How well we have lived
How well we have loved
How well we have learned to let go”
― Jack Kornfield
Jon Kabat-Zin PhD is a scientist, writer, and meditation teacher who works toward bringing mindfulness into mainstream medicine and society. He defines mindfulness as “paying attention in a particular way; On purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” As I was preparing for this month I read a number of definitions of mindfulness, but this is my favorite for it’s simplicity and straightforwardness. This is not something that should be difficult to understand, now actually putting it into practice in our modern world is another matter.
Let’s Break down this definition, shall we?
I think the easiest way to begin practicing mindfulness is a meditation where you observe your breathing. Pay attention to the air coming in…. and going out. Of course your mind will wander, just bring your attention back to your breath. Remember we are not judging, so don’t beat yourself up for wandering off, the mind just does that. Later this month we will have a video with a mindfulness of breathing meditation.
Of course this can be applied to more than just breathing. Think about how much better time with your family could be if you paid attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally when you were with them? Eating, walking, watching the sunrise, all become richer experiences if practiced in this way.
Yes, you will find this concept in Buddhism, don’t get all tripped up over that. Yes, I have greatly simplified it, but this is a tool and a practice that is much-needed in our world right now. Enjoy exploring mindfulness with me this month.
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“People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong … Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?” – Thich Nhat Hanh
“People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong … Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?”– Thich Nhat Hanh