What is Mindfulness?
So we have all heard the word mindfulness around the office, in coffee shops, and in magazines. So what is Mindfulness? Being mindful is the practice of directing your mind, attention, and awareness to an activity. Most of us go through life as if we live in a pachinko machine. Our thoughts bounce from the past to the future, to fears and hopes so much so that we miss what is happening right now. We are bombarded by beeps and whirs and flashy images everywhere we go. Mindful practice in anything is bringing your full attention to whatever it is that you are doing. Well, this is really not such an easy task. It has never been. So people have noticed this human problem and developed ways to practice being Mindful.
Types of Mindfulness Practice
This is not an exhaustive list but just some of the ways you can practice mindfulness.
Meditation seated or standing even laying down. There are meditations specifically designed to increase your ability to be Mindful, from the Buddhist and Taoist Traditions. However, mindfulness is implied in all seated meditations - you want to bring your attention and awareness to your meditation.
Walking Meditation: Bring your attention to your walk. Whenever you get distracted, you bring your attention back to the "right now" of your walk. Any other thoughts are just distractions, and you bring your mind, kindly, please, to the activity.
Household Task: Folding clothes, doing the dishes, sweeping the floor, choping wood, carrying water. You bring your attention to the activity. Whenever you think about anything else, you notice you are distracted and return to being mindful of the activity.
Anything you do can become a mindful activity. Here's the rub, We all have a mind that we have to live/contend with. It can be difficult to bring mindfulness to anything, so it helps keep the activity simple, very simple. Some examples are 1. slowly walking and being aware of the parts of your step: lift the foot up, move the foot forward, reach with the heel, heel touches the ground, the foot flattens, weight shifts onto the foot, begin again with the other foot. 2. Watching your breath: Inhale and exhale and bringing your full attention to it.
Playing Qigong and Tai Chi are mindful activities. You are bringing your full awareness to the activity.
Some Benefits Of Mindfulness Practice
Mindfulness is a powerful activity if you have never done it before. It becomes a place of rest and peace that you can bring into the rest of your life with practice.
It cultivates among other qualities:
Mechanics of Breath Guided Meditation:
Mindfulness and New Forest© Qigong:
New Forest© Qigong is a mindful activity. It is composed of simple Visualizations and Movements the bring your attention and awareness to a single activity. It has the added benefit of bringing your awareness, in a light and playful way, to 10 different mindful activities where you can bring your awareness:
In short, mindfulness practice calms the noise of your experience of life. There are many ways to practice mindfulness, but not all methods are created equal. However, some have been designed for the purpose!