Mindfulness is a form of meditation where we bring our full attention to an object. Mindfulness is the act of focusing on being in the present, such as focusing completely on drinking a hot cup of tea, taking in its scent, warmth, and taste and removing overpowering emotions from the mind. It is intentionally maintaining heightened awareness of our internal experience and the reality occurring around us, without judging or analyzing.
When we are mindful, we are present with intention and a particular attitude and purpose, shifting away from automatic states where we are distracted and dwelling on the past or future. When we live mindfully, the internal noise does not govern our presence or take us away from deeper experiences. Instead, it is opening our minds to observe, accept and engage reality in a more inclusive and authentic way.
Mindfulness can be practiced both informally and formally. When practiced informally, it simply means attempting to be more aware in everything that you do. When practiced formally it takes the form of a mindfulness meditation.
The more we practice mindfulness, the more we learn to understand our consciousness, tap into our potential, cultivate our natural wisdom and higher intention and connect with the state of presence.
Formal mindfulness practices date at least 2,500 years back and draw their origins from Buddhist traditions. In the Buddhist view, mindfulness practices served as pathways towards achieving freedom of the mind and tools for shaping it.
The benefits of mindfulness include higher life satisfaction, heightened intuition and ability to understand and relate to others, higher capacity to cope with life’s challenges and natural reduction in stress hormones.