Mindfulness is more popular than ever these days. What began as a small movement born from the teachings of the Buddha has turned mainstream in the West. Used in modern psychotherapy, recommended by doctors, and taught in schools, mindfulness can be a useful tool in many aspects of our lives.
However, actually getting started with mindfulness can be tough. How do we sit in silence and focus on the present moment? What does it even mean to be mindful. If you want some personal help with mindfulness, you can work with one of the mindfulness coaches at One Mind Dharma.
What is Mindfulness?
When you think of mindfulness, you may think of simply being present. Although this is an important piece of the practice, it isn’t all of it. Mindfulness also involves a quality of recognition of the present moment.
Mindfulness definitely starts with awareness of the present moment, but it also calls for a recognition of what is arising. That is, we must see clearly what is happening in our experience, knowing its causes and consequences.
For example, if we are angry and lash out but are present, this isn’t truly mindfulness. Mindfulness instead is recognizing we are angry, and that lashing out will cause harm to ourselves and others. This piece of recognition comes after we bring ourselves to the present moment.
Getting Started with Mindfulness
Getting started is often the hardest part with mindfulness. There are many different teachers, methods, and ways to practice mindfulness. You can read books like Practicing Mindfulness, listen to guided meditations, or attend local meditation groups.
There are many benefits of mindfulness practice, but the key is actually doing it. Listen to some short guided meditations, and don’t overwhelm yourself. You don’t need to meditate for 45 minutes a day to do it effectively.
You can try a 30 Day Meditation Challenge to get some support and structure to your practice. This is a great way to start practicing, as it offers an actual path and outline of different practices.