American author Jack Kerouac published The Dharma Bums in 1958, which explored his early experiences with Buddhism and meditation. This book attracted immense attention and curiosity to the subject, and helped to jumpstart the transcendental meditation and Hatha yoga movement throughout Europe and America in the 1960’s. Interest began expanding rapidly as more people explored, experienced, and shared meditation. The University of Massachusetts founded a program called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, which was piloted by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979. The program was designed to treat patients with chronic illnesses. The medical world payed attention, bringing more interest to mindfulness and meditation in the patient treatment model.
It was 1996 when Drs. Deepak Chopra and David Simmons founded the Chopra Center for Wellbeing, which teaches mindfulness and meditation practices, amongst many other things, to this day. Books, articles, and publications on mindfulness, presence, and meditation were becoming more readily available, with the conversation around it becoming more broad and mainstream.
As of 2007, 9.4% of Americans had meditated, according to the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. No longer solely a religious practice, meditation has evolved into a comprehensive and all-inclusive way to manage your thoughts and your relationship to your experiences and circumstances.