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Mindfulness Pioneers and their Readings

The following authors have contributed to the mainstream understanding of mindfulness as we know it today. Although the concept has existed for thousands of years within Buddhism and Tibetan meditation traditions, the following authors supported its popularity in Western culture and its integration into modern medicine. For more basic education on the concept of mindfulness please check out our earlier video here. However, these texts will dive deep into the concept of mindfulness, how it can be beneficial to our health and how to integrate advance practices into your daily life.

Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Master is a global spiritual leader, poet, and peace activist, renowned for his powerful teachings and bestselling writings on mindfulness and peace. A gentle, humble monk, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called him “an Apostle of peace and nonviolence” when nominating him for the Nobel Peace Prize. Exiled from his native Vietnam for almost four decades, Thich Nhat Hanh has been a pioneer bringing Buddhism and mindfulness to the West and establishing an engaged Buddhist community for the 21st Century.

Suggested Reading:

  • The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation
  • The Art of Mindful Living: How to Bring Love, Compassion, and Inner Peace into Your Daily Life
  • Living Without Stress or Fear: Essential Teachings on the True Source of Happiness

Dr. Herbert Benson, is an American medical doctor, cardiologist, and founder of the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He is a professor of mind/body medicine at Harvard Medical School and director emeritus of the Benson-Henry Institute at MGH.

Suggested Reading:

Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D. is internationally known for his work as a scientist, writer, and meditation teacher engaged in bringing mindfulness into the mainstream of medicine and society. He is Professor of Medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he founded its world-renowned Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Clinic (in 1979), and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society (in 1995).  He retired from his positions at the medical center in 2000. The Center for Mindfulness has been under the leadership of Dr. Saki Santorelli since that time, and during those years, it has grown remarkably, and its programs have become more and more influential both in the US and internationally.

Suggested Reading:

  • Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness
  • The Mindful Way through Depression
  • Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life


About the Author: Jennifer Kneeland is the lead Expressive Art Therapist and Licensed Mental Health Counselor for Home Base. As an avid creative artist, Jennifer strives to encourage the healing power of creativity and imagination in her clinical work. She aspires to embody the principles of expressive arts therapy to strengthen internal growth both in clinical and personal experiences.