What is Mindfulness?

Respond more consciously and creatively to life

Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention on purpose in the present moment, with an attitude of non judgemental kindness towards ourselves and our experience. It is simple but not easy. It is innate but underdeveloped. 

The practice of Mindfulness is an opportunity to slow down and pay attention to how the body, mind, and emotions actually operate in real time, in this moment.

This is done through formal Mindfulness meditation practices and bringing Mindfulness into everyday life.

The formal practices include the body scan meditation, awareness of the breath, thoughts and sounds meditations and mindful movement, all of which direct the attention  inwardly.  

We learn to bring this mindful awareness into our lives by paying attention and bringing present-moment awareness to everyday activities. To do this we don’t have to stop what we are normally doing to be mindful. This is key to the trans-formative potential of the courses.

Stress re-activity, the feeling of being stressed and pressured, is in many cases a bad habit. Mindfulness encourages us to investigate our direct experiences of living, working, and relating to others and through this learning to recognise the habit patterns that may be contributing to our suffering.

All these practices are restorative and help physiologically regulate the nervous system. The power to self-regulate the nervous system and the power to re-pattern our neurological pathways is now known to be measurable and teachable.

Contemporary Mindfulness has made these inner resources accessible through the development of a learnable format .

About the research:

Mindfulness-based approaches have proven effective in decreasing symptoms of anxiety (Miller, Fletcher, and Kabat-Zinn 1995), obsessive-compulsive disorder (Baxter et al. 1992), and chronic pain ( Kabat-Zinn, Chapman, and Salmon 1987).

They have also been shown to be helpful in reducing the detrimental effects of psoriasis (Kabat-Zinn et al., 1998), increasing a sense of empathy and spirituality (Shapiro, Schwartz, and Bonner 1998), increasing well-being (Brown and Ryan 2003), preventing relapse in depression (Segal et al. 2007) and drug addiction (Parks, Anderson, and Marlatt 2001), and decreasing stress and enhancing quality of life for those struggling with breast and prostate cancer (Carlson, L., et al. 2007).

Summarised by Bob Stahl, Ph.D.