Mindfulness is the practice of opening to and accepting life just as it is. To begin, we make the necessary effort to calm the mind, heart and body. As we relax into the moment, we focus our attention with a non-judging mindset to follow the breath in and out. With loving and kind awareness for ourselves, we can begin to open more clearly to the nature of our experience as it arises in the present moment. By cultivating the ability to direct our attention in this skillful way, we are simultaneously developing the ability to:
Reduce stress and suffering from physical and emotional causes.
Relinquish harmful and unhealthy habits and acces inner sources of peace and wisdom.
Feel a sense of stability and freedom despite inevitable changes in life.
Glean greater joy and fulfillment from pleasurable experiences.
And with this intentional-focusing practice, we now know that the brain can better accommodate healing emotionally and physically, as well as assist us in relating to ourselves and others more healthfully. As we use our breath as a place to keep coming back to, it becomes our one constant refuge. This capacity to be present over time becomes a great friend. The ability to abide with the flow of experience creates the context for wisdom to arise. We begin to see our life as it is in a deeply connected, intimate way and learn how to live with greater wisdom, compassion and ease.
Non-striving: Non-goal oriented, remaining unattached to outcome or achievement.
Non-judging: Impartial witnessing, observing without evaluation and categorization.
Acceptance: Open to seeing and acknowledging things as they are.
Patience: Allowing things to unfold in their time, bringing patience to both ourselves and to others.
Trust: Trusting both oneself and the process of the self-regulation practice itself.
Openness: Seeing things as if for the first time, creating possibility by paying attention to all feedback.
Letting Go: Nonattachment, not holding on to thoughts, feelings, or experiences.
Gratitude: The quality of reverence, appreciating and being thankful for the present moment.
Gentleness: Characterized by soft, considerate, and tender quality; soothing, however not passive, undisciplined, or indulgent.
Generosity: Giving within a context of love and compassion, without attachment to gain or thought of return (the content of giving does not have to be material).
Empathy: The quality of feeling and understanding another person's situation—their perspectives, emotions, actions (reactions)—and communicating this to the person.
Loving Kindness: A quality embodying benevolence, compassion, and cherishing, a quality filled with forgiveness and unconditional love.