Mindfulness is referred to as sustaining the element of awareness of human thought processes, feelings, emotions and surrounding ambiance in measured intervals utilizing a caring and vigilant expertise. Mindfulness even absorbs the ingredients of acceptance that means proper attention is directed to the individual train of thoughts and emotions without being judgemental and ethical. To cite an example, in a given moment, there might be a right or wrong method to think or act. In the course of practicing mindfulness, the human thoughts are attuned to the sensations in the present moment rather than recapitulating the past or apprehending the future.
Even though mindfulness is rooted in Buddhist meditation, yet secular dimension to effect has made inroads in the American lifestyle in the contemporary era. Due credence must be given to the works of Jon Kabat-Zinn and his mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program which was launched in Massachusetts in 1979. Since then, innumerable studies have recorded both physical and mental well being of mindfulness in generic terms and MBSR in a specific gamut, motivating numerous strategies to redesign MBSR modules for schools, hospitals, prisons, old age homes and many other creative institutions.
Meditation relates to traversing through the path to tranquillity. The aim is to reach the ultimate haven, which is not fixed. Here, the mind is not free of incoming thoughts. On the contrary, the thoughts are always on a diverse track. As the process of meditation continues, a person tends to cross over and enter the activities going along in the mind. The said activities are emotions, sensations and thoughts.
Mindfulness meditation suggests preventing the decision-making and arouses the natural inquisitiveness about the functionalities of the mind, guiding the individual to compassionately express the observations to self as well as others.
Mindfulness always exists in human being, be it meditation or body scan or mindfulness workouts such as allowing time to pause and breathe with patience when the doorbell buzzes, rather than reacting hurriedly to open the door.
Mindfulness enables to place some space between an individual and the accompanying reactions, dismissing the self-created conditioned rejoinders. Some basic steps are mentioned hereunder for a proper follow up: Spare some time. At the outset, time is the essence. There is no need for any meditation equipment or sitting arrangement to give effect to the mindfulness strategies. A participant is required to allocate some time and space.
View the present moment as it appears. The purpose of mindfulness intervention is not to soothe the mind or to make a sincere attempt to attain the state of everlasting serenity. The target is straightforward. The only purpose is to concentrate on the present moment without being judgemental.
Leave the judgment to take its course. During participation, when judgment tries to dominate the mind, one needs to take a mental note of it and let it drift away.
Coming back to the present moment as it is. To err is human. It is a common tendency to lose one’s sense of proportion and the thought process takes the upper hand. Mindfulness meditation is the exercise of returning to the original state, repeatedly to the present moment.
To become sensitive to the wavering mind is the key. One should not lose heart regardless of countless thoughts trying to occupy the mind. The need of the hour is a consistent practice that steadily brings the wandering mind home.
These are the ways of performing mindfulness meditation. The process is not as simple as one is impressed upon. The ethos is to keep practicing consistently. The results are bound to be positive.
The prime attention of mindfulness meditation is breathing motions. One cannot stay away from the existence of breathing sensation and it is used as a harbor to the present moment. The participant may be caught up in thoughts, surrounding sounds and emotions. The mind can wander anywhere. The responsibility lies in concentrating upon the next breath religiously.
Comfortable posture in an airy space is essential. The place should be selected where the participant can sit with enough convenience.
Leg movements are to be observed. If sitting on the floor, the individual should sit cross-legged. If sitting on a chair, the legs should be kept apart from one another and the feet placed perpendicular, touching the floor completely.
The upper body should be straight. Sit in a relaxed posture without contracting the body. The spinal cord has natural curvature, so let it take its shape.
Notice the arm movements. Place the upper arms parallel to the upper body and keep the palms gently on the knees.
Eyes should be open with a vacant look. Lower the chin and gaze should be fixed to the toes. It is not mandatory to close the eyes. It will happen naturally after the continuous practice of a few months.
Feel the breathing motions. Pay attention to the physical breathing sensation; observe the air passing through mouth and nostrils, movement of abdomen and chest.
Observe the gap created between mind and respiration. The focus will invariably shift from breathing motions and divert to other chains of thoughts. It is natural. There is no need to overstrain things. The further step is to gently come back to the breathing motions without any commotion.
Demonstrate empathy to the wavering mind. The mind may wander now and then. Do not mess up with the host of thoughts. It is useful to feel them indifferently without reacting. Just return to the breath repetitively without any piece of judgement or expectation.
Open the eyes when the performance is over or if the eyes were kept open, shift the gaze to normalcy. A moment of relaxation is needed to notice any sound in the air. The feeling of physical plight is to be observed. Also, thoughts and emotions are vital to perceive.
During adverse circumstances, the old saying looms large in one’s mind i.e., take a deep breath in. Whatever the study of body organism entails, one has to rephrase the saying to read as if taking a deep breath in will add to emotionally awakening only if the process of inhalation-exhalation is through nostrils and not the mouth.