So what is mindfulness, anyway?
With meditation and mindfulness practice... “When you open yourself to the continually changing, impermanent, dynamic nature of your own being and of reality, you increase your capacity to love and care about other people and your capacity to not be afraid. You're able to keep your eyes open, your heart open, and your mind open. And you notice when you get caught up in prejudice, bias, and aggression. You develop an enthusiasm for no longer watering those negative seeds, from now until the day you die. And, you begin to think of your life as offering endless opportunities to start to do things differently.”
Mindfulness is... "The awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment by moment."
-- Jon Kabat-Zinn (2003)
Mindfulness is... "The self-regulation of attention so that it is maintained on immediate experience, thereby allowing for increased recognition of mental events in the present moment."
-- Bishop (Bishop et al, 2004)“
"Meditation is... "Meditation is not evasion; it is a serene encounter with reality.”
― Thích Nhất Hạnh
Meditation is... "A simple, open, loving attention of heart and mind to the divine presence, without retaining, reacting, responding or resisting any thought, emotion or sensation."
-Father Thomas Keating
Sitting meditation is... "Aside from the mechanics
of posture and breath, the beginner learns through continous and gentle use of will to sustain attention to the present moment-- to relate without judgement, reactivity or resistance to what is. Once this cognitive skill is firmly established, a new perception begins to awaken, and a corresponding sense of self."
--Daniel Trautman, Director, Kiva Mindfulness
And some well-known
teachers tell us...
"Mindfulness" has become a catch-all phrase in Western culture that refers to a time-tested ancient and useful form of pratice for cultivating present-moment awareness. Evidence from neuroscience, psychology and other fields have proven mindfulness to be a highly efficient way to develop cognitive skills that benefit both our physical and mental health.