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Mindfulness & MBSR: An Overview

Mindfulness & MBSR: An Overview

Mindfulness is simple in both concept and application: the capacity to attend, purposefully and non-judgmentally, to what we are experiencing in the here and now. However, while this is simple enough, it is by no means easy. Most of us are deeply lost in our thinking minds, are disconnected from our bodies and function out of habit. The consequence of this is the tendency to be out of touch with what is happening in the present and so either missing the moments, quite literally, or reacting to what we are thinking as opposed to what is actually happening. The consequence of this internal pull - our minds in one place, our bodies in another - is to be observed in the pervasive experience of stress, and its manifestations - physically, emotionally or behaviourally.

So how can mindfulness help? The more present we are, the more we are able to respond to what is in front of us, as opposed to mindlessly reacting out of habit. This means that we are more likely to make decisions and choices which are creative and congruent, and as such, are generally more orientated towards health. In psychological terms, the locus of control, or sense of being in control, moves towards our centre, as opposed to our feeling like a hapless victim of circumstance. Hence the caveat of stress management: it is not the stressor per se that is the problem but how we respond to it.

Because mindfulness is based in our awareness, it is always centered in us, and so whenever we are mindful we return to our centre of gravity, our very being, literally.

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Learning How to Exhale

Learning How to Exhale

She’d been tearing through her days at breakneck speed. So how did Catherine Price learn to slow down and savour life’s breezes? One majestic mountain meditation at a time.

When I decided to take up meditation, it seemed so easy – slip on a pair of yoga pants, force your legs into a half lotus, and “On” your way to serenity and bliss. Forget that my hips are too tight for even a quarter of a lotus or that the last time I felt truly serene, prescription drugs were involved. I had to try it – I needed to find a way to slow down.


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Stop. Be here right now.

Mindful, age-old Buddhist teachings help us slow down, writes Shanthini Naidoo.

Our fast-paced lives tend not to be good for us. Stress has a huge impact on our society. Many of our physical ailments are stress-related - whether we suffer from heart disease, depression, headaches or high blood pressure.

And so the age-old, but recently trending topic of mindfulness presents itself. At its most basic, mindfulness is "being here, right now".

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Stress is caused by being "here" but wanting to be "there". It is a split that tears you apart inside.

Eckhart Tolle, The Power of Now

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