What is Mindfulness ?

What-is-Mindfulness Missing your moments?

Each minute we spend worrying about the future and regretting the past is a minute we miss with our appointment in life – a missed opportunity to engage life and to see that each moment gives us the chance to change for the better, to experience peace and joy.  If you are drinking tea, just drink your tea.  Do not drink your worries, your projects, your regrets. When you hold your cup, you may like to breathe in, to bring your mind back to your body …in this state of true presence and freedom you enjoy simply drinking your tea.

– Thich Nhat Hanh, Savour

 

There are many definitions or ‘doorways into the room’ that describe and explain ‘Mindfulness’. I like to remember mindfulness as the awareness of what is happening in our hearts, minds and bodies, and the world around us, as it is happening. There is a quality of kindly curiosity as we attend to our moment-to-momet experience. As each moment arises and passes on, we open up to see things as they are and we may be empowered to take wise action in our next moments. 

Jon Kabat-Zinn, who devised the 8 week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction curriculum in 1979, defined mindfulness as: “the awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally.”

… lost in thought or living our lives? ….

Potential Benefits:

There are now over 30 years worth of scientific research that consistently show how mindfulness practices can enhance our physical and mental well-being.

A dose effect has been found: the more you practice, the greater the effect. You don’t even have to like it to benefit – you just have to do it!!

Those who complete 8 week courses and practice mindfulness meditation regularly:

Improve:

  • Concentration
  • Attention
  • Creativity
  • Clarity of mind
  • Working memory
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Mental stamina
  • Sleep
  • Immune functioning
  • Relationships
  • Life satisfaction

and

Reduce

  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Distress
  • Pain
  • Ruminating
  • Tension

And see what those who have taken discovering mindfulness courses have to say about their experiences …

Is Mindfulness for me?

Mindfulness can be accessible to everyone since it is something we already know and have naturally. We’ve already experienced it.  We just to remember to practice.

Jon Kabat-Zinn has compared mindfulness to jogging, once considered an unusual form of exercise practised by few people in the 1970s yet one that is now recognised as easy and effective for many with great benefits for personal health and well-being. Mindfulness holds the promise of an effective way to keep both minds and bodies healthy – the new jogging perhaps??

Descriptions in words often fall short as mindfulness is essentially about an experience, an embodied experience, that takes in all of our being: sensations, emotions, thoughts, future fantasies, memories of the past and the meanings we make of our moment to moment experiences.  The joy is in discovering your own personal practice and the relevance of mindfulness training for living your best life.  And the best way to see if it’s for you is to try  it and see what happens!

“Mindfulness isn’t difficult, we just need to remember to do it”. 

– Sharon Salzberg.

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