UANews will be live-tweeting during the event. To participate in the conversation, follow #MindfulUA on Twitter.
Parking is available in the UA Medical Center visitor parking garage. The fee is $1.50 per hour, cash only. Free parking is available after 5 p.m. in the UA Zone 1 permit and metered parking lot 2030 at East Mabel Street and North Martin Avenue.
Fast-paced lifestyles and digital overload is the new normal for some – which isn't to say it's not overwhelming at times.
But what if positive personal change, especially associated with chronic medical problems like addiction and depression, were as simple as adopting a practice of mindfulness, which proponents say offers a method to clear the mind of clutter, stress and worry?
Addressing that question and many others is Jon Kabat-Zinn, known internationally for his work as a scientist, writer and also a meditation teacher who has trained CEOs, judges, Olympic athletes, congressional staff and others in mindfulness. He will speak at the University of Arizona on March 7 at 5:30 p.m. in DuVal Auditorium at the UA Medical Center.
During the event, Kabat-Zinn – the subject of Time magazine's Feb. 3 cover story, "The Mindful Revolution" – will discuss the public health benefits of mindfulness in the treatment of chronic medical conditions. He also will discuss the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction curriculum, which he developed, and its benefits. The curriculum has been incorporated into standard medical treatments for a variety of health problems, such as addiction, depression, cardiovascular disease and chronic pain.
The hour-long lecture is free and open to the public with support from the endowed James E. Dalen Distinguished Lecture for Health Policy and the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health. The endowment supports one distinguished guest speaker annually.
Kabat-Zinn, Professor of Medicine Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the founder and former executive director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society, works to bring mindfulness into the mainstream of medicine and society.
He also has authored numerous books, including "Full Catastrophe Living," "Arriving at Your Own Door" and "Coming to Our Senses." At a basic level, mindfulness is about living in the present moment – paying close attention to one's feelings and thoughts and, subsequently, experiences and reactions. The centuries-old practice has gained more traction, and a following, in Western societies in recent decades.
The UA is especially well-positioned to host Kabat-Zinn, given its programs and research related to consciousness and mindfulness.
The UA Center for Consciousness Studies is an internationally known interdisciplinary center advancing contemporary understanding of human consciousness. In April, the center is hosting its 20th anniversary conference, bringing together some of the world's foremost scholars and researchers studying human consciousness, such as English mathematical physicist Sir Roger Penrose, Dr. Deepak Chopra, American psychologist Alison Gopnik and American philosopher John Searle.
Stuart Hameroff, the center's co-founder and director, and a Professor Emeritus in the UA's departments of Anesthesiology and Psychology, was lead author on the first clinical study showing that transcranial ultrasound affects mood.
Researchers at the UA Laboratory for Advances in Consciousness and Health are working to enhance mainstream scientific methods and knowledge about issues related to consciousness and health.
Also, the Arizona Cancer Center hosts weekly stress-relieving meditation training sessions, "Mindfulness & Meditation," which are free.
And through the five-year iTEAM project, members of the UA Southwest Institute for Research on Women have engaged lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and allied, or LGBTQA, individuals in mindfulness practices as part of the program, which is designed to provide youth and young adults with greater housing stability and employment and more regular school attendance, among other things.