What is mindfulness?
‘When we are being mindful, we are choosing to notice the details of our experience, just as they are in this moment and without trying to change them in the first instance’ (Sarah Silverton, The Mindfulness Breakthrough).
Mindfulness is a short hand way of describing our ability to become aware of the traffic in our mind.
Our mind is where we experience everything: our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, sights,and sounds ,and memories, and the urge to scratch our nose! We often identify the mind with just thinking but it contains much more information than that.
The practice of mindfulness has been likened to taking a seat at the road side watching the traffic go by, without interfering: not trying out to stop the ice cream van or halt the truck belching noxious fumes.
We so highly value our critical, analytical thinking skills that we overlook the other ability our mind has: to simply be aware. Mindfulness develops our ability to observe and just be with all that happens in our minds. It enables us to work consciously and more effectively with our mind and mental states.
It takes practice to develop this ability and get wise about the minds habits; that’s why a course is so helpful.
And the ability to step back, and take a vacation from thinking has some powerful benefits.