"Knowing what is happening while it is happening without preference or judgment"- Rob Nairn (Co-Founder of the UK based Mindfulness Association)
"Paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgementally.” –Jon Kabat Zinn (Professor of Medicine at the USA based Stress Reduction Clinic)
Mindfulness is not a fix or a form of therapy, it is a skill that is grown over time. It is learning to cultivate kindness, compassion and acceptance towards ourselves and others.
It focuses on thoughts, emotions and sensations and how they interact with each other. All this is done as if we had a beginners mind, curious and open.
Mindfulness works it a few ways:
Physically, formal mindfulness practice causes the relaxation response, this means your breathing slows, your blood pressure drops, you relax and feel calmer.
Using the science of the brain we can see how it reduces the reactivity of the Amygdala, the fight or flight part of your brain and become less reactive and less stressed out about things.
Psychologically, mindfulness allows you to start to feel into and experience a very natural and real sense of being OK with whatever is around at the moment.
Mindfulness is learned experimentally, which means trying it out for yourself. The practice involves formal sitting, lying or moving and just noticing reactions any distractions for a period of time (every day if possible). This retrains the mind to be more focused and aware.
Informal practice is taking what you have learned through your formal practice and applying this moment-to-moment in everyday life. Like making a cup of tea or paying attention to eating slowly and experiencing the full flavours and textures.
Many people turn to APPS and books to learn any skill, however just like with any skill, we require a dedicated time to formally do the practice or the exercise. Regular practice to train the mind is key.
It is far more beneficial when you start with a teacher/facilitator/guide. Learning the techniques and then moving on to practice on your own. Focus Day Training offers continued support after our training.
Both mindfulness and meditation have been a core part of most Buddhist traditions for over 2,500 years. Like many modern forms of mindfulness and meditation such as Mindful Based Living Course (MBLC) and other offerings from Focus Day Training, all our services are presented in a 100% secular way.
The benefits of mindfulness do not rely on any belief system but lie in the practical aspect of simply sitting or moving in the present moment.
It is not about trying to relax or finding a high. Mindfulness isn’t one particular state or experience, but rather just being with the feeling of the experience you are having right now and noticing what is happening – pleasant or unpleasant.
Mindfulness is not designed to change our experiences as much as changing our relationship to our experience so it is not so difficult. The suffering we feel around a particular situation can be reduced allowing us to get closer to the cause and deal with it in an open and curious way.
They are very similar, mindfulness focuses on the moment to moment experience, other type of meditation may focus on visualising, chanting, altered realities. However, all of the delivery of any training/teaching follows the guidelines of the UK Listing of Mindfulness Teachers as well as respecting good practice set by the Mindfulness Association, ensuring a quality, safe and respectful approach to this life changing subject.