Mindfulness has roots in Buddhism and has been practiced for more than thousands of years. In the last thirty years, mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) have grown in popularity in the West, due to recent neuroscience research that has bolstered support for the practice. Mindfulness is a concept that refers to an individual’s state of consciousness and awareness. It sets the mind to focus on the present and alleviates the mind from unavoidable life stresses.
Mindfulness means maintaining awareness on the present moment in a judgement-free manner. We pay attention to our current state, thoughts, and feelings without judging or diving into the story behind them. It is a skill that can be learned and transmitted to others to help prevent them from suffering.
- Let the mind be fully active in terms of observation
- Stimulate the mind, fill it with awareness
- Use all the senses to create awareness
- Be the silent witness, the observer
- Try not to label things as good or bad
- If we judge, we create emotions that carry us away
- Emotions are related to the past or the future
- Have faith that things are the way they should be
- Know that the present moment is as it should be
- Let go of the desire to control
- Let go of the need or desire to change things
4. Be Present
- Use the physical realm; the breath, the senses to keep you present
- The present moment brings us to a state of peace, the natural or pure state of our mind
- The present moment is all that exists, is all that is real
5. Non Competition
- Let go of the need to perform, as effort and struggle work against you in meditation
- Release the desire to improve or get it right
- Bring a sense of innocence to the practice
Mindfulness helps us become more aware of our own body and environment. It does not redirect us or change who we already are. Instead, it helps us focus on the present and what is happening at the very moment. Mindfulness is a powerful tool for everyone. Despite its Buddhist roots, it is not a religious practice and therefore is open to people from all faiths.
There are also several situations in which one can easily implement mindfulness such as eating mindfully, brushing teeth mindfully, showering mindfully, etc. Mindfulness can be implemented easily in any area of life and can improve the quality of one’s life, liberating self from any damaging attachment to ideas, concepts, beliefs, and/or possessions.