Ellen Langer

Although we come at the problem differently, leading mindfulness-based, stress reduction researchers like Jon Kabat-Zinn and Herb Benson and I share mutual respect. For reasons I don’t understand, it seems that, for some others in the meditation camp, there is discordance between those of us who study mindfulness without meditation and those who study the more eastern versions of mindfulness that result from mediation. Both approaches lead to health, stress reduction, and well being. Many use a mindfulness practice to create inner peace. Our work has shown, in addition to quieting the inner chatter, that the world around us—eg. textbooks, GPS systems, persuasive communications—can be designed to foster mindfulness.

To bring all of this research together, Amanda Ie, Christelle Ngnoumen and I just finished editing the Wiley Mindfulness Handbook. Leaders in the field were asked to find the similarities between west and east and suggest ways of going beyond and integrating current work. By joining forces, an evolution in consciousness is that much closer.