We’ve all experienced moments of distraction, periods of what we call “mindlessness” – where we seem to be drawn away from the present, caught up in our heads with a loss of awareness, cut off and disconnected from what’s going on, even from oneself. Perhaps too, a sense of living mechanically, sort of going through the motions and not really showing up to our own lives.
The fast and sometimes overwhelming pace of our lives leaves us vulnerable to increased levels of stress. Vulnerable too, to this mindless-living in which we all too easily find our minds perpetually spinning whether it be planning for the future or reacting to memories of the past – without connecting with the present.
Mindfulness, then is a way of learning to relate directly to whatever is happening in your life, a way of connecting with our moment to moment experience. Fortunately, mindfulness is not something that you have to “get” or acquire. It is already within you — a deep internal resource available and patiently waiting to be released and used in the service of learning, growing, and healing. In a very real sense, this connecting is happening right now, in this very moment as you read these lines – and indeed in every moment of our lives. So this is not something that has to be started – rather, as a subtle process, it’s more of a refining and increasing in awareness.
Health and Well-being
One of the effects of increased awareness of all aspects of self – including body, mind, heart and soul is a balanced sense of health and well-being. This awareness also gives rise to an increased effectiveness in dealing with life’s difficulties and challenges. An increased ability to assume responsibility for one’s own life, and acting in accord with one’s values.
Mindfulness is a skill which can be learned, cultivated and practiced using specific meditation techniques, some of which are over five thousand years old, and have been refined and developed over the past thirty or so years.
Teachers such as Thich Nhat Hanh and Chogyam Trungpa have played a central role in bringing Mindfulness and other meditation techniques to the West. And teachers such Jon Kabat-Zinn, Jack Kornfield, Sylvia Boorstein, Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzburg and Tara Brach have all been instrumental in integrating the healing aspects of Mindfulness Meditation practices with psychological awareness and healing.
Mindfulness is foundational
In my approaches to therapy, Mindfulness is really foundational and provides powerful and effective framework for working with a wide spectrum of emotional, physical and spiritual turbulence.
Reading materials on Mindfulness