The Practice of Mindfulness
Jill N. Henry. Ed.D.
Stop a moment before reading on.
WHAT IS ON YOUR MIND RIGHT NOW? Are you wondering what this article is all about? Are you thinking about what you are going to do next? Or are you thinking about what you just did?
Our minds contain thousands and thousands of thoughts each day. And each thought has a direct impact on our emotions and on our bodies. Rarely do we experience the present moment. We are locked in the past or planning the future. When was the last time you were truly mindful of the moment? The usual answer is: “When I was on vacation and I saw a beautiful sunset. I was just there!”.
It is possible to “be on vacation” every day. The skill involved is the practice of mindfulness. In mindfulness, we observe inward, watching our thoughts without attachment to them. Similar to lying on the grass and watching the clouds go by. This art of nonattachment to our thoughts results in great healing, peace, and insight. Author and researcher Jon Kabat-Zinn (Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress/Pain/Illness. Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life.) has demonstrated through research that simply by being mindful of physical and mental pain we can overcome, or rather, come through and experience peace.