What is mindfulness?
“Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”
– Jon Kabat-Zinn
You may define mindfulness simply as: paying attention to what is happening now.
A few key principles include concentration, mindfulness of the body and senses, equanimity, and heartfulness.
- Mindfulness helps us develop our ability to sustain focused attention and concentrate for a period of time. We learn to cultivate present moment awareness as we go through our daily activities.
Mindfulness of the Body
- Mindfulness brings attention to our sensory world experience and emotional body.
- What is our experience of our sense world?
- How can we bring attention to any of the sense experiences: sight, touch, taste, hear, and smell?
- How do emotions manifest in our body?
- What is the physical experience that makes us identify emotion is our bodies?
- Mindfulness is noticing the energetic pathways and flows of our bodies. For example, the sensation of breathing.
- Equanimity is the ability to remain composed and calm with our current experience.
- Emotions and experiences will inevitably happen in our daily life. Cultivating equanimity helps us to be with whatever is happening without over- identifying with the situation or emotion.
- For example, in any given experience we may find ourselves grasping to hold on or attempting to push something away. Cultivating equanimity helps us find the balance to navigate the present moment experience so that we can remain calm without over reacting or suppressing emotions.
- Heartfulness is anything that inspires and resonates with our heartfelt sense of like compassion, generosity, gratitude, sending loving thoughts to someone.
- Mindfulness and heartfulness work together with each other to create a space where we can be with ourselves and others in a non-judgmental way.
- They both work together to hold the space and plant the seed for clarity, connection, and love to manifest.
- By integrating the heart and the mind, we can remember that we are all in this world together. We are all connected. Mindfulness and heartfulness in daily living helps us to listen and nurture the present.
- It teaches us not so much as to place a higher value on the calm experience, but rather to be with whatever is present for us with clarity without judgement.
All of these skills develop over time. The idea is to bring mindful awareness to all aspects of our life. You may start by being aware of simple activities like brushing your teeth or eating an apple. Overtime you will develop a deeper sense of self-awareness by noticing what your triggers are and the ability to have more control over your impulses. You will begin to become aware of that moment or trigger that causes you to act on impulses.
Easy Mindfulness Practice:
Find a comfortable position, close your eyes, and count your breaths.