It's just some mumbo jumbo new age stuff isn't it?
It's just something to do with Buddhist monks isn't it?
It's something that people do in that Yoga isn't it?
To all the above questions the answer is NO, it is not!
Well what is it then?
And how can it help me?
Mindfulness is actually a very simple thing, yet an unbelievably powerful thing.
It has, in lots of cases been sort of blown up by many making it out to be this unreachable state, this thing that only people whom are 'enlightened' use or only stars and rich people use.
So, let’s cut through all the bull about it and explain just how simple yet complex and amazingly powerful it is.
Firstly, let me say that yes, mindfulness although not actually called that originally, has it's origins in Buddhism and something that the original Buddha taught over 2500 years ago. Buddhism contrary to popular belief is NOT a religion and to say it is would be like saying that the English we are taught in school, is a religion. It is a teaching just as English is, it can be taught or learnt religiously but it is not a religion.
We can also see tracings of it in the ancient Vedic texts as a teachings though the thought of ‘we are all one and one is all’.
Right, down to the nitty gritty.
The quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
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.
Mindfulness is about being aware of your surroundings, connecting, and then guiding your thoughts in a positive and constructive direction. With practice you will get better at guiding your thoughts to fine tune a state-of-mind that best fits whatever circumstance you find yourself in.
Imagine that you have say, 100 sheets of paper neatly piled up in front of you, (100 thoughts you have) you can only see what is on the top piece yet accept that there is something on the 99 others, but you deal with the top one then, move it and file it out of the way under its related heading once it has been dealt with, then onto the second sheet and so on.
That is the simplicity of mindfulness.
It is acknowledging there are many more sheets to work through but accepting you can only do one at a time to give your full focus and attention to that one sheet: that single thought, the present moment.
As you work through one sheet (a single thought) at a time, you come across one that you cannot work out, either that you just don't understand it, or you understand it but don't know the answer to it, or there is not enough information to give a factual answer to it. So, you acknowledge that at the present time you cannot resolve it and place it upside down starting another pile. (So, it creates being in the present moment and peace of mind knowing you can go back to it later)
Once you have been through every sheet and filed away the ones you have concluded, had an answer for.
Then you turn your attention and focus to the pile upside down that you couldn't conclude.
You turn the first one and ask yourself a couple of questions:
Will finding the answer add any positive meaning to my life?
If the answer is yes... Then how will it add positivity into my life?
Does finding the answer warrant the effort compared to other answers needed in my life?
If yes... Why does it?
If the answer would add positivity to my life, then do I need to ask questions to give me more facts to find the answer or add to my understanding to then find the answer?
If yes... Who do I ask the questions of?