What is Mindfulness?
“Mindfulness is found in many spiritual traditions. In the West many secular* mindfulness courses are derived from Buddhism“.
The word “Mindfulness” originates from the word ‘Sati’ of the Pali language (first used to write down the teachings of the Buddha).
“The word ‘sati’ also has the connotation of ‘remembrance’ or ‘recollectedness‘, which is a key aspect of Mindfulness Practice. We can all be present, but the problem is that we all too easily forget to be present, and so the skills of ‘remembering to be present and recollecting ‘ on intention to be present are important.” (Choden, Heather Regan-Addis 2018, Mindfulness Based Living Course p2.)
*not connected with religious or spiritual matters.
Jon Kabat Zinn introduced mindfulness to the West in the 1980s. Today mindfulness approaches are widely used in the NHS.
“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally. This kind of awareness nurtures greater awareness, clarity and acceptance of present moment reality. It wakes us up to the fact that our lives unfold only in moments. If we are not fully present for many of these moments, we may not only miss what is most valuable in our lives, but also fail to realise the richness and the depth of our possibilities for growth and transformation” (Kabat-Zinn, 1994, p.4).
In this video Jon Kabat-Zinn discusses what mindfulness and meditation are really about: presence of heart.