Frequently Asked Questions
What is Mindfulness
Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and the surrounding environment. Mindfulness involves acceptance, that is, we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them. When we practice mindfulness, our awareness tunes into what we are experiencing in the present moment rather than revisiting the past or imagining the future.
How Mindfulness works
Recent neuroscience research has demonstrated that contrary to popular belief, the neural connections of the brain are highly plastic (changeable). Even the most entrenched thought patterns can be changed. Developing a Mindfulness practice allows for the restructuring of these neural pathways. By the way of learning ‘formal’ meditation practices and some brief practises like awareness of breath, the intention is to bring mindful awareness to all aspects of daily life. Commitment to practise is required but again with kindness and compassion towards oneself.
Some of the Key elements of Mindfulness practice are:
- Understanding how the mind works, recognising thoughts as mental events and not necessarily facts
- Intentionally becoming aware of our reactions and judgements which are often spontaneous and automatic. Allowing some space to emerge between mental events (thoughts/feelings) and our response to them.
- Learning to develop skills like kindness and compassion towards oneself and learning to extend them to others
Does Mindfulness clash with any religious sentiments and beliefs?
No, mindfulness is a way of life, just like fitness or yoga. The mindfulness practice is not about making you belong to any ideology or sect. It is neither a ‘spiritual’ nor a ‘religious’ practice. For example, one of the practices is to focus on our breath, something we do involuntarily. In mindfulness, we bring awareness to this act which anchors us in the moment.
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