8 things to know about mindfulness

1. Mindfulness is not obscure or exotic. It’s familiar to us because it’s what we already do, how we already are. It takes many shapes and goes by many names.


2. Mindfulness is not a special added thing we do. We already have the capacity to be present, and it doesn’t require us to change who we are. But we can cultivate these innate qualities with simple practices that are scientifically demonstrated to benefit ourselves, our loved ones, our friends and neighbors, the people we work with, and the institutions and organizations we take part in.


3. You don’t need to change. Solutions that ask us to change who we are or become something we’re not have failed us over and over again. Mindfulness recognizes and cultivates the best of who we are as human beings.


4. Mindfulness has the potential to become a transformative social phenomenon. Here’s why:
Anyone can do it. Mindfulness practice cultivates universal human qualities and does not require anyone to change their beliefs.


5. Everyone can benefit and it’s easy to learn.

6. It’s a way of living.  Mindfulness is more than just a practice. It brings awareness and caring into everything we do—and it cuts down needless stress. Even a little makes our lives better.

7. It’s evidence-based. We don’t have to take mindfulness on faith. Both science and experience demonstrate its positive benefits for our health, happiness, work, and relationships.

8. It sparks innovation. As we deal with our world’s increasing complexity and uncertainty, mindfulness can lead us to effective, resilient, low-cost responses to seemingly intransigent problems.

1. What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is experiential and is developed through specific practices. It can be considered as training for the brain, just as physical exercise is training for the body.

2. Is it just another relaxation technique?
Mindfulness practice is not a relaxation technique but many people do find it can be relaxing. When practicing mindfulness you are actively engaging the brain in a particular way to change the brain.

3. Is it religious?
We teach mindfulness in a non secular way. It can be practiced along side all religions should you wish.

4. Is Mindfulness safe?
Mindfulness is generally considered to be safe for “healthy” people¹. The practice of mindfulness is often compared to physical exercise and just the same as physical exercise mostly brings benefits, it is not without some risks and it is not always suitable for everyone.

Our courses are specifically designed for the greater populations and can be considered as a “low intensity” mindfulness program with detailed guided instruction and short practices. While rare, sometimes “low intensity” practices can bring thoughts to the fore that you may find disturbing. This is often an opportunity to work through them to a positive resolution. However, if this does arise and you do not have the capacity to deal with it you should consult with your occupational health department or an appropriate health care professional. If you have a history or are currently being treated for a mental health problem, such as clinical depression, you should contact your care provider before starting to practice mindfulness.

These mindfulness courses has been designed by a professionally qualified and experienced mindfulness teacher, Imee Contreras, who trained at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center and a member of the International Mindfulness Teachers Association. She is also a Mindful Schools curriculum facilitator.  Imee is a co-founder of Philippine Insight Meditation Community.


5. Do I need a special or quiet space to practise?
Mindfulness can be practiced anywhere. You can take “formal” mindfulness meditation practices, which many people when first practicing find easier in a quiet space. However, with busy lives and the benefit of headphones you can practice “on-the-go” while commuting or sitting in the park. You can also take “informal” mindfulness practices, which simply means integrating mindfulness into your daily routine such as mindfully walking or eating.

6. How long does it take?
Like physical exercise you need practice to benefit and as little as 10 minutes a day can make a significant difference in a very short period of time.

7. I perform better under pressure and don’t want to loose my edge. Will this affect my performance?
You will not lose your edge; mindfulness has been shown to improve performance when we are under pressure.

8. Do many people practice Mindfulness in the workplace?
Mindfulness is increasingly practiced in multiple organizations such as Transport for London, General Mills, Google. Many Business schools such as Harvard, INSEAD and Ashridge have mindfulness programs.

- DIANA WINSTON

DIRECTOR OF MINDFUL AWARENESS RESEARCH CENTER, UCLA

"MINDFULNESS IS PAYING ATTENTION TO THE PRESENT MOMENT WITH OPENNESS, CURIOSITY, AND THE WILLINGNESS TO BE WITH 'WHAT IS'."

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