What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is, simply said, becoming aware of the present moment, noticing what is actually happening inside of you and outside of you. Mindfulness practice teaches you to have direct experiences, in the moment, of your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and sensations in the body. When you start living in the present moment, your experience your life more fully. You will be able to see the world as it is rather than adding your own story to it. You then become stronger, no longer needing to avoid any experiences including joy, pain, sorrow, happiness, etc…  Instead, you learn to embrace whatever experience you witness in the moment.

 

Through mindfulness practice, your mind will learn to be quiet. When your mind settles down, you will be able to see clearly what is in front of you; your choices and options. You are then able to make choices consciously.

 

Practicing mindfulness can be easy to talk about but difficult to do. You can cultivate experiences of mindfulness through a variety of practices such as mindfulness meditation, various martial arts, contemplative practices such as flower arrangement, calligraphy, archery, yoga and movement. 

 

Meditation practice includes not only formal sitting meditation practice but also walking, hiking, gardening, cooking, and cleaning meditations. You eventually invite mindfulness into your daily activities.

What You Can Learn From Mindfulness Exercises

Benefits of Mindfulness

  • Become aware of the present moment; inside and outside of you

  • Quiet your mind without forcing your mind to stop

  • Become a witness to your experience

  • Have direct experiences

  • Develop awareness of your judgments and become less judgmental toward yourself and others

  • Learn to focus and pay attention

  • Observe what’s coming up for you

  • See things as they are and increase your acceptance of things as they are

  • Understand that nothing is permanent

  • Develop awareness of your habitual/automatic responses

  • Be more intentional in your actions

  • Slow yourself down

  • Learn how your mind works and recognize your tendency to take things personally

  • Less stress

  • Improved mental health, including fewer symptoms of anxiety, depression, eating disorders, substance issues, obsessive-compulsive disorder, trauma related issues...

  • Better physical health such as improved heart health, lower blood pressure, reduction in chronic pain, improved sleep, and relief from gastrointestinal difficulties

  • Improved relationships

  • Increased ability to tolerate uncomfortable situations and pain

  • Better able to respond instead of react to a situation – able to not freak out!

  • Better able to let go of stuff you don’t want to hang on to

  • Increased control of your impulses and urges

  • Better decision-making

  • Improved concentration and focus

  • Relax your mind, body and spirit

  • Learn to be happy and experience love - being loved and giving love