JD Walther is a certified mindfulness teacher. He has earned a Postgraduate Diploma in Studies in Mindfulness from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland and an MBA from Rice University in Houston, Texas. Currently, JD is studying how mindfulness supports leader adaptive behavior. You can learn more about him on the About page, the courses he is guiding and other services on the Guiding page.
Although the roots of Mindfulness are primarily from spiritual practices, Jon Kabat-Zinn and others began to purposely guide and study mindfulness in a nondenominational scientific way about thirty years ago. JD’s Mindfulness practice comes from this branch.
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 a 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). He shows 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 suppose you have recently received or are currently receiving treatment from a psychiatrist, psychotherapist or counselor. In that case, 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, or 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 life circumstances.