Mindfulness for Beginners- A Review

We’re often disconnected. We are disconnected from each other, living in our own worlds. And we are disconnected to ourselves, overloaded with stimulus from the internet, television, and pressures of life. We end up ignoring how we feel, never observing what we are going through. Never stopping to take a moment to give ourselves a moment of compassion.

Disconnection is a factor in many of the modern medical issues, including pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and even cancer.

John Kabat Zinn’s mindfulness technique is a way we can break this cycle of obliviousness in our own lives. On his CD called Mindfulness for Beginners, Kabat Zinn describes his technique as “to pay attention on purpose, in the moment, the present moment, non-judgmentally, as if your life depended upon it.” By doing this, we perform an act of loving kindness towards ourselves.

This technique seeks to teach us to experience and explore the current moment. To actually experience our bodies and the world around us can lead to an opening of the mind and heart. The silence we practice with mindfulness encourages our humanity to flow from within us.

Meditation, as most regular practices, is difficult to start. I think Mindfulness for Beginners is a great way to begin. It offers a brief introduction to the theory and the practice of mindfulness to help you combat the disconnection of modern society.

The Mindfulness Technique

Mindfulness technique is based upon Buddist meditation which seeks to focus attention and awareness. The mind is focused to be aware of ourselves, and our surroundings. He describes this idea as finding a sense of what is going on in the body and around the body. Through this awareness, we develop a sense of self, unlocking who we are and the beauty of being alive. Opening the mind in this way, being aware and being honest with ourselves can have a profound effect on our mind, bodies, and health.

Mindfulness and Health

I often recommend Mindfulness practice to my patients who are experiencing pain, anxiety, depression, and other chronic illnesses, like cancer or MS. Being mindful and compassionate to our own body, even if that body experiences pain, will make us a more whole person.

Mindfulness helps us remember that we are all “already in the greatest place we’ll ever be,” which is now.

Joseph Alban, L.Ac.
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