Mindfulness and the Ups and Downs of Life
Eileen Fisher and Jon Kabat-Zinn

Life has challenges — anxiety, pain, emotional waves. So what do we do?

Put out the welcome mat. “Turn towards what you most want to turn away from,” says Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).

Enjoy this short clip of Eileen and Jon filmed live at the Learning Lab in Irvington, New York.

What are you turning towards right now?

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  • Hilda says:

    It’s very true this train of thought but it’s taken me a divorce, a recomposed family and a stressful job and 60 years to actually embrace this philosophy!

  • Lisa says:

    The death of my mother. Uncertainty around estate related matters and family dynamics New work. And questions around what’s next. I want to turn toward myself with compassion and love.

  • Catherine MacNeal says:

    I am turning towards grief, pain and loss. My partner of 18 years has left me for someone else. I am turning towards acknowledging my part in not nurturing the relationship and the impermanence of life. I am turning towards understanding that “everything changes”. I am turning towards my children, my parents and my sister, all of whom have their own sadness and challenges. I am turning towards being kind to myself and being open to possibility.

  • Jan says:

    Pain: I try to meditate through it. I still want it to disappear. Can I really keep it at arm’s length? I hear and read about the mindfulness approach. I try. But still struggle. I understand why some (many?) want drugs, surgery, or other such quick means for trying to transcend pain. I don’t want to go the drugs/surgery route; I want to be mindful. I struggle.

  • Cathie Pawlicki says:

    Turning toward accepting a life with 2 ostomies that require much attention. A strict diet, sterile cleaning, exercise when exhauste, giving up travel, extreme fatigue by 2pm. I am also turning to offering up these mortification for people who have nobody praying for them —gives purpose to ostomies. Also turning to interior spiritual life which is the real infrastructure of my life.

  • Joyce says:


  • Marla Del Collins says:

    Lovely– and so true. If we can transcend the belief that reality is divided into ‘either/or’ as in “good” versus “bad” and realize instead that multiples are normal—that change is constant, that there is an ebb and flow to life— we can move beyond, and over, and through a crisis. What is painful can be stretched (as with yoga) into painlessness. This is true with everything in life—emotional to physical. Seek out the interconnected complexity beyond the illusion of ‘either/o’ and life becomes full and fascinating. — Dragonfly Dynamics® Marla Del Collins

  • Donna Bunce MSW says:

    The fear and unknowing of a health crisis…this too is part of life. I hope it’s not my end, as I have so much more to do! Mindfullness skills and tools allow me the space between the cause and effect to just be in observation. I am no longer the one it’s happening too rather the experience of life. And that is the gift, this life of mystery!