60 Minutes of Mindfulness – How Anderson Cooper’s Meditation Experience Changed His Life (and His Brain)

It’s always exciting to me when I witness more and more people from all walks of life begin to see the value of mindfulness training.

And just recently, Anderson Cooper and the folks at CBS just put out a 60 Minutes episode on that very topic.

This really underscores just how mainstream mindfulness has become.

In fact, I often see this when I attend business meetings – many people will approach me, asking me to show them how to meditate (even though I’m not a meditation teacher).

So in case you haven’t come across the video yet, I thought I’d share it with you.

You can check out the video below – it’s only 13 minutes (not 60). But just a quick warning – the clip includes a commercial.

(Now, could I have had one of the kids here edit the commercial out? Yes, but I’d run the risk of violating 60 Minutes’ copyright. So as much as I don’t want to pass along a commercial, I also want to respect 60 Minutes’ property.)

It was cool to hear Congressman Tim Ryan talk about his efforts to bring mindfulness to school children – he’s been our guest here before, and you can read more about his work right here.

Bringing mindfulness to more people has always been part of our mission here at NICABM, so it’s encouraging to see someone like Anderson Cooper sharing his experience on such a large scale. It’s more evidence that once people start practicing, it often changes their life.

So I’d like to hear how mindfulness might be helping in your practice. Have you suggested meditation to any of your clients who suffer from anxiety? And has it helped?

Please let me know what you think by commenting in the space below.

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21 Comments

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  4. Marian Mackey, artist, Cleveland OH says:

    About a year ago, depression was depleting my energy, really my hope. A friend told me of a therapy group she was attending so I gave it a try. Dr. Shira Fass at Metrohealth Medical Center was teaching mindfulness. I caught the bug and got on line searching everything I could find on the subject. I listened to webcast after webcast, decided who’s programs I liked and purchased those. Even though money was tight, I felt these purchases would be invaluable and have proved to be. I’ve been prescribed anti- depressants for many years but there were so many side effects I can only now see in hindsight. And always the dr. would up the dose or add other meds on top of those. Since practicing mindful meditation I’m doing very well on a low dose of one medication. I haven’t been brave enough to come off of that one, because in the past it’s not gone well but I hope to. I like very much understanding that it’s my thoughts that trigger an emotional response, and that I have control over what I’m thinking. I can change the subject and change how I feel. It’s been taking practice but I’m getting better at it all the time. I have an enthusiasm for life That is totally new for me. I think it comes from being non judgmental of myself. Instead just observing what physical sensations I’m experiencing and what the thoughts and emotions are in that moment. It’s sort of like I’m the subject of an experiment and I’m also the one conducting that experiment. So thank you for sharing on 60 Minutes and enjoy mindfulness! Marian Mackey

  5. Lorraine, Marmora, NJ says:

    I came to this page from a Facebook post and was happy to find this information. I am married to a man who suffers from anxiety and depression. As Liz from Ireland stated above, are there any good sources of information regarding treatment for those disorders that are available on this website or others. I would also be interested in any therapists in southern NJ who use mindfulness as part of their practice.

    Thank you.

  6. Threedogs, licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, CA says:

    I teach mindfulness meditation to many of my clients. They describe great feelings of being at peace and absence do anxiety!

  7. Julie Potiker, Meditation Teacher, San Diego says:

    I am a Mindful Self-Compassion teacher (Germer/Neff Curriculum) and can share that mindfulness and self compassion have transformed my life, and now, years later, are transforming the lives of my students. Seeing grown-ups work through difficult emotions like anger and shame, and then taking them through forgiveness exercises is stunning. I am adding to the curriculum (where it is appropriate ) the work of Rick Hanson, Dan Siegel, Brene Brown, James Baraz, the Levey’s, Pema Chodrun, Noran Fischer, Alan Morinis, Tara Brach, and others. There is so much great work being done in this field. And I have to thank NICABM and you Ruth for offering such great learning for all of us. Although I am not a therapist (I am a reformed lawyer!), I have been taking your online courses on the brain and on meditation for the last couple of years. I save the modules so that I can refer to the lessons and your format of recaps and take-aways makes it so much easier to get a quick refresher course. There is hope for a better future the more people start making this practice part of their daily life. At the Compassion 2014 Conference, there were 4 mayors of US cities that made compassion or loving kindness part of the ethos of their cities, in words and deeds. It’s catching on! Keep up the good work!!!

  8. Irene Lyon says:

    Interesting.

    I sense that this wave of mindfulness will be the equivalent to aerobics in the 80’s.

    We have to start somewhere, and people will soon realize that there is much more to it than just sitting down and being with your body and thoughts. More refinement and finesse will be developed to help the entire spectrum of people who can’t do the type of basic mindfulness training as what Kabat- Zinn is teaching.

    Given the last series on trauma Ruth, I’m sure most of us know that many who suffer from PTSD and various forms of developmental trauma find incredible difficulty with basic forms of mindfulness. They are so disconnected from their bodies and can’t even feel sensations that they have to start at a totally different level.

    I also laughed when the Pfizer sponsorship ad came at the very end!

    Irene.
    http://www.irenelyon.com

    • Max Millar says:

      Irene, John Kabat Zinn and MBSR is and has always been very sensitive to truama. You couldn’t have achieved what he has done over the last 30 years and not encounter or found a means to deal with trauma mindfully. John has always been very clear about his position on this issue and catered for it both formally and informally in the MBSR curriculum i.e work with the body !

      And yes people with trauma do start at a different level and with different means but ultimately they are led to approach the trauma symptoms with a particular type of attention – mindful attention – which slowly begins to reintegrate and cohere the somatic and psychological ‘shrapnel’ of their experience into a healing narrative.

      I am not sure if you are poking fun at the mindfulness ‘craze’ as reminiscent of the aerobics ‘craze’ ? But if so, it was that very craze which turned millions of americans onto to taking care of themselves, not unlike the work you or others are doing in the area of wellness generally.

  9. Shirley D. Keen, MFT, Los Angeles says:

    Thank you, enjoyed the video very much, sorry when it was over! If mindfulness catches on in politics. . . . I don’t know how to finish that sentence, so I’ll just say in my opinion it would be a good thing for all Parties concerned.

  10. elena says:

    Gotta admit, I like what WOMEN have to say about this subject….Pema Chodron, Gangaji…they have excellent hints about gentleness, and resilience in staying with discomfort.

  11. Maria Selvey, psychologist Australia says:

    Just getting loads of advertisemnts!!

  12. Donald MacWatt, art student, Duncan, B.C says:

    Very worthwhile video. Although I have been practicing mindfulness for a number of years, I benefit each and every time I listen to professionals and those participating in the practice. Every shade and nuance of a topic such as this contributes to the long-term effectiveness of the self practice. It’s never a question of getting it the first time for me. The continuing benefit of hearing a different experience or illustration of related information continues to have value.

  13. Jim Dalton, Meditation Teacher, QiGong Instructor, Portland OR says:

    Just discovered a new perspective on mindfulness and QiGong. After a month, I feel stronger in body and mind. My students who have begun practicing with me are enthusiastically embracing this counter-intuitive approach to mindful movement. No movement at all for extended periods. Start slow and let it deepen.

    Open-hearted recommendation:

    http://mitqigong.blogspot.com/2011/07/zhan-zhuang-instructional-video-day-1.html

  14. Beth Patterson, psychotherapist, Denver, CO says:

    I constantly use mindfulness in my psychotherapy practice – both for my clients and myself. I explain to clients that our habitual patterns are like dings in an “old fashioned” LP record, and the needle just gets stuck in the groove. What mindfulness does is has us first notice that the record keeps repeating, and then empowers us to lift the needle out of that groove and start playing again.

    I’ve written many articles about mindfulness and psychotherapy, available on my website — http://www.bethspatterson.com, and also available as an e-book through all e-book sellers — the book is called “Love Without Limit: Reflections of a Buddhist Psychotherapist.”

    If any of you would like to use my articles, please send me an email requesting permission – bethpatt@mac.com

  15. Angela Townsend UK Counsellor says:

    Interested in how to use mindfulness within my practice

  16. Steven Bulcroft, MFT Yreka, CA USA says:

    For the past 5 years I have been encouraging mindfulness with all of my clients with excellent results for those who followed the recommendation. There have a been a few PTSD survivors that found it difficult as intrusive memories were difficult for them. In one, using horses via equine therapy I was able to help her keep grounded in the moment around the horse. In another the memories that flooded in was too much. I have since found that with PTSD I need to have more body work included in the mindfulness skills. I have also used it with ADHD children with great results – if the parents make sure they are practicing (or the kid is motivated) the skills. I teach it as “power sitting” and also use “standing mountain” as well as other yoga type exercises to help them learn mindfulness.

    • Pamela Chamberlynn, MSW, IHCP, MP - Tallahassee, Florida says:

      Hi Steve. Yes, mindfulness has many practice forms and the basic formal sitting is not generally recommended for people with unresolved PTSD. This was addressed in my training as a Mindfulness Professional at Duke University Integrative Medicine Center and as I recall it was addressed well in the Rethinking Trauma NICABM series that ended this Fall 2014. The formal sitting practice invites people to go within which does often allow painful memories to arise that they may not have yet developed the capacity to endure and address positively. There are multiple forms of mindfulness practice that are externally directed rather than internally directed and these are more appropriate for people working through trauma. Hatha yoga is a Mindfulness practice with a body awareness focus that is beneficial to many people with PTSD. Mindful walking and Metta (Loving Kindness) practice are also two mindfulness forms that may be beneficial to clients with chronic unresolved trauma and can be positive adjuncts to trauma treatment. Which form(s) of mindfulness is best varies from individual to individual.

  17. Bobbie Davila, L.P.C. San Antonio, TX says:

    Here at the Daughters of Charity Services of San Antonio (DCSSA.org) we are in the process of implementing a 2 year grant funded teacher training program which includes mindfulness training for our 80+ early childhood education program teachers at both our centers. The Daughters (a group of Catholic Nuns)live in a poverty stricken community and most of DCSSA employees reside in the same community we serve. Additionally, I am incorporating mindfulness strategies into my therapy sessions with traumatized children as well as those children diagnosed with Autism & with children in our after school program many of whom are on meds. for AD/HD. We are getting immediate feedback from the teachers on the calming effects they experience from simple breathe work, Tai Chi exercises, and other self-care techniques related to the field of energy psychology. As our training program progresses, we will incorporate teacher training that will intentionally introduce the mindfulness strategies into our early childhood curriculum for all our children ages 6 weeks – 5 years of age.

    • Teresa Buchanan, LMSW San Antonio, TX says:

      I find the work you write about above so exciting! I too am in San Antonio, TX. I work a Crosspoint Inc as a mental health counselor working with previously incarcerated adults as they transition from prison. Our outpatient mental health clinic and main facility is just across from the Sisters of the Holy Spirit convent…actually we are housed in their beautiful old convent. How wonderfully bless San Antonio is to have so many amazing nuns pouring love into our communities most in need. I have learned and utilize some mindfulness practices in my work and personal life and am very interested in becoming more educated and proficient in this area.

  18. Liz,Psychotherapist, Ireland says:

    Hi Ruth
    I love your series on Trauma.
    Have you ever considered putting together something on depression and anxiety.

    What are the new ways of treating these common but debilitating conditions.

    Liz

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