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Mindfulness is a term that has come to mean

moment-to-moment awareness.    Within a

psychotherapy setting, mindfulness is taught

or guided by the therapist.  Awareness of the

breath, body sensations, emotions, and thoughts are traditionally used to cultivate mindfulness.  

Why develop mindfulness?
There is a prolific amount of research that has conclusive evidence showing that mindfulness practice is beneficial for one’s physical, emotional, and spiritual health.  Mindfulness has become a well-known intervention for depression and anxiety as well as other disorders.  In addition, decreased chronic stress and improved cardiovascular health are some of the physical benefits experienced with regular mindfulness practice.  Here is a short list of reasons to practice:

  • defuse stress and experience greater calm
  • explore the mind-body relationship 
  • connect to our feelings
  • expand our sense of who we are beyond our fears, self-judgement, and ego identity
  • find genuine happiness and connection to all things
  • cultivate our ability to use each moment as an opportunity to awaken

Where does mindfulness originate from?
The roots of mindfulness date back 2500 years to the early teachings of the Buddha.  The Buddha taught mindfulness meditation as a means to purify the mind, heart, and view.   Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn first introduced mindfulness in the healthcare system with the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program which was designed using a type of Buddhist meditation called Vipassana, or Insight. Digging deeper, the word Vipassana comes from the ancient Pali language, and is often translated to English as “clear awareness" or “clear seeing."   In Buddhist psychology, which identifies human conditions that increase suffering, mindfulness is identified as the core method for transforming suffering.  It is the tool that helps us move beyond fear and suffering. 

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