Pathways to Planetary Health Forum: Jon Kabat-Zinn on Growing The Common Good

On September 14, the Garrison Institute Forum on Pathways to Planetary Health continued as renowned meditation teacher, author, and clinician Jon Kabat-Zinn joined Garrison Institute cofounder Jonathan F.P. Rose for far-reaching conversation on meditation, planetary health, and movements for justice and liberation. Nearly 600 people registered for this interactive conversation, which included guided meditations led by Kabat-Zinn.

Through Pathways to Planetary Health, we have identified four core pathways toward a greater understanding of the interconnected health of humans and nature: half earthecological civilizationregenerative economics, and the common good. During our interactive conversation with Kabat-Zinn, the final pathway emerged again and again. We are reminded that true planetary health is only possible when we can approach the challenges of contemporary life with a pervasive sense of mutuality and compassion. 

Anger is an understandable response to the grave injustices that plague our society, but Kabat-Zinn reminds us that we must transmute our anger. We must recognize that our anger is often itself a form of “tough love” – love for a better world, love for a different future, love for those who are harmed by injustice. “We can address [injustice] only if we don’t lose our minds when we most need them.”

We invite you to revisit this conversation, and we hope that it is a source of wisdom and inspiration.

This interactive online event was part of a continuing series in the Garrison Institute’s Forum on Pathways to Planetary Health (PPH). Building on the Garrison Institute’s earlier Climate, Mind and Behavior (CMB) program, Pathways to Planetary Health explores the moral, ethical, and human behavioral dimensions of the search for regenerative solutions, including Half-Earth, Ecological CivilizationRegenerative Economics, and Societal Altruism

Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. did his doctoral work in molecular biology at MIT, in the laboratory of the Nobel Laureate Salvador Luria. Kabat-Zinn is Professor of Medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he founded the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society (in 1995), and (in 1979) its world-renown Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Clinic. He is the author of 14 books, including the bestsellers Full Catastrophe Living, Wherever You Go, There You Are, and Mindfulness for Beginners. His four latest books (2018/2019) are a series updating and expanding the 2005 edition of Coming to Our Senses: Meditation is Not What You Think; Falling Awake; The Healing Power of Mindfulness; and Mindfulness for All. With Mark Williams, he was co-editor of Mindfulness: Diverse Perspectives on its Meaning, Origins, and Applications (2013). His books are published in over 45 languages. His work has contributed to a growing movement of mindfulness into mainstream institutions such as medicine, psychology, health care, neuroscience, schools, higher education, business, social justice, criminal justice, prisons, the law, technology, government, and professional sports. Over 700 hospitals and medical centers around the world now offer MBSR. Jon lectures and leads mindfulness workshops and retreats around the world. For more, please visit

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