'Every single person, from Prime Ministers and Presidents to ordinary men and women would benefit from practising mindfulness and stillness in their lives. This wisdom has been known for thousands of years (in Eastern/Buddhist meditative practice) and now the science has caught up with it.' - Anthony Seldon, Headmaster of Wellington College
The lady buddha photo I took at one of my favourite places in the world where my mindfulness journey began............
For the past month I have been taking a course on Mindfulness at the wonderful Grace in Belgravia. As you know I have been a fan of practising Mindfulness for a while and this course has made my belief in the benefits even stronger.
According to Professor Mark Williams (please see my recommended books) Mindfulness is a translation of a word that simply means 'awareness'. By noticing our thoughts, we become aware. By becoming aware we can change the way we 'do' things. By changing the way we 'do' things, we can 'be' different.
Buddhist techniques of mindfulness can be of enormous benefit to our health, relationships and peace of mind in this disconnected, stressed-out age. Mindfulness allows us to ease the speed and anxiety of modern life by altering our habits of mind. By realising that your thoughts create your life so practising mindfulness on a daily basis by being consciously aware of your thoughts, words and actions through mind, body and spirit.
There is growing evidence that a well rounded education should now include an understanding of mindfulness and what is known as the inner life and teaching mindfulness to young people can give them advanced training in the art of living. This is now why more schools, governments and corporates - Apple, Google, Facebook, Yahoo etc - are practising mindfulness on a daily basis and the momentum of this is growing. Huffington Post wrote recently about "Why 2014 will be the year of Mindful Living".
It's being aware of your breathing. It's being still and in the moment. It's taking time to discover touch, taste and feel of daily rituals like eating, drinking, brushing your teeth etc. It's being aware of non-judging, giving time to listen to what your body is telling you. It's learning how to do a 3-step 'thinking, doing, being' breathing practice. It's understanding the important link between mindfulness, the heart and the imagination through the Arts. Poetry can help bring us into awareness too. Practising 'patience' and 'lettinggo' and 'acceptance' are all part of the process which I found very soothing. There is much more to learn too which I can't squeeze into a blog but I'm already benefiting and I can highly recommend the course (www.mindfulnessat work.com). 10 minutes practice a day is all that is needed and well worth the time! Please try it.
Thank you for reading my blog this year. Have a wonderful 'mindful' Christmas and here's to a fantastic 2014!!
'We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all of the power we need inside ourselves already' - J K Rowling