What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a way of being. At its core, mindfulness is all about attention and awareness, human capacities that are innate in all of us. Jon Kabat-Zinn, designer of the foundational Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program describes mindfulness in this way: ‘the awareness that arises when you pay attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally, and as if your life depended on it’.
Mindfulness training is the cultivation of a resource that is already ours since awareness is a capacity that we are born with. The researched – based training is about learning to become familiar with the being mode of the mind that we may be unfamiliar with. The invitation of the practices is to be present for your experience as it is without wanting it to be different or to change it in anyway before you have had a chance to really know all of what is here.
I invite you to listen to and watch the following videos for an experience and understanding of what is possible through this way of being
What is Mindfulness Practice: The Foundations?
The Foundations program has at its core the essence of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program. It is a blend of meditation, mind and body awareness, and movement such as simple yoga and walking. Through consistent practice and study you learn how your body experiences, responds to and can resolve stress neurologically. The 8 week foundational program teaches and supports one in the establishment and maintenance of an ongoing practice that cultivates both formal and informal mindfulness in one’s every day life. While it is possible to learn mindfulness on one’s own, the guidance, support and knowledge of a well-trained teacher-practitioner at the beginning of this path cannot be underscored enough. The MBSR, and therefore the Foundations program, is both a research based program and not a quick fix.
Risks, Benefits, and Possible side-effects
Research more and more indicates that mindfulness training can have a significant therapeutic effect in the areas of stress, anxiety, high blood pressure, depression, chronic pain, migraines, heart conditions, diabetes and many other ailments. In addition, participants typically report feeling more alive, more centred, and more connected to themselves and others.
- You will probably need to adjust your schedule for regular attendance of the sessions and to do the inter-week practice
- You could change and this may require some adjustments to regain a sense of balance
- You might experience a wide array of feelings both pleasant and unpleasant
- At first you may not like what you find about yourself – but then get to know yourself better
- You’ll be facing the unknown – yourself
- You’ll be challenged
- Relationships with yourself and others might be experienced differently
- Less mental anguish
- A greater sense of wellbeing
- A greater sense of balance in your life
- Mindfulness: clear seeing and understanding
- A quieter mind
Some Possible Side-effects
- New understanding
- A more expansive perspective
- Greater happiness, joy and peace
- A sense of wholeness, vastness, space and connection