What is Mindfulness


In the fast-paced world we all live in, it is essential to be mindful of what is happening all around us.

Mindfulness originates from the Buddhist philosophy and the books of work as popularized in the western world by John-Kabat Zinn. It is not a religious practice, nor is it judgmental in any manner. Mindfulness has no prerequisite training or background requirement. Mindfulness is simply about finding happiness and a sense of satisfaction in the current moment. 

Mindfulness is about managing the awareness of the mind to pay attention to whatever is happening in the present moment. Not on what has passed or why it happened, nor on what may happen or what the future may hold for you. While practicing mindfulness, the only reality that exists in that of the present moment. 


Understanding Mindfulness

Mindfulness is about the moment-by-moment awareness of your life. It is about being aware of every thought, feeling, sensation and activity that you are involved in right now. This may seem a very complex process, whereas in reality, mindfulness is all about simplifying your life and unburdening yourself from being affected by what you cannot control in this instant. When you think about your past, you oftentimes walk away feeling exhausted and full of guilt and thoughts about all that could have been but isn't a reality for what so ever reason may that be.

When you think about your future, however positive and hopeful you may choose to be, you oftentimes walk away feeling overwhelmed, insecure and unsure of what is the right path to undertake. By contrast to these two powerless states of past and future, the thoughts of the present are grounded in what you can control and govern. The thought of the present is anchored in the present moment alone, giving you all the power you need to drive it in the direction you choose. The biggest challenge is to overcome your habit of living in the past or in the future and bringing yourself to the present moment in time. 

What is 'now' will soon be the past, and what is 'coming soon' will soon become the now. But the critical question is 'will you be thinking about now when that next moment arrives?'. In all probability, you will choose not to. And as long as you continue to live in a different time, you will continue to feel powerless, and overwhelmed and continue to feel just how unfair the world is; when in reality you have had the option all along to live in the current moment a part of your mindfulness practice and start to take charge of your every moment. 

Mindfulness is the art and science of managing your mind moment by moment in every moment. It can be practiced while meditating, eating, walking, reading, working, leading, following, dancing, exercising, bathing, basically in every moment you are awake. 

Role of Meditation in Mindfulness 

Meditation is the simplest method of building your focus and attention. It is a gift that we have all been given, and it is the most relaxing and rewarding thing that we can do, no matter the stress we are in. This is the reason why the world has been talking about it so much. The practice of a traditional form of meditation that is sitting meditation forces you to sit in a posture to and it is often time suggested that you start by bringing your attention to your breathing. This, oftentimes, is the most challenging part for most beginners. What they find, is that their mind tends to wander very quickly (almost instantaneously sometimes), and it proves to be a real effort to bring your attention back into the moment once again to focus on your breathing. 

As you practice more and more and discover more ways to make your mind still during the course of your meditation, it helps you achieve alignment with your thoughts and attain victory over your mind moment-by-moment. Allowing this victory to then rollover into your present life day-to-day activities is what mindfulness is all about. Hence, the role of meditation is to help you build your ability to practice mindfulness at any given moment.

While Meditation is an important tool, it is not the only tool to build Mindfulness. There are various other ways by which you can build your ability to be mindful. You can discover some more ways as you discover more resources on this website IgniteJoy.com.

To learn more about how to tame your mind, watch the TED talk below: