Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a state of awareness characterized by nonjudgmental observation of and interaction with the present moment. Mindful awareness involves an open, curious, and accepting attitude toward your internal experience (bodily sensations, thoughts, and emotions) and your external experience (interactions with other people and the environment). Mindfulness may be cultivated and strengthened through regular meditative practices. In fact, research has found that engaging in daily meditative practices for as little as 20 minutes a day over the course of eight weeks significantly reduces self-reported depression, anxiety, negative affect (mood), and rumination (engaging in repetitive negative thoughts or excessively focusing on real or perceived negative experiences / failures).

Mindfulness is a state of being that facilitates freedom from attachment to the need for people, things, or events to be a certain way… tranquility comes with mindful awareness and acceptance of the way people, things, and events actually are. Mindful acceptance does not require your approval. Many events in life will occur, and even persist, with or without your approval. Mindfulness enables you to take a step back from your experience, take the blinders off your eyes, and see the present moment in the light of day… just as it is. The concepts of “good” and “bad” take on new meanings when these labels are no longer hurriedly applied to people, things, and events out of knee-jerk emotional responses or behavioral impulses. Mindfulness provides a quiet space from which you have the opportunity to view any situation, encounter, or experience from all angles. Within this mindful state is psychological flexibility, lessened emotional reactivity, and greater tolerance of distress.

An attitude of mindfulness means that you are aware of the present moment in an entirely new way… with this freedom comes inherent responsibility. You are now responsible for making the choice to respond to internal and external cues rather than react to them. When you welcome and accept all things, the mental and emotional strain of resistance to “what is” dissipates. Mindfulness is one road toward freedom from the unnecessary suffering that persists from denying, ignoring, or raging against the moment. Recognition of the possibility to be freed from unnecessary suffering and engage with your life in a deliberate, nonjudgmental, and accepting manner is part of becoming more mindful. Mindfulness is a tool that can increase your connectedness, acceptance, and awareness with yourself, others, and the world.

15 Benefits of Cultivating Mindfulness

“The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.” – Pema Chödrön It can be tough to be mindful in a society that is fast paced and intent on getting as much…

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Slow Down… Become Mindful

“Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing.” – Lao Tzu It is difficult to be mindful when your mind is racing a mile a minute, when your emotions feel chaotic, or when your heart is racing out of control.  All of these experiences share a common element… they are all happening quickly.  You…

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3 Fundamental Activities of Mindfulness

“People suffer because they are caught in their views. As soon as we release those views, we are free and we don’t suffer anymore.” – Thich Nhat Hanh What activities come to mind when you picture mindfulness?  How do you “know” when you are truly practicing mindfulness?  Many people experience mindfulness as a quiet sense…

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8 Basic Characteristics of Mindfulness

“Do you have patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself?” – Lao Tzu What does it really mean to practice mindfulness?  In many ways, mindfulness is such a simple concept that it becomes puzzlingly difficult to truly comprehend, let alone…

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Taming the “Wild Horse” of the Mind

“Beware lest you lose the substance by grasping at the shadow.” – Aesop Mindfulness involves allowing yourself to fully open up to the present moment – all of it – with curiosity, acceptance, and nonjudgmental awareness.  This is a simple concept that can be incredibly difficult to harness.  The mind is generally filled with incessant “chatter” about…

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7 Steps to Bring About Lasting Change

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy When we begin new habits and routines, we are often simultaneously letting go of unwanted habits.  Many people have realized firsthand that when you remove something unwanted from your life (e.g., a self-destructive habit), it is quite helpful to…

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Use Your Inner Wisdom to Set Boundaries

“I draw circles and sacred boundaries about me; fewer and fewer climb with me up higher and higher mountains – I am building a mountain chain out of ever-holier mountains.” – Friedrich Nietzsche When we engage in behaviors that run counter to our values or how we see ourselves as people, the result is often…

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5 Steps to Full Consciousness

“He who experiences the unity of life sees his own self in all beings, and all beings in his own self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye.” – Buddha We all experience different forms of consciousness in our daily lives.  Consciousness is experienced as a vast spectrum of awareness, ranging from completely unconscious…

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Mindfulness & Your True Self

“The outward man is the swinging door; the inner man is the still hinge.” – Meister Eckhart What qualities make up who “you” truly are?  When you reflect on your concept of “self,” what ideas, traits, or qualities come to mind?  The way that you define your identity and deep-seated sense of self affects your…

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