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The Science of Mindfulness

Daniel Goleman, Ph.D. | 25:27


I really want to tell you about the secret backstory of mindfulness in America. Sharon reminded me I met Sharon. When she was 19. She had come Overland. She was in India. She was from SUNY Buffalo. And I said to Sharon, I met her in Delhi, I said, you know, there's going to be a meditation retreat in Bodhgaya. You might want to try it. She tried it, you can thank me now.

Let me take you back to the 1970s. Anderson Cooper is just discovering the gorilla gorilla. Sauron has not yet been born. We're walking through a jungle. Outside Colombo, Sri Lanka, it's an ancient jungle. It's so ancient, that there's a bamboo grove, where the tree trunks are this thick. And the tree bamboos about 20 feet high. And we're walking really mindfully through that jungle.

One reason is we're going to see a monk Theravada monk named Yana Pontica, who at that time had written the only book in the English language, if you can imagine, that had the word mindfulness in the title. The other reason is that the jungle is home to a snake called a crate. It's about this long, very quick, you don't see them. But if they bite you, you're paralyzed in 30 seconds and die in two minutes. So it makes you really mindful.

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