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Defining Mindfulness

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DEFINING MINDFULNESS
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Mindfulness is a simple but ancient approach to living that Western medicine is now recognizing as a powerful tool for dealing with stress, chronic pain, and many other physical and psychological conditions.

Jon Kabat-Zinn, who created MBSR defines mindfulness as:
"The awareness that emerges through
... paying attention on purpose
... in the present moment and
... non-judgmentally
... to the unfolding of experience
... moment-by-moment."


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Mindfulness is a way of being more deeply and consciously present -- in this moment -- to your thoughts, emotions and body. It is learning to work with what is already present in you in a less reactive, less judgmental manner.

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Mindfulness is really a way of being in the world, as opposed to a technique that can be picked up or left behind on any particular day. With it's principles of patience, trust, non-judging, non-striving and acceptance, it helps us to "get off autopilot" and reclaim control over how we respond to the unavoidable stressors in our lives.

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Mindfulness came to Western culture from the East, in particular from Buddhist meditation practice. It is the foundation of the meditation tradition known as vipassana, or insight meditation. By itself, however, Mindfulness is not a religious practice, although it can be and is used around the world to enhance many contemplative and spiritual traditions.

 

 

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