Mindfulness is so much more than just sitting with your eyes closed
There’s nothing new about mindfulness, it has been around for at least 2600 and maybe even as long as 5000 years, so you could say it’s tried and tested. Mindfulness is an ancient wisdom that in recent years has become a modern mainstream sensation. More and more people are discovering the profound benefits of regular practice and mindfulness is the latest buzzword in the world of psychotherapy, sports psychology, music, and the arts.
Mindfulness is an effective treatment for depression, stress, anxiety, anger problems, post-traumatic stress disorder, pain management and is being recommended as a treatment of choice for numerous other mental and physical heal issues.
Mindfulness isn’t a psychological technique it’s far more than that. Mindfulness is a way of living, the most wonderful journey of self-discovery and liberation – It’s a whole new way of experiencing your life and the discovering a new depth to the world, yourself and ultimately the nature of reality
Mindfulness is being present – That’s two words, Being and Present. It’s about bringing your full attention to the knife-edge of now, fully focussed on what’s real right here and now. But mindfulness is also a state of being. A quality of attention, a state of mind and energy that you bring into the moment. Mindfulness isn’t something that you do, it’s your state of being, the quality of attention that you bring to what very you are doing now.
If you thought mindfulness is about floating off into a fluffy dream world, I’m sorry to disappoint you. In truth mindfulness is the opposite to that, mindfulness is not about falling asleep it’s about waking up from the dream in your head (nightmare if you’ve been living in mine) and coming alive to the world. We call it beginners mind being intensely alive and living fully, sucking every juicy drop from the miracle of your life now with a sense of peace and wellbeing
The great mindfulness master Thich Nhat Hahn called mindfulness The Art of Concentration. A very large proportion of our thinking is repetitive, problematic, pain provoking , scattered and distracted. With mindfulness, it is possible to observe and let go of unhelpful thoughts and train your mind to focus your attention where you choose to put it, rather than it being involuntarily distracted
Mindfulness means knowing directly what is going on inside and outside of ourselves, moment by moment. That means coming alive to the amazing world we live in, living fully and sucking every juicy drop out of life, but it’s also about paying attention to our inner world. Our thoughts emotions and unconscious pre-programmed patterns of behaviour -(what psychologists call conditioning). With that self awareness we can take more effective control over ourselves. override our conditioning thereby break unhelpful habits and behaviours
Mindfulness doesn’t just make your world a better, it males everybody else’s world better too. If you are less stressed, happier and enjoying life, that rubs off on other people, you are a lot nicer to be around, people enjoy your company and they feel better in your presence. Through mindfulness practices such as gratitude and loving kindness a whole new world is reflected back to you.
As your thinking analytical part of your mind quietens and you find some mental space, you discover that you are able to access other aspects of mind. You gain insights, intuition, creative, interconnected and spiritual aspects of mind that are not available in normal consciousness . There’s no point in trying to explain, you’ll realise it yourself as your practice deepens