What Is Mindfulness?

Lets start with what Is Mindfulness?

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Mindfulness is the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmental to things as they are.

 Pay attention to what? you might ask. To anything, but especially to those aspects of life that we most take for granted or ignore. For instance, we might start paying attention to the basic components of experience, like how we feel, what is on our minds, and how we perceive or know anything at all. Mindfulness means paying attention to things as they actually are in any given moment, however they are, rather than as we want them to be. Why does paying attention in this way help? Because it is the exact antithesis to the type of ruminative thinking that increases the stress, worry and pain in our lives.

First, mindfulness is intentional. When we are cultivating mindfulness, we can be more aware of present reality and the choices available to us. We can act with awareness. By contrast, rumination is often an automatic reaction to whatever triggers us. It is tantamount to unawareness, being lost in thought.

Second, mindfulness is experiential, and it focuses directly on present moment experience. By contrast, when we ruminate, our minds are preoccupied with thoughts and abstractions that are far away from direct sensory experience. Rumination propels our thoughts into the past or into an imagined future, and because science has proven that our body and minds do not know the difference between real and imagined, well we are just reliving things over and over again!   

Third, mindfulness is non-judgmental. its virtue is that it allows us to see things as they actually are in the present moment and to allow them to be as they already are. By contrast, judging and evaluating are integral to rumination and the entire doing mode. Judgments of any sort (good or bad, right or wrong) imply that we or the things around us have to measure up in some way to an internal or external standard. The habit of judging ourselves severely disguises itself as an attempt to help us to live better lives and to be better people, but in actuality the habit of judging winds up functioning as an irrational tyrant that can never be satisfied.

Practicing mindfulness is more than just noticing things around us that we hadn’t noticed before It is learning to become aware of the particular mode of mind that gets us stuck when misapplied to ourselves and our emotional life. With an increasing ability to sustain mindfulness, we can explore what happens when our emotions are allowed to come and go in awareness with a non-judgmental attitude and self-compassion.

The practice of mindfulness teaches us to shift into being mode so that we can be more at peace with our emotions. Our emotions are not the enemy, after all, but messages that reconnect us in the most basic and intimate of ways with the adventure and experience of being alive.

So What is Mindful Yoga & Mindfulness Meditation?

As we have seen, Mindfulness is a life skill which can deepen our sense of well-being and fulfillment. It involves paying attention to what is occurring in our present moment experience, with an attitude of openness and non-judgmental acceptance. It engages all of our senses as we open to our entire experience, becoming aware of our body, emotions, thoughts and the external environment.

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As Jon Kabat-Zinn so eloquently describes it, Mindfulness is “arriving at our own door”, being in touch with ourselves, with others and our surroundings in the present moment. It is a natural and an intuitive state of presence in which we can feel more connected, real and alive.

The practice taps into the innate potential for healing that we all have. It mobilizes our ability to cultivate embodied wisdom and self-compassion, and by so doing it teaches us to live our life and face whatever arises with integrity, clarity and an open-hearted presence.

If you've not tried mindfulness before, the science says it will:

Reduce your stress (and its negative impact on your body)

Improve your focus and performance

Increase your sense of purpose and meaning

And most importantly: tame the brain. 

 

Some definitions of Mindfulness -

Knowing what you are experiencing while you are experiencing it.
Guy Armstrong

Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way:
    on purpose, 
in the present moment, 
and non-judgmentally.
                                    - Jon Kabat-Zinn

Mindfulness is moment to moment awareness.
With awareness comes choice, with choice freedom,
So Awareness is freedom.

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Since training at Solterreno I have begun teaching the MBSR course in my local area and I have been accepted onto the UK Network for Mindfulness-Based Teacher Training Organisations. This shows that my training at Solterreno and ongoing supervision meets the UK Good Practice Guidelines for…

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UK Network for Mindfulness-Based Teacher Training Organisations

"The Mindful Academy Solterreno institution gave me outstanding Teacher Training, with all the materials and supervision to teach the MBSR program. After teaching my first MBSR program in Switzerland, I was able to become a member of the Swiss MBSR Association which implies that my MBSR courses…

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The quality of the teaching at the Mindful Academy, the thoroughness…

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The centre is set in an extraordinarily beautiful position; its terraces and garden offer calm and tranquillity whilst the surrounding mountains seem to breathe with a quiet and majestic stillness. This awe-inspiring landscape is conducive to a total immersion into the bigger picture!

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I have attended two retreats at Solterreno so far and found both among the most valuable experiences I've ever had, with all aspects carefully designed to facilitate positive change. The content was…

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As most teachers of mindfulness approaches, my pathway is founded on a deeply personal engagement with the practice over a number of years, since 2002. Coupled with the persistent and increasing empirical basis for MBSR, I was drawn to join the training pathway in 2013 - so that I may offer…

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This course is more than a training programme, it also contributed to me in terms of opening new rooms in my mind and heart. Every moment I had in Solterreno was giving me the confidence and trust of being with the correct instructors and being in the correct place. Everything was designed…

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