Mindfulness is a life-enhancing practice that enables us to expand our conscious awareness and general presence. Mindful awareness allows us to become more sensitive to what is occurring in the present moment, both within ourselves and also in the outside world.
Mindfulness can be defined as intentionally bringing awareness to the present moment in a non-judgmental way. This skill is developed through regular meditation practices, and also bringing mindful awareness and acceptance into daily life and work.
It won’t make our stress or pain go away, but if we meditate regularly, it will change the way we relate to the awkward moments in life. Our typical reaction might be to avoid unpleasant feelings, however, by learning to stay present when we experience painful thoughts, emotions and physical sensations, we can learn to relate differently to them. We see the extra ‘stories’ we create about the pain or difficulty and learn to let them go thereby letting go of the additional suffering that is often generated by ourselves.
Mindfulness is not trying to empty our mind of conscious thought
Rather we are learning to see our thoughts as passing mental events and respond to them (or interpreting them) with greater accuracy. We often relate to things based on our perception of how we think things are or should be.