Until recently little was known about mindfulness; except maybe in Buddhist circles. Recently however, the topic appears to be popping up everywhere. From the business and financial sectors to the teaching and healthcare sectors, mindfulness is being recognised as a way of being that soothes the stresses and improves productivity.

Mindfulness is associated with and includes formal meditative practice, but it is more than that. It is a practice of moment to moment awareness that is curious, compassionate and non-judgmental-a turning off of the autopilot in favour of an active presence in the activities of our daily lives. It requires a shift in our perspective and an active practice of non-judgement.  

Mindful-practice is those things which we do in order to be mindful. Regular meditation, increased awareness in our everyday activities and relationships, increased awareness of our bodies and emotions; all form a part of mindful practice.

This practice is done with the qualities of mindfulness which according to researcher, Shauna Shapiro,are: intention, attention and attitude. These qualities set the tone of mindful practice.

  • Intention

Our intention is the answer to why we do anything. As Kabat-Zinn explains: “Your intentions set the stage for what is possible. They remind you from moment to moment why you are practicing.” Rather than being fixed, intention is dynamic and shifts and evolves as we continue to practice.

  • Attention

Mindful attention is a focus on the experience of the moment without the distraction of the interpretations of the experience. It is about being aware of and accepting what is. (This does not mean that we do not or cannot change what is distressing or unpleasant, it just means that we accept it for what is in this moment before we set the intention to initiate change.)

  • Attitude

Attitude refers to how we attend. In mindfulness, we hold an attitude of open, patient, non-striving, non-judgmental curiosity.

 By bringing these three qualities into how we go about our daily lives; we can begin to live in a way that is more present, more whole and more meaningful.

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