– Mindfulness is the quality of awareness that comes with paying attention to yourself, others and the world around you in a certain way.
Jon Kabat-Zinn describes it as paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgementally.
– Paying attention: using our mind and senses to notice external and internal events and perceptions.
– On purpose: deliberately choosing to pay attention to gain awareness of the ‘automatic’ tendency of our minds.
– Present moment awareness : our attention wanders and very often these journeys are into the past or the present. This might be pleasurable or may induce anxiety or regret, but whatever it includes, it means that you are not present in the here and now.
– Non-judgemental approach: this does not mean that we don’t make judgements or stop determining what is and is not appropriate. But it means that we approach our tendency to make judgements with wisdom and compassion.
We can often spend a lot of time wanting people (including ourselves) or situations to be different from how they are, and being with what is and developing compassion for who people are can save a lot of difficulty.