The Untold Story of America’s Mindfulness Movement
Then, Now & the Future

Jon Kabat-Zinn, Daniel Goleman, Richard Davidson


This event was recorded at the New York Society for Ethical Culture in NYC on October 3, 2017 with three original pioneers of the mindfulness movement — Jon Kabat-Zinn, Daniel Goleman, and Richard Davidson — for a one-time only conversation around their extraordinary contributions to mindfulness practice, meditation, and research.

The discussion delves into the science of mindfulness and the potential of mindfulness to create a more hopeful future for individuals and our global community. It also includes questions from the audience.

These innovators of stress-reduction and mind-body health have taken unique but complementary paths. They’ll discuss how their early passion for meditation and mindfulness led to decades of research which has helped hundreds of thousands enrich their lives and improve all aspects of their health. What inspired them to dedicate their lives to this field? What have been the biggest surprises? And how will mindfulness practice, meditation, and stress reduction evolve as we move into the future?

The event was moderated by David Gelles of the New York Times.

Panelists: Jon Kabat-Zinn, creator of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR); Daniel Goleman, author of the New York Times bestseller Emotional Intelligence; Richard Davidson, a pioneering neuroscientist tasked by the Dalai Lama to study the impact that meditation has on the brain.


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Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, is internationally known for his work as a scientist, writer, and meditation teacher engaged in bringing mindfulness into the mainstream of medicine and society. He is professor of medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he was founding executive director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society, and founder and former director of its world-renowned Stress Reduction Clinic. He is the author of several books, including Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness. His work has contributed to a growing movement of mindfulness into mainstream institutions such as medicine, health care and hospitals, schools, corporations, prisons, and professional sports.

Daniel Goleman is an internationally known psychologist who lectures frequently to professional groups, business audiences, and in university settings. As a science journalist, Goleman reported on the brain and behavioral sciences for the New York Times for many years. His 1995 book, Emotional Intelligence, was on the New York Times bestseller list for 18 months, with more than 5 million copies in print worldwide in 40 languages. Apart from his books on emotional intelligence, Goleman has written books on self-deception, creativity, meditation, social and emotional learning, and ecoliteracy and the ecological crisis.

Goleman is a co-founder of CASEL, the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning at the University of Illinois at Chicago. CASEL’s mission is to bring evidence-based programs in emotional literacy to schools worldwide.

Goleman is also a board member of the Mind & Life Institute and a member of the Garrison Institute’s Advisory Board.
Richard Davidson, PhD, is the William James and Vilas Research Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry; Director of the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior; and Founder of the Center for Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
He received his doctorate from Harvard University in psychology and has received numerous awards for his research. He has been a member of the Mind & Life Institute’s Board of Directors since 1991. In 2003, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences and in 2004, to the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters.
Davidson has published more than 320 articles, numerous chapters and reviews, and edited 14 books. He is the author (with Sharon Begley) of The Emotional Life of Your Brain and the recently published Altered Traits: Science Reveals How Meditation Changes Your Mind, Brain, and Body (with Daniel Goleman).


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