Mindfulness is knowing what is happening, while it is happening no matter what. from the book Diamond Mind – A Psychology of Meditation by Rob Nairn
JD practices and teaches western nondenominational Mindfulness. He is a certified Mindfulness teacher. He has earned a Postgraduate Diploma in Studies in Mindfulness from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, and a MBA from Rice University in Texas. You can learn more about him in the About page here and about courses he is teaching in the Events page here.
What is Mindfulness? The mindfulness teacher Jon Kabat-Zinn suggests that “mindfulness is a whole repertoire of formal meditative practices aimed at cultivating moment-to-moment nonjudgmental awareness. And nonjudgmental, by the way, does not mean that you won’t have any likes or dislikes or that you’ll be completely neutral about everything. Nonjudgmental really means that you’ll become aware of how judgmental you are and then not judge that and see if you [can let go], for a few moments at least, the restraining order that filters everything through our likes and dislikes or wants or aversion. So that’s already quite an exercise, quite an undertaking to cultivate that kind of attention and that kind of awareness and learn how to reside inside it.” from web article in Mindful Everyday Mindfulness with Jon Kabat-Zinn
What are the benefits of Mindfulness? Jeremy Sutton, PhD in the web article Why is Mindfulness Important? created a diagram from Dr. Shapiro’s excellent book about science and practice of mindfulness, Rewire Your Mind: Discover the Science and Practice of Mindfulness (2020), capturing many of the potential benefits in a single diagram:
The many potential benefits shown above come from published scientific research.
Even though Mindfulness has been practiced in many forms for thousands of years, it is a relatively new academic science with most of the published research being completed over the last twenty years. In Meditation and Mindfulness: What You Need to Know, the US National Institute of Health (NIH) states that “published studies examine many different types of meditation and mindfulness practices, and the effects of those practices are hard to measure, results from the studies have been difficult to analyze and may have been interpreted too optimistically.” Research is ongoing.
Is Mindfulness practice for everyone? Generally most people will benefit. But if you have recently received or are currently receiving treatment from a psychiatrist, psychotherapist or counselor for an ongoing mental health problem, JD strongly advises that you obtain advice from your mental health professional before proceeding with mindfulness training. Starting mindfulness training is always a personal choice. Yet if you have recently or are currently going through a traumatic life event such as a separation from a long-term partner, the death of a close family member or friend, this may not be the best time for you to start mindfulness training. An experienced mindfulness teacher may be able to direct you toward a particular type of mindfulness training that might be more beneficial considering your individual life circumstances.