What is mindfulness?

"Mindfulness is the awareness that arises from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally." ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn

The first thing most of us notice if we start to pay attention to our attention, is that our minds are all over the place!  Most of our thoughts are ruminating about the past or planning for the future and we miss out on the only moment we truly have to be alive in: the present.

Rather than being lost in thought, mindfulness helps us build our muscle of awareness and allows us to come back to the moment we're in; just as it is, with kindness and curiousity.  

Mindfulness is not about pushing away difficult thoughts, emotions or people in our lives.  With regular practise, it allows us to see our habitual patterns of thoughts and reactions, and to see that we have a choice in how we respond, both to ourselves and other people.  This can be of enormous benefit in managing stress, increasing our sense of well-being and have a positive effect on our relationships as well.

“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” ~ Viktor E. Frankl
 

An easy-to-remember tool to help with practising mindfulness is the acronym R.A.I.N.  It has four steps:

R - recognize what is going on;
A - allow the experience to be there, just as it is;
I - investigate with kindness;
N - natural awareness, which comes from not identifying with the experience.

Visit www.mindful.org to read the full article by Tara Brach

One of the practitioners at our centre, Stephanie Curran, leads a variety of classes and presentations on mindfulness in our community.  Below are a listing of current classes and resources:

 

 

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