Mindfulness is “waking up” to our lives – not unlike awakening from a deep sleep. We often do not see ourselves, our lives, or others with clarity – as the way they really are. Instead, we spend our lives reacting to others as well as to our own actions, thoughts and emotions, adding meaning and stories, and calling those meanings and stories “the truth.”
We also judge our feelings: If I feel sad, I think “something’s wrong.” Then I look around to find out what situation, circumstance or person is causing what’s wrong. Or I look inward and decide I am causing what’s wrong. What if there was no judgment? What if there was nothing wrong?
Mindfulness is cultivated through Mindfulness Meditation Practices that help us wake up to what is real, here and now – our physical experience, our emotions, and thoughts – without judgment. These meditation practices show us how to simply pay attention to what is occurring – physically, emotionally and mentally – right now. It is a moment-to-moment investigation of the mind and body process, a radically different way of being.
Mindfulness Meditation Practices concentrate on awakening an individual’s own insight, and promoting change in individuals by reducing stress, and awakening self-awareness, self-reflectivity, and compassion for self and others. These practices also cultivate the ability to be successful without attachment to results, to be free of the attachment to past emotions, and to be fully grounded in the present moment, resulting in a deepened sense of inner peace.