What Is Mindfulness?

What Is Mindfulness?

What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a buzzword now, but do we really know what it means?  People seem to throw it around quite a bit and we even renamed our classes Mindful Flow.  But what is mindfulness exactly?  I found this definition from the book Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana very helpful.

Vipassana is a simple practice.  It consists of experiencing your own life events directly, without preferences and without mental images pasted on to them.  Vipassana is seeing your life unfold from moment to moment without biases…  In vipassana meditation we cultivate this special way of seeing life.  We train ourselves to see reality exactly as it is, and we call this special mode of perception mindfulness.

In life we take events, people or objects and subconsciously we categorize them into pleasant, unpleasant or neutral.  From there we try to draw in the pleasant, push away the unpleasant, and we don’t really care about the neutral.  Mindfulness allows us to notice this and see reality as it is– free from grasping, free from aversion, free from numbness.  Once we see ourselves and accept this fully, only then can we change it.

Here is my definition of mindfulness.  It is simple, but quite hard to do.  Mindfulness is waking up, seeing clearly, not operating out of habit or fear.

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Elizabeth Delaney