Mindfulness is a type of meditation where the object of attention is the experience of the present moment, and where that experience is simply observed, without trying to resist, grasp, analyze or alter it in any way. In the words of Jon Kabat-Zinn, one of the greatest proponents of mindfulness in the field of modern medical science:
“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”
Because mindfulness is simply awareness of the present, it can be practiced in any moment of our lives and in the midst of any activity: walking the dog, cooking dinner, engaging in a conversation.
Using the “now” as the object of focus is what sets mindfulness apart from other meditation techniques. Other techniques such as mantra, kundalini, etc. have a visualization aspect to them. The are wonderful techniques! Just not as portable as mindfulness.
Any time we let go of our obsessive thinking and return to awareness of our experiences in the present, we are practicing mindfulness.
Although mindfulness can be practiced anytime, anywhere, when training in mindfulness it is best to do so in a structured meditation session where there are fewer distractions. Meditation sessions can be done sitting, walking, stretching, or laying down.
With regular mindfulness meditation practice it becomes easier to consciously shift into nonjudgmental attention in the midst of the various activities of our day. Over time, mindfulness begins to arise naturally and spontaneously, and the abundance of the present moment becomes a richly rewarding way of life.
Iron Spine provides a new way to be reminded of our universal wisdom and compassion that aligns with the purpose of yoga and meditation. Find us on instagram @ironspineco to stay in touch and learn more.