Mindfulness is paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment,
Threefold skill set working together:
(1) Concentration power, (2) Sensory Clarity, (3) Equanimity
Bring awareness to our experience:
Mindfulness can be applied to our senses, thoughts and emotions by using sustained
attention and noticing experience without over-identifying
"Be here now ... Not thinking about the future or the past but here in the now"
"Noticing what is happening right now with no judgement"
The combination of curiosity of breath support (while studying vocal pedagogy) and my mothers anxiety lead me to this path of mindfulness. I started with breathing techniques to "calm" the mind and body (i.e. rhythmic breathing, pranayama, ocean breath, tumo... you name it). I found it to be beneficial for me but not for others who suffer with anxiety. There were also some prerequisites to utilizing some advanced breathing techniques such as dietary choices, fasting and timing of the day. Again for me, I enjoyed the challenge and finding the balance but I decided to keep searching for other "methods" of self-care. I came across a this video during my undergraduate degree called Room to Breathe. A women taught this self-care practice in a low-social economic school in the bay area. Of course students were hesitant to this idea but when they got in the rhythm of her guidance they found a sense of peace.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it meditation?
Meditation is an umbrella term because there are many types of meditation. One mindful meditation example is breathing and focusing on the your breath. When you mind starts to wonder just think the word "thinking" ... then back to the breath.
So... what is Mindfulness exactly???
It is not a religion, not a visualization, not a mantra and it is not about shutting the mind off. Have you ever had a song stuck in your head? The more you try to ignore it the stronger it comes back. There is not a goal or something to be gained from mindfulness. It is not able being clam or calming down (though it can be a by-product). It is simply observing what is happening in the present moment with no judgement. Thoughts will come and go like clouds in the sky. We can not get rid of them because they are apart of this human experience. It is refreshing to find that we are not our thoughts and don't have to have our thoughts pull us in 10,000 directions.
Zinn, J.K. (2005). Wherever you go there you are: Mindfulness meditation in everyday life. Hachette books inc.
Arau, M. (2022). Upbeat: Mindset, mindfulness and leadership in music education and beyond. GIA publication inc.