Originally, it formed part of a spiritual tradition (Hinduism, Buddhism, Japanese Zen). This ancestral technique was imported to the United States in the 1950s and then adapted, simplified and secularised. Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn is today considered as its leader. Kabat-Zinn is a researcher in the field of molecular biology, and he has developed a method for reducing and controlling stress through mindfulness meditation, called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). This method is now very popular, including in Silicon Valley at Google and Twitter's offices, but also in the City of London and with a broader audience throughout the whole of Europe.

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