Mindfulness: A Gentle Introduction

I promised you a soothing, unchallenging experience here and I plan to keep my word. So here is a gentle introduction for you.... one that you may observe in passing - as though strolling along the grassy banks of a gentle stream on a crisp Spring morning. You see the little ducks in a row - sailing across the surface of the water. You observe them - in passing - only to recall them later that evening, on your way home.

SO here is what you can observe about mindfulness today and what it could mean to you. 

Being aware of what is happening to you in the present moment sounds simple enough - and it really is. I have added the most well-known definitions of mindfulness to the bottom of  this post as an easy point of reference.

Keep in mind however that mindfulness will mean something different to each person - depending on what is important to them at any given moment. One thing I want to point out is that mindfulness is NOT "just meditation" as some may be led to believe. It really isn't. Yes, meditation is a core component to developing a mindfulness practice but if I was to tell you that we now live in a world where extremely driven, hard-edged leaders of large corporations are regularly "meditating" - you may find it hard to believe. But it's true. They are. However it may be easier to digest the idea that they have discovered the powerful effect of incorporating the practice of mindfulness  and mindfulness meditation into their lifestyle and the results they produce. 

Let's consider language here too. It may be feasible for you to imagine a boardroom full of executives sitting quietly for a couple of minutes before a meeting. However, what if I replaced "sitting quietly" with "meditating"? Would that change the perception for you? And what if I revealed that they all take part in mindfulness-based training to optimize the productivity of their business? What would your thoughts be?

The word mindful, for example, is used to express a way of be-ing - a way of approaching the decisions we face every day. Mindfulness is a practice that involves using specific tools to reprogram (neuroplasticity) our brains to respond to stimuli in a more effective way.

Without getting  into the scientific details of neuroplasticity, I will explain it this way...  You know the expression "you can't teach an old dog new tricks"? Well it's not true when it comes to the way our wonderful brains react to the world around us. Essentially, you can re-wire your brain. It is in realizing the true impact of this simple fact that becomes a backdrop to understanding how mindfulness could elevate the quality of your life - whatever the context.

Thanks for reading. I truly appreciate you.


CLARITY OF MIND = IMPROVED QUALITY OF LIFE

Mindfulness is the awareness that emerges through paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to the unfolding of experience moment to moment.
— John Kabat-Zinn
Mindfulness is keeping one’s consciousness alive to the present reality.
— Thich Nhat Hahn