Monday, 2 November 2015

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is one of those fashionable terms that you see getting used just about everywhere, but what exactly does it mean?

Mindfulness is defined as, “The awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment.” In simpler words being mindful is not only being aware, it is being aware of awareness. It is approaching the present experience with a reflective awareness including the qualities of curiosity, openness, acceptance, and love.

Almost every culture and religion have practices that encourage and help people to develop awareness of the present moment or mindfulness including meditation, prayer, yoga, tai chi and qui quong.  These practices share the common intent to consciously focus awareness in a very specific way.  “Direct experience in the present moment has been described as a fundamental part of Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islamic, Jewish and Taoist teaching.”  Mindfulness is not associated with any one religious orientation nor does it conflict with any.

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