the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He has integrated his eastern knowledge and western science in his practice of mindfulness meditation, a discipline that he uses to treat people suffering from illness, pain, anxiety, depression, and stress.
Contribution to Psychology
Kabat-Zinn’s work has permeated modern science and medicine and is based on the mind/body as a source for healing both physical and psychological pains. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is taught in eight week sessions and combines various meditation exercises and yoga techniques to help clients address their symptoms by focusing on full present moment awareness. Kabat-Zinn has researched the beneficial effects of present moment awareness on the physical body, the immune system, and when applied under stressful situations. Kabat-Zinn has published several books and leads mindfulness retreats targeted toward businesses and leaders. He also conducts retreats designed to train other clinicians in the practice of MBSR. Kabat-Zinn sits on the board of the Mind and Life Institute and has been a guest speaker and lecturer throughout the country.