What is Mindfulness?

Maybe I’ll start by saying what’s not mindfulness to me. It is not a sacrosanct remedy for all the ills of humanity; it is not a psychotherapy; it is not some mystical approach; it is not an “anti-stress”. Still, full consciousness can have a panoply of “side effects” that help to soften the ills of modern societies.  

Mindfulness boils down to the ability to be present, in a well-embodied way, to the total breath of life that takes place at each instant. 

In order to have the dimension of what this can be, just stop for a minute to feel the sole of your feet on the ground right now: what kind of surface do we step on? What is the texture of the shoes we wear? Are we barefoot?  

Any experience can be lived in a more conscious way giving us a much wider dimension of existence than that which we automatically attribute to it. 

By paying more and better attention to the unfolding of attitudes and the way the body materializes each act, each gesture, we can gradually create a livelier consciousness of the “present moment”, of each instant that builds daily life, this life that goes so fast that we don’t even notice it. 

For me and as I’ve been taught, the essential pillars of Mindfulness are: contact – being in close contact with present moment experience, curiosity – developing a curious attention to the various nuances that present lived experience presents us with and care – the affection, the kindness with which we attend to the two previous pillars.

Getting started - practical tips

1. Attention to breathing

Sit down for 5 minutes every day paying attention to the body and breathing. Choose the most appropriate time of day by creating a routine, which helps to establish practice.

2. Daily breaks

Take a minute at any time throughout the day just to make one or two deep and conscious inbreaths.

3. Attention to sounds

Attend every morning to the life that begins: listen to the sounds of the house, the building, the garden or the street attentively, without naming, without identifying. All this, if possible, before even turning on the phone;

4. Attention to routines

Pay attention to everyday gestures: bathing; brushing your hair; brushing your teeth; drinking the first coffee - temperature, taste, foam, density.

5. Conscious walking

Feel your feet on the ground walking or simply throughout the day at different times.

6. Full attention when driving

Pay attention to driving - the sensations of the hands on the steering wheel; the sensations each time the car is accelerated; the different shades of light entering through the windows of the car; the brightness or opacity of the colors of the traffic lights.

7. Creating alerts for breaks

Put an alert on your computer or phone to come back every hour - stop and feel your breath (it may be a trip to the bathroom if it's not easy to do this in public).

8. Changing habits

Not having lunch at the same place every day or at least changing positions at the table from time to time (it changes the perspective with which we see things).

9. Experimenting with new paths

If and when you walk, change routes and change pastry or coffee from time to time.

Need more information?

Jorge Nunes • Livros Mindfulness • Website Mindfulness
  • Ne tequitte pas, by Matin Aylward  

https://www.bertrand.pt/livro/ne-te-quitte-pas-aylward-martin/22969457 

  • The mindfulness solution, by Ronald Siegel  

https://www.wook.pt/ebook/the-mindfulness-solution-ronald-d-siegel/16402994 

  • Mindfulness : An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World, by Mark Williams  

https://www.bookdepository.com/Mindfulness-Professor-Political-Science-Mark-Williams/9781609618957?ref=grid-view&qid=1568213339404&sr=1-2 

  • Breathe! You Are Alive!, by Thich Nhat Hanh  

https://www.bookdepository.com/Breathe-You-Are-Alive-Thich-Nhat-Hanh/9780712654272?ref=grid-view&qid=1568213563292&sr=1-3 

  • Wherever You Go, There You Are, by Kabat-Zin  

https://www.bookdepository.com/Wherever-You-Go-There-You-Are-Jon-Kabat-Zinn/9780749925482?ref=grid-view&qid=1568213713805&sr=1-1 

  • Lâcher prise sans laisser tomber: Le pouvoir de la pleine conscience, by Coco Brac  

https://www.amazon.com/L%C3%A2cher-prise-sans-laisser-tomber/dp/221368698X 

  • The mindful path to self-compassion, by Chris Germer  

https://www.bertrand.pt/livro/mindful-path-to-self-compassion-christopher-k-germer/1484101 

 

To deepen your knowledge into Mindfulness, within the Buddhist tradition 

  • After buddhism, by Stephen Batchelor  

https://www.bertrand.pt/livro/after-buddhism-stephen-batchelor/18828846 

  • The heart of buddhist meditation, by Nyanaponika Thera  

https://www.amazon.com/Heart-Buddhist-Meditation-Buddhas-Mindfulness/dp/1578635586 

 

For those who are interested, visiting a Buddhist community for a short retreat (short first approach duration  2 to 3 days) can be very helpful. Not only for the immersion in the environment of the formal practice par excellence, but also for the community spirit that is cultivated. For example: https://sumedharama.pt/inicio/ or https://uniaobudista.pt 

There are some applications that can help establish a meditative routine: Mind App; Insight Timer; Headspace. To follow teachings online I recommend www.worldwideinsight.org. 

If you would like to deepen your knowledge and practices, you can see: https://centerformsc.org; https://www.breathworks-mindfulness.org.uk; https://www.mindfulnesstraininginstitute.com 

Jorge Nunes • Comment Commencer Mindfulness

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My purpose in everything I do is to listen to you and give you another insight into how you can live your day to day life. This is my way of giving and receiving. I am available to receive your contact either by email or by phone. See you later!

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