The word ‘mindfulness’ is a relatively new word. It became popularized by the American scientist and writer Jon Kabat-Zinn in his books, Full Catastrophe Living and Wherever You Go There You Are. The concepts underlying the word ‘mindfulness’ however are ancient. going all the way back to the Hebrew Bible.
The central underlying principle of mindfulness is that it is our thoughts and beliefs that place us in the world that each of us experiences. If you find yourself enjoying your day then it is your thoughts and beliefs that brought you to that experience. If you hate your life then it is also your thoughts and beliefs that brought you to that conclusion. In the view of mindfulness, circumstances such as wealth, healthy, or beauty have nothing to do with how you feel. All that’s relevant is how you think and what you believe.
From that first principle, comes the second concept: the mind does not make it easy to be happy. The mind is connected to the world around us and inside of us. It sees, it hears, it smells, it feels, it tastes, it remembers, it judges, and it wants. From the moment that consciousness returns when we wake up in the morning, our mind is busy with it’s wishes, urges, fears, and ups and downs of every sort. With all of this internal ‘noise’ it is nearly impossible for us to find the peace of mind that we wish for.
The practices of mindfulness are intended to quiet the mind so that we can rest, we can enjoy the moment, and find a moment of Eden and peace as we go about making our life beautiful.