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If you have reaped the profound benefits mindfulness offers, chances are you have Jon Kabat-Zinn (JKZ) to thank. He is the father of mindfulness in America. Because this article focuses on the wisdom behind these four quotes, I’ll hold off on a lengthy description of his life and work for a future piece.

With that, here are four things Jon Kabat-Zinn has said that can help to anchor your meditation and mindfulness practices.

1. “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.”

The waves of life come at us all the time. Large waves, in the form of the death of loved ones, the painful ending of relationships, being fired from a job; and small waves, like your teenager swearing at you then charging into her room and slamming her door, spilling an entire bowl of cereal on the floor and a driver honking you the riot act because you didn’t signal when you changed into their lane. …


David Gerken

Meditation and Mindfulness teacher. Dad of three crazy kids. Former Washington, DC political aide and Writer for THE WEST WING. Follow me at

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