MINDFULNESS AND THE BENEFITS OF MINDFULNESS PRACTICE
Being ‘Mindful’ means paying attention to what is there, moment by moment, leaving judgements and preconceived ideas aside.
We bring our full attention to how the mind works in the present moment, letting thoughts and ideas appear and take their course without engaging in conclusions, noticing how everything is constantly changing.
Through Mindfulness practice, we become aware that ‘how we are in the present moment’ is an experience which involves the mind and also the body, our feelings and sensations.
By cultivating Mindfulness, we develop more focus and mental clarity; we extend our awareness to how we live our life, and begin to see how our past affects our present. We realise how much meaning and expectations we attach to our experience because of events which occurred in the past or because of our desires to achieve something in the future. We become aware how the very thoughts we create in our minds affect our body and our moods. We begin to recognise the causes of our suffering.
Mindfulness practice slows our mental processes down, allowing time for reflection; it tends to develop a mental calm by stopping our tendency to dwell in the same mental patterns and in so doing, reduces stress and anxiety.
Through the cultivation of a genuine curiosity about how we fully experience ourselves, we access a wider space where to explore our feelings and sensations ‘as they are’, free from the restrictions of our critical mind, allowing a natural shift towards the restoration of health and well-being.