Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. -Viktor Frankl
We train our mind to change our brain, which in turn, changes our mind.Mindfulness is a particular way of paying attention to thoughts, feelings and sensations with non-judgmental acceptance, and kindness. That is a pretty good definition, but it does not communicate why mindfulness is so special or so powerful. DDefining mindfulness is like trying to describe what it feels like to watch a sunrise, or have a thought, words can only hint at the experience.
The power of mindfulness lies in moment-to-moment awareness. Mindful awareness is a window into how habitual thoughts affect our life and our health. Neuroscientists say that what flows through our mind, shapes the architecture of our brain, or to put it more succinctly, "neurons that fire together wire together". Habitual thoughts form neural superhighways which become mental/emotional patterns. We may find ourselves repeating things we don't mean, behaving in ways we regret, chasing the same thoughts. Mindfulness trains healthy mind habits.
60 minutes, December 14, 2014, Anderson Cooper talks about his personal experience with mindfulness.
Mindfulness has become mainstream. MBSR and offshoot programs are taught in hundreds of universities, medical schools, business schools, corporations, public schools, and the US Military. Corporations as varied as General Mills, Ford Motors, and Google offer mindfulness training to their employees, while professional athletes use mindfulness to consistently perform at their personal best. Click on the research page for more details.
There is a wealth of information about mindfulness. In a segment from 6o minutes, Anderson Cooper talks about his own experience, and interviews MBSR founder, Jon Kabat-Zinn. For news from the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts click here.