Mindfulness is defined as the practice of paying full attention to the present moment, without judging it. It is practiced when we focus on what happens to us “here and now” and accept it as it is, without entering into considerations of a moral nature or of ethical or philosophical values. The meaning of the term, which has a millenary root, is “full consciousness.”
The mindfulness technique teaches you to be fully aware.
The mindfulness technique teaches you to be fully aware of each present moment. It is full consciousness, and not “full consciousness”, because “consciousness” is our ability to perceive the reality that surrounds us and recognize ourselves in it, while “consciousness” is a moral knowledge of that reality. That is, it is a knowledge that distinguishes “what is right” (or what we understand to be “right”, in the present moment of the “here and now”) and “what is wrong” (or what we consider that “is wrong” in the current moment, in this very “here and now”).
Consciousness is knowledge without more, while consciousness is the value judgment we make about what we know.
Consciousness is “a pure state of knowledge”, while consciousness is a “conditioned or circumstantial state of knowledge”, insofar as it changes with the passage of time and is a function of the circumstances and factors that surround what we know. These factors and circumstances can distract us and take us out of our state of concentration, out of our awareness of our own self.
Mindfulness and meditation
For this reason, consciousness is an aseptic value, not “contaminated”, not influenced by these external conditioning factors.
However, with a conscience, we make value judgments, which are changing, in such a way that what was “wrong” yesterday can be “right” today or simply be normal and not be morally disapproved. Or vice versa.
The mindfulness technique is based on mastering a set of processes by which we acquire, develop and perfect a special capacity and ability to focus on what happens in ourselves (in our interior, in our self …) and in our around, abstracting us from noise and distractions.
It is common to confuse mindfulness with meditation when in reality the latter state (meditation) is only part of the former ( mindfulness). Meditation is one of the practices to practice mindfulness, but not the only one.
Live our lives fully
Mindfulness is the most exciting journey that people can take: the journey into ourselves, with which we will arrive at true self-discovery and self-knowledge.
It is a mental, emotional, and, at the same time, physical state. It’s the best way to really be present in our own lives. And thus to be able to live them fully. Mindfulness is the state of “being”, while the external factors that influence us in one way or another, every day (joy-sadness; expectation-disappointment; love-hate…) drive us more to “do”.
How to practice mindfulness
Practicing mindfulness is not easy, especially in the beginning. It’s more; an inappropriate practice of meditation, with the expectation of reaching a state of mindfulness, can have the opposite effect and lead to depression, anxiety, or stress. Or all three at the same time.
It’s like playing a sport without being physically prepared for it. We could injure ourselves or something worse: has a heart attack. For this reason, it is advisable to go to a professional who will teach us to practice mindfulness, in the same way, that it is advisable to practice a sport under the direction of an instructor or coach.
For those who, despite everything, prefer to try on their own, check out the following tips.
Time. In the first place, it is advisable to start practicing several minutes a day and gradually expand the routine that is acquired, until reaching the ideal rhythm of thirty minutes each day. You have to be patient and constant because at first, it is logical that we do not notice anything. Nor should you rush and try to move too fast.
The moment. Not any time of the day is worth practicing mindfulness. You have to find “the moment”, that which is the calmest of the day, be it morning, afternoon, or night.
Space. We must choose a relaxed environment, a place free from noise or external distractions, with the right temperature, and where we feel comfortable. The location of that ideal place (your house, your room, the garden, a mountain …) is up to you.
Comfort. Wearing comfortable clothes and getting into a comfortable posture is essential to practice mindfulness.
The breathing. A very important technique for meditation and, through it, to reach a state of mindfulness is breathing. You have to focus on it, how the air enters through the nose into the lungs; how we oxygenate our body, and how this air comes out again through the nose, expelling with it all the negative that we harbor.
If something external distracts us, we must quickly return to focus on our breathing. In this way, we will improve the technique and it will take us less time to reach the state of mindfulness.
Throughout this process, you have to let your thoughts and emotions flow, with a neutral attitude towards them, without judging them. Just perceive and observe them impersonally, as an outside observer. Free of judgments and prejudices we reach the consciousness of ourselves. We achieve freedom.