So what is “mindfulness”? Well, it’s the current “catch-phrase” of the medical, health, psychology and stress management communities since they have “discovered”, in recent years, it’s enormous benefits to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing (this, despite the fact that it has been practised in a variety of forms by numerous cultures throughout the world for centuries, if not millennia..). I’ll be talking in more depth about mindfulness, and other forms of meditative practices, in future blog posts. However, as an introduction to the principles, I believe the following, published online by “Thought For Today” back in April 2012 (http://www.thoughtfortoday.org.uk), gives a straight-forward, no-nonsense, uncomplicated description:
“Most of us are of sound mind, but many of us have trouble maintaining a note of harmony and peace. Most of us know how to think, but few of us are able to control our thoughts. We all have the capacity to be creative, to imagine new ideas, but few of us are able to do it together and co-create in harmony with each other. We could all do with some mental training so that we may use the most powerful energy in the universe, the mind, which is always at our instant disposal. We can begin with mindfulness. It’s a simple way to gently help our mind go where it is best to go, do what is the best thing to do. It begins by simply being fully aware of what you are doing. Mostly we are not fully aware, as our minds wander into the past and then into possible futures. We spend most of our time watching others and so rarely fully focus on what we are actually doing ourselves. Next time you sit down to a meal, watch yourself. Be aware of only what you are eating. Every time your mind wants to wander, bring it gently and lovingly back to the action and sensation of eating. Then do the same when cleaning, when writing, when working. The more you do it, the stronger and more focused and more rational will be your concentration, the more natural will be your actions, the more peaceful you will feel, and the more relaxed you will be, no matter what you are doing.”
If you would like to leave a comment (below) about your experiences and practices of mindfulness, and how it has benefited you (or not!), I would be delighted to hear from you. Alternatively, if you are interested in learning meditation, mindfulness, relaxation or self-hypnosis skills, please contact me by phone or email (above right).