Mindfulness is the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to things as they are. Mindfulness is achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. Meditation is the active training of the brain to concentrate by observing your mind and thoughts. Mindfulness meditation uses the senses of your body to keep you aware and in the present moment. Focusing on our breath is the most common tactic to return our focus to the present moment.
Lessons that can be learned through mindfulness: suspend “doing” and shift to “being”; increase your resilience and self-compassion; patience with yourself to better discern your own intuition; react in difficult situations with greater clarity; learn how to tame your toughest emotions; adopt a new tool to combat stressful times; enhance your relationships; and greatly improve your health and quality of life.
Meditation is not about feeling a certain way. It's about feeling the way you feel. It's about bringing concentration to the process. By being a curious observer of what happens, you will witness how your mind concentrates, how it might wander around, and how you feel physically and emotionally during the process. In discovering a place of quiet and stillness, we uncover how unique we are and can tap into newfound creativity and energy.
Think of mindfulness as exercise for your brain. Cultivating your mindfulness is a lifelong journey.
7 Attitudes of Mindfulness Practice:
(Adapted from Jon Kabot-Zinn (2013) Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness)