“Mindfulness” is becoming a household word. Translated from the Pali word sati (Sanskrit: smrti), literally means “to remember.” It is about directing and sustaining attention to present moment experience. Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program defines: “Mindfulness is awareness, cultivated by paying attention in a sustained and particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally. It is one of the many forms of meditation, if you think of mediation as any way in which we engage in 1) systematically regulating our attention and energy, 2) thereby influencing and possibly transforming the quality of our experience, 3) in the service of realizing the full range of our humanity, and of 4) our relationship to others and the world.”
Until we become skilled at mindfulness, we don’t fully understand the possibilities and power that lie within each moment. Practicing mindfulness, non-judgmental moment-to-moment awareness, isn’t easy. We can force ourselves to pay attention for a moment, but we can’t force ourselves to be nonjudging. Yet we can enlist other qualities of the mind that support and strengthen mindfulness. JKZ calls them attitudinal foundations of mindfulness in his best-selling book Full Catastrophe Living, there are 9 of them. I hope you will find these two minute videos as helpful as I did. Here they are:
“Cognitive stress and constant rumination on potential threats creates a stressful environment that, in turn, shortens telomere* length. Mindfulness, however, can have a beneficial impact on telomere length by reducing the cognitive stress and arousal that can decrease cellular aging.”
Telomeres – the caps on the ends of chromosomes where our genes reside – and the protective enzyme telomerase. Telomeres keep our chromosomes from aging, much like the little plastic bits on the tips of a shoelace keep it from unraveling.