Mindfulness meditation is a holistic spiritual practice that flows into all the different meditation trainings and it is a core discipline of The School.
The word mindfulness refers to an ancient
practice for quieting the mind. The mindfulness
of breathing practice is one of the core practices
of Buddhist meditation. It has been taught widely
in the west by many meditation teachers. The words of the Zen Buddhist teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, capture the essence of mindfulness: "Breathing in, I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment, I know this is the only moment".
In the 1970s, Jon Kabat-Zinn developed a stress reduction programme based on mindfulness, to help people
manage their physical, mental and emotional difficulties. He trained people to pay attention to their body, mind and
life situations to helps them cope with their emotional responses to everyday events. As a result of such interventions in stress clinics, mindfulness has been defined as a health practice for the western mind. This aspect of mindfulness is more focused on helping people alleviate anxiety and personal problems and it has become a tool in itself, used
by health professionals. The School endorses this approach and teaches the essential parts of mindfulness in
Mindfulness meditation can help us:
- Develop self-awareness;
- Understand how our mind functions;
- Bring our attention to the present moment;
- Develop focus and concentration;
- Reduce stress and promote relaxation;
- Expand our consciousness and compassion.
Through mindfulness meditation we can establish a connection to our inner self which allows us to better understand how we think, feel and respond to life’s situations. It brings our attention into the present moment, so we can focus and concentrate our mind on what it is we wish to achieve. These practices can help us transform and overcome unhelpful thought and behavior patterns, increasing our level of happiness and reducing stress. In time we can become the master of our mind rather than its servant.