What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way, on purpose — with intention (as opposed to autopilot). It is paying attention to what is happening in the present moment (not dwelling on the past or the future) and doing so nonjudgmentally. – Jon Kabat-Zinn
What is Meditation?
Meditation is a practice – in which we choose an anchor for attention (such as our breath).
- We then sit with the intention to focus the attention on the chosen anchor.
- When the mind wanders (and it always does), we notice, with interest and curiosity, but without judgment, then gently refocus attention on the anchor.
- That’s it! Simple, but not easy.
We avoid having the unrealistic expectation of “clearing the mind of all thoughts.” This is not the goal. We are simply practicing the skill of focusing attention – as we choose – and increasing our awareness of what is happening spontaneously, here and now.
What is Mindfulness Meditation?
Mindfulness Meditation is a secular approach to meditation that helps strengthen the muscles of paying attention as we choose and increasing our awareness of what happens automatically in our minds, emotions, and bodies. This increased self-awareness leads to an increased ability to make thoughtful, mindful choices in everyday life. Said another way, the practice of Mindfulness Meditation teaches us to be more mindful in our daily lives — be calmer, make better decisions, appreciate our lives more.