What is Mindfulness?

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Mindfulness Illustration

Mindfulness is becoming a common term, but what does it actually mean?

Mindfulness means not to forget.

This can mean being aware of (not forgetting) what’s happening around you, but mindfulness is most useful when we use it to observe and control our mind.

All our problems such as stress, anxiety, depression and anger are all feelings experienced within the mind.

If we follow certain mental habits then these feelings will naturally arise. For example, if we constantly worry about what other people think of us, examining whether they like us or not, that mental habit will lead to problems such as anxiety.

Through developing our mindfulness, we can remember to observe our mind and become aware of what’s happening within it, while maintaining equanimity.

This allows us to see that it is our own mental habits that cause our problems and suffering. Once we clearly understand this we can direct our mind away from mental habits that lead to problems such as anxiety and cultivate mental habits that lead to peaceful and joyful states of mind.

Meditation

Meditation is training in mindfulness, by improving our mindfulness we can overcome all of our problems and live a happier and more meaningful life. Therefore, training in meditation is one of the most beneficial things we can do for ourselves and others.

“The function of mindfulness is to prevent distractions. The more stable our mindfulness, the fewer distracting thoughts we will have. When the turbulence of distracting thoughts subsides and our mind becomes still, a deep happiness and contentment naturally arises from within.” – Geshe Kelsang Gyatso

If you are interested in Buddhism or just meditation, regardless of experience, you are welcome to attend a weekly drop-in class at Greerton Library (every Thursday at 7pm).

Classes cost $15 per person, all proceeds go to spreading Buddhist teachings. Everyone is welcome!

www.meditateintauranga.org

By Mathew Stewart

“I write for this magazine to help people find a happy meaningful life.”