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  • Writer's pictureRay Chen

Mindfulness...It’s all the rage but do we know what it means?

Updated: Nov 4, 2023

Over the last few decades, mindfulness has cemented its place as one of the core components of health and wellbeing across the globe. It has become a staple in schools, workplaces, sports organisations, and the home. The growing popularity of mindfulness and meditation Apps has made mindfulness accessible to everyone.


Mindfulness is a term that is all the rage in current society.


However, mindfulness is a term that is not well understood in Western culture. Mindfulness is a construct of ancient Buddhist teachings dating back about 4500 years ago. Mindfulness originated from the Pali word Sati, which means to remember. Mindfulness is derived from this ancient language that is extremely difficult to translate to English.


The best definition we have for mindfulness in the Western world is by Jon Kabat-Zinn, a renowned researcher, author, and teacher in the field of mindfulness. He described it as “paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally”.


The 3 principles of mindfulness are intention, attention, and attitude. The intention is a person’s reason to practise mindfulness. This can move along a spectrum from self-regulation to self-exploration. Attention refers to observing the contents of consciousness (both external and internal experience) in the present moment. The final principle, attitude, refers to the characteristics that an individual brings to present moment attention. Some critical features of mindfulness are attending to one’s internal and external experience with acceptance, kindness, openness, curiosity, and non-judgment.


Simply, I like to think of mindfulness as remembering to be fully awake in the present moment.

Mindfulness is a way of appreciating the glory of the present moment. The present moment is all we have. Our mind is often preoccupied with the past or thinking about the future. In reality, we are living in the eternal present. The past and future are just fabrics of our imagination according to quantum science. Mindfulness is a way of immersing ourselves in the present moment and from that place, we can fully experience life.


Mindfulness is not just a passing fad in the well-being space. It is a way of living that when appropriately and properly incorporated into daily living, can enrich all aspects of one's life.


Feel free to connect with me here or follow me on Insta @raychenzen if you want to learn more about mindfulness and how it can help you. I would love to hear from you.



Warm regards,




Ray




References:

Brown, K. W., Ryan, R. M., & Creswell, J. D. (2007). Mindfulness: Theoretical Foundations and Evidence for its Salutary Effects. Psychological Inquiry, 18(4), 211–237. https://doi.org/10.1080/10478400701598298


Day, M. A., Jensen, M. P., Ehde, D. M., & Thorn, B. E. (2014). Toward a theoretical model for mindfulness-based pain management. The Journal of Pain, 15(7), 691–703. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpain.2014.03.003


Kabat-Zinn, J. (1990). Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of the Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness. 15th. Anniversary ed. New York: Delta.


Kabat-Zinn, J. (1994). Wherever you go there you are: Mindfulness meditation in everyday life. New York, NY: Hyperion.


Shapiro, S. L., Carlson, L. E., Astin, J. A., & Freedman, B. (2006). Mechanisms of mindfulness. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 62(3), 373–386. https://doi.org/10.1002/jclp.20237


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