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A Chaotic Yet Peaceful Journey to Be With Jon Kabat-Zinn A Chaotic Yet Peaceful Journey to Be With Jon Kabat-Zinn

- (Huffington) - 1 years, 11 months ago...

There were no off-color expletives or rude hand gestures; although, considering the events of that evening, such behavior would have certainly been understandable. It was a Thursday night, and I left work early, just at the moment that dusk was giving way to the evening's darkness. I hurried through local traffic to pick up Nadya, my friend, my fellow mindfulness practitioner and co-founder of the mindfulness group at my workplace. Nadya was working from home that day and as luck would have it, a last minute cancelation produced a spare ticket to the sold out speaking engagement of mindfulness guru, Jon Kabat-Zinn. When I arrived at Nadya's house, she was already waiting for me on the corner of her street. She hopped into my little black hybrid car and we began our trek into New York City to the Symphony Space Concert Hall in Manhattan. Like seasoned Buddhist monks, we met each traffic jam with calmness and equanimity. "We will get there when we get there," Nadya affirmed wisely in her delightful Russian accent. Nevertheless, when the brake lights in front of us shone brightly, I instinctively glanced at the ETA on my GPS. I watched the time swing back and forth like a pendulum from 6:55 p.m. to 7:25 p.m. --- our event was scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. However, regardless of the displayed ETA, I embraced my mindfulness practice and reiterated my friend's words that we will get there when we get there. Considered by many as a "rock star" of mindfulness, we sat in the stop-and-go traffic excited and brimming with anticipation to hear Kabat-Zinn speak. Kabat-Zinn's program, Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR), which he created in 1979, uses techniques such as present moment awareness, meditation and yoga to help people cope with stress, anxiety, pain and illness. I had learned about Kabat-Zinn's teaching through the mindfulness program at work, a teaching that surely came in handy that night as it promotes the non-judgmental acceptance of the only moment that ever truly exists --- the present moment. However, as we sat frozen in the packed Lincoln Tunnel, just a few short miles from our destination, the poem "The Guest House" by Mewlana Jellaludin Rumi came to mind. A poem that our mindfulness teacher had recently shared with us and that beautifully equates our human experience to that of a guesthouse where events of both good and bad appear. The poem encourages us to welcome all experiences, "Even if they are a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture..." The poem recommends to, "treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight." As we approached the exit to the tunnel, my little car began to rev its engine getting ready to be released into the city. The driver in the car to my right was honking his horn and waving his hands wildly. I didn't know if I had inadvertently angered an already irritated d...

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