I had a teacher once who taught me the value and rewards of mindfulness. Mindfulness is a concept from eastern religion that simply involves the act of living in the moment and maintaining the clarity of though that so often is hard to achieve. As we live our frenetic modern lives, with work, family, online study and 24/7 connectivity through ever improving social and communication technologies, it is hard to ever take a moment to fully focus on the task at hand. When the task at hand is something important like driving safely on the freeway or something really important like interacting with the ones you love, mindfulness is key to avoiding unpleasant consequences. It also has the positive benefit of helping one achieve positive goals with less strife and effort.
This teacher of mine wasn’t a school teacher or spiritual figure. Rather this teacher was someone I encountered in my personal struggle to change my relationship to my own body. Learning to be mindful about my thoughts, words and actions (especially about eating and exercise) helped me to become significantly healthier than I had been. Lately, I had fallen out of the practice of mindfulness in my affairs and have seen the predictable return of some unhealthy results. But today, I have made the decision to again focus on being mindful in all aspects of life and I feel good about what this refocus will mean for me. I thought it would be valuable for me to share some basic info on mindfulness to readers of this blog, as much for their own benefit as for my own.
Read this excellent, brief description of what mindfulness means and how it benefits mind and body, written by Soren Gordhamer; an author who counsels individuals and groups on ways to live with less stress and more effectiveness in our technology-rich lives. He has been featured in various media, including GQ Magazine and Newsweek.com, and has taught classes on stress reduction to such diverse populations as youth in New York City juvenile halls, trauma workers in Rwanda, and to staff at Google.