What is Mindfulness?
1. The quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
2. A mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
I would like to simplify the definition and say that it is: a way of training the mind to be disciplined to only think of one thing at a time.
Without mindfulness training of our minds, our thoughts can be free wheeling, darting here there and everywhere, so by the end of the day we are exhausted and sometimes can’t even sleep at night because this busy restless mind just goes on and on. Through mindfulness you can train the mind to be a tool that you use at your command and not an endless train of thoughts that don’t lead anywhere. You are possibly having a random thought now, “I don’t have time for this, I should be…” Yet you chose to read this so stay focussed and complete your reading.
So, for example, when you are at a job interview, interviewees often force themselves to listen and engage meaningfully with the prospective employer (you are not full of self-chatter about, “am I good enough”, “why is there a team of people interviewing me”, “I wonder how many other people applied for the job” etc. On these rare occasions you are often fully present in the moment.
Through learning mindfulness, you can be fully engaged in a conversation without drifting off. Thus, the person who is talking, feels incredibly ‘heard’ and has a sense you are understanding and following what they are saying. Through learning mindfulness, you can focus clearly on the problem at hand and think of all the pros, con, possibilities and make more balanced decisions, weighing of the issues/concerns before coming to a careful outcome.
Through learning mindfulness, you can present, talk, and persuade people to your thought processes by being able to clearly outline your argument from an authentic heart. Through learning mindfulness, you can learn to switch off, relax and play, focus on time out and truly recharge. Through learning mindfulness, you can clearly compartmentalise work from home, ensuring a totally present person in every situation. Mindfulness is about being present and focused at every moment of the day, whether you are working, relaxing or anything else! It is about awakening the mind and is a level of alertness that is relaxing because you have trained the mind to only think of one thing at a time. Through learning mindfulness, we bring the mind, body, and spirit together to act in a purposeful way.
Without mindfulness we can be prone to a dis ease with living and this can result in a disease. We live such busy lives we rush here and there. Maybe the only good thing to come out of COVID 19 was that it forced all of us to slow down. We were not able to arrange such a busy calendar of events for ourselves of work, fitness, social life, hobbies, family, and sport, etc. Instead, we were confined to homes where many of us worked and found a new meaning of family connection and downtime. I think this has given people a chance to reflect on why they are filling every minute of the day with activity and doing and having daily timetables that have not allowed for downtime or reflection. From COVID 19 many have had a chance to experience reflection and from this comes creativity, planning, problem solving, which we are often missing from a life we have made into a treadmill.
Have you been totally present? You will have had moments of being present, focused and experiencing mindfulness. Maybe it’s eating the first mango of the season, trying something new, being involved in a hobby or leisure activity where you are totally lost in the experience and enjoying a sense of bliss. These are moments of mindfulness, but it is possible to train the mind, so it is experiencing this presence, always focussed and mindful, no matter what you are doing.
Classes are held via ZOOM.
Each week the lesson is divided into 3 parts. The first part of each lesson is spend explaining the practice (there are 8 different styles of meditation taught) and undertaking various mental exercises. The group enjoys a break halfway through. This offers a chance to talk to like-minded people and share your experiences with the practices. The final part of the lesson delves more deeply into the practice with individual guidance from your meditation teacher.