Anderson Cooper Loves His Mindfulness Retreat Experience
Anderson Cooper, the primary anchor of the Anderson Cooper 360° show, immersed himself into mindfulness practice at a retreat center.
He was skeptical at first but he later learned to love the silence from being mindful.
Check out the story below!
“I realized on this story, sitting in that meditation retreat, this is exactly what I need,” Anderson Cooper tells 60 Minutes Overtime about his immersion in the world of mindfulness. “It sounds like I’ve sort of drunk the Kool Aid, but in a way I have sort of drunk the Kool Aid.”
On assignment for 60 Minutes, Anderson attended a mindfulness retreat where he and the other participants were uncertain they could go long without checking their phones, which they were forced to turn in. To his surprise, Anderson tells Overtime, over the course of the weekend he came to enjoy being phone-free.
“It’s a little disappointing to get your phone [back],” Anderson says. “It’s sort of the last thing you really want to see again.”
The following is a script of the video produced for 60 Minutes Overtime by Lisa Orlando and Ann Silvio.
Ann Silvio: Anderson, when you showed your story about mindfulness to the executive producers of 60 Minutes you said that the story had changed your life?
Anderson Cooper: Yeah, well I was selling the story, but, you know, it’s interesting — it’s rare that you do a story like this and find that it actually kind of changes your life.
Anderson Cooper: I was totally skeptical. I went into it, you know, respectful, but like really, I’m gonna spend a weekend in a meditation retreat?
[Jon Kabat-Zinn: I’d like to invite us to begin]
Anderson Cooper: …and we’re gonna sit around in a circle on mats, and then we’re gonna sit there silently?
[Jon Kabat-Zinn: Settle into an erect and dignified posture.]
Anderson Cooper: And then we’re gonna eat silently. We’re gonna just sit there eating silently without talking. And then we’re gonna do a walking meditation, which is just — you’re just walking back and forth, silently, for 30 minutes. We’re gonna do that? And I gotta say, I loved the silent meal. I liked the walking meditation.
Anderson Cooper: There’s a guy named Jon Kabat-Zinn. A lot of people point to him as the man who’s maybe one of the most responsible for the mindfulness movement in the United States.
[Anderson Cooper: What is mindfulness?]
[Jon Kabat-Zinn: My working definition of it is the awareness that arises through paying attention on purpose in the present moment and non-judgmentally.]
[Anderson Cooper: I don’t feel I’m very present in each moment. I feel like every moment I’m either thinking about something that’s coming down the road or something that’s been in the past.]
[Jon Kabat-Zinn: Well, it’s, first of all, an occupational hazard of being human that we’ll be projecting into the future a lot, or…]
[Anderson Cooper: Worrying about the future…]
[Jon Kabat-Zinn: …reminiscing. Exactly, worrying about the future, reminiscing about the past and what went wrong and who did what to whom, and who’s to blame, and what my story is about it. And that…]
[Anderson Cooper: That internal dialogue that we all have.]
[Jon Kabat-Zinn: We’re creating narrative constantly. Narrative, narrative.]