George Mumford’s deeply moving personal story is unforgettable. An aspiring basketball player at the University of Massachusetts (where he roomed with Dr. J, Julius Erving), injuries forced Mumford out of the game he loved. The medications that relieved the pain of his injuries also numbed him to the emptiness he felt without the game and eventually led him to heroin.
After years of making meditation on and off the cushion the center of his life and getting clean, Mumford enrolled in Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program and collaborated with him to create the Inner-city Stress Reduction Clinic in the early nineties.
When Michael Jordan left the Chicago Bulls to play baseball in 1993, the team was in crisis. Coach Phil Jackson, a long-time mindfulness practitioner, contacted Dr. Kabat-Zinn to find someone who could teach mindfulness techniques to the struggling team—someone who would have credibility and could speak the language of his players. Kabat-Zinn led Jackson to Mumford and their partnership began.
Mumford has worked with Jackson and many of the teams he coached to become NBA champions. His roster of champion clients has since blossomed way beyond basketball to include corporate executives, Olympians, and athletes in many different sports.
Learn more about George Mumford: https://georgemumford.com/
Follow George on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/george.mumford/
00:00:41 – Sean introduces George Mumford
00:05:52 – Practice of arriving with George Mumford
00:23:24 – Championship conversations
00:27:16 – Participant question: How have your teachings changed over the years?
00:29:35 – The five superpowers
00:31:27 – Professional growth alongside personal evolution
00:43:06 – How do you motivate people to practice?
00:45:27 – Being at spiritual bottom and taking responsibility
00:47:23 – Planting seeds of inspiration
00:50:12 – The labels of formal and informal practice
00:54:00 – Appreciative joy
01:00:42 – Working towards acceptance
01:01:29 – The four As of emotional investigation: awareness, acceptance, compassionate action, assessment
01:06:31 – Can you mean what you say without being mean when you say it?
01:13:42 – Limiting beliefs as mindfulness teachers
01:16:25 – Participant question: How do you balance pursuit of optimum conditions and mindfulness of things as they are?
01:18:40 – What is the process of flow?
01:23:14 – Going 4% beyond one’s limit
01:27:11 – Recommendations for personal development as a mindfulness teacher
01:33:00 – Daily sacred space
01:39:38 – Preconceptions about what a mindfulness teacher should be like
01:45:47 – Inner pushback when we become more of who we are
01:50:50 – Connecting with George Mumford