The integration of martial arts for the veteran population is an example of upaya—skillful means. Upaya is an adaptive approach that seeks to make the benefits of mindfulness available. We see it happen in this work with veterans and with kids. There is a long tradition of upaya, stretching all the way back to the Buddha’s original teaching. He was known for his ability to tailor his message to the audience receiving it, whether farmers or kings. He often used metaphors, parables, and stories to illustrate his teachings. To find out more about Dr. Davidson’s work, you can visit the Investigating Healthy Minds Website.

Richie met His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1992 and this changed his life and the trajectory of mindfulness research. The studies coming out of the Waisman Center and other labs around the country have provided objective data on the benefits of mindfulness meditation. Being able to see and measure something gives it credibility in medical and scientific circles. These studies are not seeking to validate Buddhism as some critics have erroneously charged (see the Winter 2012 Issue of Tricycle Magazine feature articles on the “Scientific Buddha” and my letter to the editor entitled “Out of Context” in response to these articles). The Mindfulness Revolution has moved a quantum leap forward thanks to Richie’s pioneering work.

Free the Mind opens at the Rubin Museum in New York City on May 3 with a sold out performance. There will be additional screenings Monday, May 6, 3pm; Wednesday, May 8, 7pm; Thursday, May 9, 3 pm; Friday, May 10, 9:30 pm. It is also premiering in Toronto and Vancouver. Free the Mind goes on tour and hits Madison, Dallas, Santa Fe, Williamsburg, Seattle, Claremont, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pasedena, and Hartford. For more information visit the film’s website.

Watch the trailer.

Arnie Kozak, Ph.D., is a Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapist, author, and speaker. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Vermont College of Medicine. He leads workshops at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies and the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. Read more from Dr. Kozack on his Beliefnet blog, Mindfulness Matters.

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