What is Mindfulness?

Hi everyone, we've put a small video together taken from our latest intensive that explores the question 'What is Mindfulness'.

You can find the video below, but for those of you who prefer reading, the purpose of this was to get as close as we could with language in explaining mindfulness actually is. The whole point of a weekend meditation retreat is to explore this single question, which inevitably leads to another question, which is 'who am I?' Because Open Meditation teaches in a non-religious and multi-disciplinary way, at the beginning of every meditation retreat we examine this question from various angles; mystical, neuroscientific, philosophical and psychological. 

So what's the answer to the question?  Mindfulness is best defined as ‘moment by moment, non-judgemental awareness.’ So more specifically, mindfulness is about becoming aware of your present experience as a human being right now, and crucially not reacting. Not getting involved in a dialogue with yourself or the objects in your perception and simply being aware. It’s about giving yourself the ability to step back and give yourself some space between you the subject, and the objects in your awareness.

In many ways it’s useful to think of mindfulness meditation as becoming aware of the silence that everything else is coming into. Another way to say that might be: becoming aware of the objects coming into the space of your mind. It’s not about suppressing anything, it’s not about ‘trying not to think’ – it’s absolutely not about that. It’s about allowing everything in, but at the same time being aware of that silence that they’re coming into; being aware that you’re aware.

However, this definition is like a finger pointing at the moon. It's just a symbol pointing to an experience. So to really find out what mindfulness is, why not practice mindfulness? You can find out more about our London meditation classes and Weekend Intensives on our website, and we always love to answer your questions about mindfulness meditation, so get in touch using the contact form if you have any!