Mindfulness is...

Mindfulness is harder to describe than it is to experience. Fundamentals associated with it are

i) paying attention to what is happening now in this moment as opposed to the future or the past.

ii) being aware of this attention - sometimes described as having 'intention',

iii) being non-judgmental as to what is happening in this moment,

iv) breaking the habit of wanting more – or less – of whatever it is that is happening,

v) and developing a kindly regard for both yourself and other sentient beings.

A shift into gently 'being' rather than purposefully 'doing'.

In 'doing' we set ourselves goals, deadlines and live our lives around achievements with judgements as to whether we have done or achieved enough. This leads to a background level of tension, cardiovascular stress, discontent and it certainly steers us towards our emergency types of thinking. Threat based thinking is more reactive than carefully thought out. But it is difficult to see this whilst under its influence. Most of our lives has been spent working towards the next achievement, whether exams at school, promotion at work, better houses, bigger cars etc. In all of these areas our thinking is narrowed to the convergent. Mindfulness leads us to divergent 'open' approaches.

The being 'in the moment' of mindfulness involves being in touch with what is going on underneath your skin. Being aware of your breath as you breathe it and dealing with kindliness all aspects of your personal environment, whether they be comfortable or not. The effort of fighting or avoiding issues is eliminated. The cost of avoidance can be high. Especially in 'not giving in' to pain or discomfort and in the avoidance of the bad feelings associated with rejection and disappointment.

Mindfulness is a way of life as well as a type of meditation. It is not a relaxation exercise to be done at set periods of time.

It can be brought into each moment of work or any activity. In particular it can be brought into the simple enjoyment of being alive. It is the difference between eating supper watching television and eating supper deliberately tasting and enjoying what you are eating. Try 'mindfully' breathing whilst spending 5 minutes with the Mind-Full Game. Compare just 'being' with it to the competition it is trying to draw you into.

Mindfulness meditation is used in managing pain, stress and depression. But it is also invaluable if there is a sense there could be something more in your life or that maybe something is missing..