What is Mindfulness
28 Jan 2019 by Marta Regina
I started meditating many years ago at a Buddhist temple under the guidance of a Tibetan Lama. My experience was just amazing. At the very beginning I didn't realize how important that ancient knowledge was for me. Even though I was lured by Buddhist culture and I read everything he gave me to read, I was missing something. Yet, I have been meditating since then.
Then, suddenly at a specific time of my life, as predicted but still unexpected, I fell into Buddhism again. I went to a Thich Nhat Hanh 1-day mindfulness workshop and I found the atmosphere of that large group very welcoming and I felt deeply moved by his words and the special ambience created by the power of his presence. What struck me the most was feeling his inner peace and his great ability to love everyone. Next to him you could touch that feeling of love!
So, what is mindfulness?
If we consider the human suffering as the attachment of what we like or the refusal of what we don't like, we can feel anxiety or discomfort because of this. When we see things as permanent we are creating the roots of our own suffering.
Jon Kabat-Zinn who pioneered a meditation based program to treat stress and anxiety, defined mindfulness as "the awareness that arises by paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally" (Kabat-Zinn 2013).
For that reason, we could consider meditation as a practice of self-knowledge, its assumptions provide for a continuous investigation of the inner and outer reality to get rid of suffering through a path of liberation.
Or if we consider meditation per se, in the Mingyur's book I found one of the definitions that I prefer about meditation "Meditation is actually a very simple exercise in resting in the natural state of your present mind, and allowing yourself to be simply and clearly present to whatever thoughts, sensations, or emotions occur" (Mingyur 2007).
This is my personal definition:
Mindfulness is bringing our attention to the present moment with intentionality, curiosity and acceptance.