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Department of Medicine

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Alternative and Complementary Medicine | Movement and Mind-Body Therapies


Introduction: When we were writing our book, Everyday blessings: The inner work of mindful parenting (Kabat-Zinn & Kabat-Zinn 1997/2014), an alternative title we very much had in mind was Mindful parenting: Nurturing our children, growing ourselves. The “growing ourselves” element, although it was surrendered in favor of the first title and subtitle, was, is, and always will be an essential element of the entire endeavor. This theme and evidence in support of it can be found throughout this Special Issue. Mindful parenting is not a project to create “better” or “optimal” children (whatever that might mean), or to be “better” or “optimal” parents, but to embrace in moment-to-moment awareness as best we might the entire enterprise of parenting our children in a mutuality of love and discovery and not-knowing. We were saying as clearly and as invitingly as we could that such an intentional approach to family and relationality has the potential to catalyze a natural flowering of everybody’s capacity to grow into our full range of possibilities in the sheltering embrace of family—however it is defined and constrained in the actuality of our specific and singular situations.


Childhood stress, Family stress, Love, Meditation, Mindful parenting, Mindfulness, Moment-to-moment awareness, Public health

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Copyright © The Author(s) 2021. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit

DOI of Published Version



Kabat-Zinn J, Kabat-Zinn M. Mindful Parenting: Perspectives on the Heart of the Matter. Mindfulness (N Y). 2021 Jan 8:1-3. doi: 10.1007/s12671-020-01564-7. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33437324; PMCID: PMC7790936. Link to article on publisher's site

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.