Mindfulness is about paying attention in a special way to our experiences. Day in and day out, moment to moment, things are changing. Our perception of our experience has the power to change our reactions. With mindfulness we are able to make the space needed to assess a situation and respond from a clear thinking and confident stance.
Mindful meditation is a core skill in both MBSR and MBCT. It is a simple practice that you can try to do daily. Just sit upright in a comfortable and quiet place and focus your attention on your breath as it goes in and out of your body. While focusing on this breath you may notice that your attention will wander off the breath. Gently bring your attention back to the breath each time it wanders. Be kind to yourself, not judging yourself in any way for not being able to focus solely on the breath. You will begin to see that even in the quiet of meditation things are changing from one breath to the next.
The beauty of mindful meditation is that, with practice, you will find yourself being mindful during your daily life, especially when you need it the most.
People are often concerned that if they want to meditate they will have to completely empty their minds of all thought. This is not necessary or even necessarily desirable. If you can learn to be with the roaming activity of your mind you will notice that your awareness will rest on one thing after the next. You will begin to accept the nature of your wandering mind. If you can accept this you will begin to learn to accept all the other little changes that occur in your life throughout a day or a week and longer. Life is full of one event after the next.
It is always helpful to find a teacher when you are learning meditation but you can practice this simple technique on your own to get yourself started.
Links to guided meditation audios will soon be available on the resource page of this website.