Mindfulness springs from an ancient tradition designed to tap our innate human capacity for happiness, health, and wellbeing. At its essence, mindfulness involves bringing the body and mind into the same place at the same time in a purposeful, open-hearted, and non-judging way. Mindfulness is not a philosophy or a theory that can be learned from a book; it is the practice of bringing compassionate awareness to the immediate circumstances of our lives, moment-by-moment.
Mindfulness helps us unlock the body’s natural healing capacities and fosters mental and emotional resilience in the face of life’s inevitable stresses. Mindfulness does not seek to eliminate life’s difficulties, but works to change our relationship with those difficulties, transforming habitual patterns of reactivity, resistance and judgment into compassionate self-awareness in the face of all life’s joys and challenges.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction pioneer Jon Kabat-Zinn, whose work has helped bring mindfulness into the mainstream, has called mindfulness simply “the art of being fully human.”
One does not have to be a Buddhist, or subscribe to any belief system, to practice and benefit from mindfulness; it is an innate capacity that is already present in all of us, and simply needs to be uncovered. Focused on tapping this inherent capability of our mind and body to participate in our own healing, mindfulness is a complement, not a substitute, to other conventional medical treatment modalities.