The concept of mindfulness is a fuzzy one. In 21st century parlance, it has evolved to be any of a number of things– it is used in prayer by Buddhists, as a tool used in psychotherapy, a management paradigm-tool, and finally– a manner to centering one’s soul
Perhaps, the most accurate way to look for a definition is to look at the source of its the practice. According to the website:
The practice of vipassana, is to see the world as it truly is. The origins come from ancient Buddhism.
Borrowing more words from another internet site:
The practice of insight, on the other hand, cultivates wisdom. The student develops systematic mindfulness in order to see the real characteristics of existence: unsatisfactoriness, impermanence, and impersonality. All the activities of daily life can be objects of mindfulness: bodily actions, feelings, thoughts and emotions— even painful ones. Nothing is suppressed.
Where does that leave us?
All too often, we find ourselves in the midst of pain–and when we identify where the pain comes from, it can give us insight. It can gives the means to rid ourselves of the pain, or to learn to accept it.
While this sounds like a lot of whooey to those of who have scientific backgrounds, the technique actually does work if you find yourself in a state dismay and stress. It is successfully used to treat people in prison, people in facing depression, and quite a few maladies.
In psychotherapy, the techniques fall under the practice of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy– a technique pioneered by Marsha Sinetar:
Thich Nhat Hanh
Thich Nhat Hanh is an elderly Buddhist priest who is was nominated for the Nobel Peace prize in the 1960s by Martin Luther King Jr. Thich Nhat Hanh was one of the voices calling for peace amidst the war of Vietnam. Although he has not been awarded the Nobel (not yet, at least), he has brought the practice of mindfulness to western culture. Let me borrow a word from his website:
The energies of mindfulness, concentration and insight can liberate us from our anxiety and worries. We let go of the past and the future, and come in touch with the wonders of the present.— Thich Nhat Hanh
February is dedicated to Thich Nhat Hanh
I will be concentrating on this Zen master to help explain how he and his paradigms of mindful peace can change one’s world and our world! He has a lot things to say about how to live peacefully with one’s self. Even in today’s world– we can find a bit of peace and love without the din of greed and war….
Source of artwork: