WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?
Mindfulness is a process of paying attention to yourself, your environment and those around you. By doing this, you become more aware of your behaviour and interactions, giving you the opportunity to respond more skilfully to events in your life. It allows you to understand where you have a choice in continuing with past patterns of behaviour, or not.
This natural state of awareness finds its origins in Buddhist mindfulness meditation and can be learned by anyone regardless of cultural or religious background. These mindfulness techniques systematically teach a student to tune in and focus on each of the traditional five senses – taste, touch, sight, hearing and smell; plus the additional sixth sense from the Buddhist tradition, the mind.
Mindfulness skills have been widely taught since the 1970s in areas as diverse as behavioural medicine, mental health, businesses, schools and government agencies, including prisons.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
By routinely practising tuning in to the senses through repeating a variety of meditation techniques, students cultivate greater focus and awareness and will see how their own thought patterns may, at times, jump in and obscure awareness and decision making.
Patterns of behaviour are influenced by past experiences and at times a desire to mentally opt-out of living in the present by imagining life being better in the future.
The process of mindfulness gives students the tools to fully engage in the present moment, become more aware of the influence of habits and dreams. From this, it is possible to make clearer decisions, perform tasks more skilfully and to develop more authentic and deeper relationships.