Mindfulness – The Secret of Happiness?
“Unlike ordinary drinks, the nectar of mindfulness is available everywhere
all the time, and can quench your thirst once and for all.”
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche
What’s all the excitement about?
For something that is around 2,500 years old, people have become very excited about the potential of Mindfulness Meditation, and for good reason. Ordinary people as well as professionals in the world of psychotherapy and psychology have learnt that this may be the answer to some of the most important questions about your life.
Unlike most systems of meditation, Mindfulness does not rely on any religious or spiritual ideas, although its source is Buddhist meditation. There are no chants or mantras, no robes or restrictions. The sole purpose of Mindfulness is to provide you with the skill to be fully present in the moment-by-moment unfolding of your own life, and to learn to be content with the ups and downs that life inevitably throws at us.
What do I get out of it?
If simply leading to happiness and a state of contentedness were not enough, Mindfulness has been shown to be beneficial for many psychological and physical conditions such as chronic pain, depression, anxiety, addictions and personality disorder. After just eight weeks of practice people have measurable positive changes in brain function and immune response.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is not about ‘tricking’ the body, it is not hypnosis, it is not a ‘technique’…Mindfulness is not a ‘stress management’ exercise.
1. Gives you the ability to live “In the moment”; and the present moment is the only place you can be truly happy or content.
2 Reduces suffering from;
- Physical Pain
- Emotional Pain such as fear, grief, anger, jealousy, shame
- Compulsions and addictions
3. Improves your wellbeing;
- Brain alpha waves increase, skin conductivity decreases and the metabolism becomes more efficient
- Increases satisfaction and motivation for exercises, so exercise becomes easier and more appealing
- Increases immune system functioning, even improving response to medicine
- Increases blood flow to the part of the brain associated with optimism and the sense of well being
4. Can be accessed anytime
Unlike relaxation techniques, you can learn to be Mindful even during a stressful situation
5. Gives you control over your mind
- Lets you rise above your problems
- Enable you to see the temporary nature of a bad situation
- Disables destructive patterns of behaviour
- Helps create positive outcomes for the people around you
- Stops you from trying to just distract yourself from or simply avoid unpleasant thoughts and feelings, until our need to avoid naturally dissipates. Avoidance just creates more problems.
“The practice of mindfulness defuses our negativity, aggression, and turbulent emotions…..Rather than suppressing emotions or indulging in them, here it is important to view them, and your thoughts, and whatever arises with an acceptance and generosity that are as open and spacious as possible.”
Sogyal Rinpoche, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying