What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the art of being fully present with our lives as they unfold moment by moment. With a gentle and kindly curiosity we learn to explore what is happening in our experience, paying particular attention to the thoughts, feelings and sensations in our bodies.
Through this act of slowing down and paying attention we begin to see more clearly how much we are driven in our lives by habit patterns and beliefs that we are barely conscious of. The clearer seeing that comes from mindfulness shows us a different way of relating with our experience so that we can find new choices about how to be and how to respond in any situation. We rediscover our inner resourcefulness.
Because mindfulness is a natural way of being, it can be learned and practiced by anyone, anywhere. Many cultures have developed techniques for training in mindfulness, with the most extensive exploration coming from the Buddhist tradition. Our approach to mindfulness is completely secular.
The course introduces several meditation practices exploring the body and breath in stillness and in gentle movement, as well as informal practices which help us to integrate mindfulness in our lives. Although the practice is simple and natural, it takes training, and the results can be life-changing.
The modern secular mindfulness movement is rapidly becoming mainstream and is being incorporated into health care, schools, prisons and the workplace. It is backed up by over 30 years of scientific research. These studies demonstrate a long lasting reduction in stress with consequent benefits in well-being and significant effects in many physical and mental health conditions.
Practising mindfulness can benefit us whether we have a physical or mental health problem or whether we simply wish to explore our experience and our potential more fully.