Jon Kabat-Zinn is one of the foremost instructors of mindfulness meditation in this country. In this transcribed excerpt from Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life, Kabat-Zinn breaks down the utter simplicity and importance of participating in a meditation practice, whether as a beginner or long-time practitioner.
I had it in my mind and it may actually execute if we could figure out some way to do it, to do that little raisin eating exercise which you saw on (Bill) Moyers, or may have seen on Moyers, just because it serves a very important function in the way that we teach meditation in the hospital and in other areas of sort of more mainstream societies and Buddhist meditation centers, where they also use that exercise, which is where I learned it. I was just taking one little aspect of our experience, in this case a raisin, and instead of eating raisins the way we usually do, to eat one raisin mindfully. By the way, take one and do not eat it okay? Part of you is going to want to or throw it at somebody or whatever. Just hold onto it for now.
There is something about talking about meditation that is very seductive. I like doing it and other people like doing it and listening about it. It is really quite wonderful, but then when all is said and done, you have had a lot of talk and what this work is really about is connecting up with the present moment in a particular kind of way. It really is a funny kind of dualism between something that it is wonderful to do together with the support of other people but absolutely essential that you can, in fact, do this on your own when no one else is around. Absolutely essential.