Focus on the Present Through a Self-Awareness Practice

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What Is Mindful Meditation?

The power of mindfulness to affect our well‑being is now widely recognized. Yoga and meditation are both mindfulness practices, meaning they help train the mind to stay present within the moment. Awareness in the present moment is the foundation of mindfulness, but it is more than that. It involves being aware of our own awareness and‑on an even deeper level‑being aware of the filters and habits of the mind that hinder our awareness.

It is the practice of consciously paying attention to what is happening in the mind and body at the moment without judging it, without getting caught up in a commentary about it, and without wishing it were different.

In fact, when we are aware of what we're actually thinking and feeling, we can clearly discern the difference between those thoughts and actions that are harmful and those that are beneficial. When we're blind to our thoughts and impulses, they run our lives. Becoming aware of our habits and the automatic ways we react when we're confused or upset is the first step to freeing ourselves from their power. Mindfulness helps us untangle the tangle, as some Buddhist scriptures put it, and then we can act with greater clarity.

Research increasingly shows that some of the benefits of mindfulness and meditation establish an increased sense of calmness, improved impulse control, more skillful responses to difficult emotions, and increased empathy and understanding of others. With mindful presence, we are more in touch with the beauty and magic that resides in each of us, and the beauty and magic of life itself.

In the aftermath of traumatic experiences, stilling the mind can feel threatening and may at first lead to flashbacks, heightened emotional responses, or distressing thoughts and memories. Since trauma affects such a large segment of the population, it is important for those of us who are mindfulness teachers to be informed about the risks that can be present for trauma survivors and be skilled at helping them navigate these difficulties as they learn to practice mindfulness in ways that work for them.

There is a most wonderful way to help living beings overcome grief and sorrow, end pain and anxiety, and realize the highest happiness. That way is the establishment of mindfulness.

-The Buddha

Mindfulness … simply means awareness. It’s a direct intuitive knowing of what you are doing while you are doing it. mindful awareness is about learning to pay attention, in the present moment, and without judgement. Its like training a muscle – training the attention to be whare you want it to be. The Buddha

-The Buddha

Mindfulness has everything to do with waking up and living in harmony with oneself and others.

-John Kabat-Zinn

Mindfulness is a set of awareness practices that lead to more balanced and authentic living. These practices for training the mind to be present, relaxed and open, reflective and responsive to the ever-changing, moment-to-moment experience of one’s life.

-Mark Williams