Getting Started with Mindfulness

An excerpt from Getting Started with Mindfulness

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.


While mindfulness is something we all naturally possess, it’s more readily available to us when we practice on a daily basis.


Whenever you bring awareness to what you’re directly experiencing via your senses, or to your state of mind via your thoughts and emotions, you’re being mindful. And there’s growing research showing that when you train your brain to be mindful, you’re actually remodeling the physical structure of your brain.

The goal of mindfulness is to wake up to the inner workings of our mental, emotional, and physical processes.

What is meditation?

Meditation is exploring. It’s not a fixed destination. Your head doesn’t become vacuumed free of thought, utterly undistracted. It’s a special place where each and every moment is momentous. When we meditate we venture into the workings of our minds: our sensations (air blowing on our skin or a harsh smell wafting into the room), our emotions (love this, hate that, crave this, loathe that) and thoughts (wouldn’t it be weird to see an elephant playing a trumpet).

Mindfulness meditation asks us to suspend judgment and unleash our natural curiosity about the workings of the mind, approaching our experience with warmth and kindness, to ourselves and others.

How do I practice mindfulness and meditation?

Mindfulness is available to us in every moment, whether through meditations and body scans, or mindful moment practices like taking time to pause and breathe when the phone rings instead of rushing to answer it.

VIDEO: “YOU ARE NOT YOUR THOUGHTS”

Jon Kabat-Zinn, creator of the research-backed stress-reduction program Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), explains how mindfulness lights up parts of our brains that aren’t normally activated when we’re mindlessly running on autopilot.

“Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally, and then I sometimes add, in the service of self-understanding and wisdom.”

- Jon Kabat-Zinn -

Full Article:


Getting Started with Mindfulness


 BY MINDFUL.ORG


Walsh, Kelle. "Getting Started with Mindfulness." Mindful. 2019. 31 July 2019 <https://www.mindful.org/meditation/mindfulness-getting-started/>.

President

Rachel Wixey & Associates

[Rachel]

I chose this because it demonstrates simple, easy ways to get started with a practice, it shares the basics of what mindfulness is, and provides research on what's going on in the brain, for those of us interested in the science of it. 

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