Diversity Ecology Ethics Practice
If we observe things deeply, we will discover that one thing contains all the other things. If you look deeply into a tree, you will discover that a tree is not only a tree. It is also a person. It is a cloud. It is the sunshine. It is the Earth. It is the animals and the minerals. The practice of looking deeply reveals to us that one thing is made up of all the other things. One thing contains the whole cosmos. Thich Nhat Hanh. PHOTO David Beatty
Deep Practice entails that we inquire into the nature and structure of consciousness, by beginning with ourselves as we actually are in this present moment. In our day to day lives we are so pressured by goals and routines that we rarely live in the totality of the present moment, and therefore we are cut off to a great extent from the pulse of life, from the extraordinary fact of being in the world in the fullness of the present, aware of the vitality of the life around us, in which we live and move and breathe as embodied selves, alive to the shifting moods and sensorial contact with our surroundings, the seasonal breaths of wind, the flowing waters, the sun’s firelit leaves and the moist rain fed earth, the depths of towering wind-sculpted rock forms, or the dark majesty of ancient forests which nourish the imagination and flood our neural pathways with a rich and potent mix of colours, sounds, scents and shapes awakening an attentiveness to the myriad particularities of the living universe.
To enhance wellbeing we need to nurture wholesome relations
with others and to reconnect with the natural world that is the source of everything we depend upon.
WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?
The definition given by Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of the Centre for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School where he created the MBSR Programme, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction was:
'It is the awareness that arises by the purposeful cultivation of paying attention moment-to-moment non-judgmentally.'
John Teasdale, one of the co-founders of MBCT (Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy) described it as follows: 'The essence of mindfulness is to be fully aware of our experience in each moment equally open to whatever it has to offer and free of the domination of habitual automatic cognitive routines that are often goal-oriented and, in one form or another, related to wanting things to be other than they are.'
Mindfulness is diligent daily practice of attentiveness to thoughts, feelings, emotions, actions and reactions. Research studies have shown that the practice is strongly correlated with well-being and health. Programmes based on the practice have been widely used in schools, prisons, hospitals, veteran centres, and the health benefits have been clinically documented over the last 30 years.
WHY SHOULD I MEDITATE?
The regular practice
of Mindfulness is proven beyond doubt to be enormously efficacious.
To meet the challenges of the Digital Age training the mind and heart to new habits of attentiveness and presence is vital for wellbeing and effectiveness in everyday life and in the workplace.
For leaders and for organizations training in awareness and attentiveness is today's most important life skill to master, to cultivate resilience and presence, and the ability to listen and to respond effectively with empathy and understanding.
Mindfulness Practice reduces stress, brings clarity, and restores vitality to our daily living.
Meditation helps us on many levels, from simple relaxation to freedom from suffering and full liberation of heart and mind. It allows us to:
While the practice has its source in the Buddhist tradition of insight meditation it is now established in many places as a secular practice. To engage with this programme of inquiry and meditation does not require any previous experience of meditation.
For a fuller description of Mindfulness and information on Courses go to Mindfulness Course on the Menu Page.
Click on the VIDEO below to hear an interview with me on Carolyne Gaithuma's 'Being Me' series on Jicho TV Kenya introducing Mindfulness Practice.