Most people think of mindfulness as relief from anxiety or depression, a cure for health problems or a recipe for inner peace and increased concentration. However, the truth is that mindfulness does not actually aim to achieve any of these. Mindfulness is simply an Eastern practice to train our mind. It is a practice that cultivates sustained conscious wakefulness or presence. Mindfulness is all about raising awareness of ‘what is’.
The practice of mindfulness is like training a muscle. Only rather than a muscle, we are training our mind. In the East, the mind is not about thoughts and beliefs, as we conceptualize in the West. Rather, the mind is conscious awareness itself. We may bring awareness into our thoughts so we can witness their movement. However, the mind in mindfulness is not thought, but rather consciousness itself.
The benefits of mindfulness The practice of training our mind expands our ability to detach from thought, emotion and body sensation enough to witness them. This then allows us to better regulate emotion, train our brain to think more effectively, and teach our bodies to de-stress. Ironically, when we master this practice we often do find relief from anxiety or depression, cure health problems and create inner peace and increased concentration. So while the aim of mindfulness is to train our conscious awareness to witness what is occurring in the now, the practice often results in increased balance and happiness in our lives.
Join us on Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings for an hour of mindfulness based training and psycho-therapeutic insights.
“Embrace What Is” is an on-going relaxed group that will support your mindfulness practice and help you to integrate this practice into your everyday life.