HomeMindMindfulness

Mindfulness

Mindfulness has been at the center of a large number of discussions and clinical studies in the last couple of decades. Moreover, it’s established itself as an important method for influencing the way we respond to our environment and the different thoughts, feelings, sensations it provokes inside us. But where did mindfulness come from and how did it manage to become so successfully ingrained in the fabric of the Western culture?

The History of Mindfulness

Mindfulness has its origins in ancient meditation practices. Based on Zen and Tibetan meditation techniques, the actual source can be traced to sati, a very important element of Buddhism. It is the seventh factor of the Noble Eightfold Path and there are various translations of the term. Whether you call it awareness, mindfulness, bare attention, or even remembrance (all of which are acceptable translations), it doesn’t really matter, as sati (smrti in Sanskrit) denotes that one is on the path of liberation. This path leads to blissful awareness which lies beneath all the human suffering, the foundation of all our experiences.

Unfortunately, western civilization has had to live without the ideas of sati for a long time, only finding all about it through the teachings of Thích Nhất Hạnh, a Buddhist monk and peace activist who brought the idea of mindfulness to a population starved for meaning.

Afterward, Jon Kabat-Zinn, an American Professor Emeritus of medicine and a student of Thích Nhất Hạnh, took it a step further. He created the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program at the University of Massachusetts, and thus began the application of mindful practices and techniques in medicine.

Today, mindfulness exists in the Western culture completely devoid of any spiritual or religious meaning, and it used purely as a tool to achieve what Kabat-Zinn describes as “present moment awareness”. It was with great effort that he managed to extract mindfulness from Buddhist teachings and present it in such a way that the general population, at the time quite wary of “new age, eastern mysticism” could accept it, and even apply it in their everyday lives. The rest is, as they say, history.

How to Improve Self-Awareness

On a scale of 1 to 5, how self-aware are you? If the answer is 5, congratulations! Being highly self-aware implies that you have good leadership...

Overwhelmed With Questions About Life? Take This Buddha’s Advice.

“One must immerse oneself in the river of life and let the question drift away” — Gautama Buddha. Death, freedom, isolation, and meaninglessness are the...

3 Ways Meditation Can Be Bad for You

Meditation is often seen as a panacea — a cure for all ills from heartbreak to joint pain, from high blood pressure to low...

Meditation Simplified

If you are reading this article, it’s likely that you have already started meditating or you are considering doing so and are curious to...

How to Be Mindful When Dealing with Negative Emotions

There was once a human and he/she never felt a difficult emotion, said no one ever. We are all humans and as such, we feel. A...

10 Mindfulness Rituals to Make Your Life Better

The year is 2019. The busy world we live in can pose a challenge for us to create and keep a healthy lifestyle, to...

Most Popular

The Ultimate Health Elixir — Catch Z’s To Improve Your Healthspan

We often prioritize work over rest in today’s fast-paced and productivity-driven world. In the past, I chose to sleep less...

Ejaculation Control: An Effective Way to an Energetic & Spiritual Life

The ultimate how-to guide for ejaculation control.

Make Discipline Effortless — Use Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Flow States

Create supportive environments and avoid environments that make discipline difficult

How Moving Under the Sun Affects Your Brain

What science tells us about exercise, sunlight and our minds

Editor's Pick

How to Increase Self-Control in Children

Have you ever been in a situation when your...

How to Be Mindful When Dealing with Negative Emotions

There was once a human and he/she never felt...

Seven Steps to a Happy Family

Reading about statistics probably isn’t your top choice for...

How Fun Games in the Office on Fridays Help Team Building

In recent years, the number of seminars and workshops...

MORE TOP READS

3 Questions To Transition Out Of Anger Quickly

Anger isn’t as dangerous as we think. It’s not as useful, either. Here’s what...

How Autosuggestion Techniques Can Change Your Life

Our thoughts and emotions are the two of the most powerful instruments our minds...

How to Properly Define “Quality Time”

If you’re stuck indoors with your loved ones at the moment, you’ve got the...

Seven Steps to a Happy Family

Reading about statistics probably isn’t your top choice for a relaxing afternoon. But if...

What is Considered a Sedentary Lifestyle

The deeper our bond with technology, the more reliant we become on it. Not...

How to Ensure the Quality of Life as You Age : Age Without Rage

When we’re young and healthy, we rarely think about what the future may bring....

5 Surprisingly Simple Tips for Making Marriage Work

“Let me not to the marriage of true minds Admit impediments. Love is not love Which...

The Five Ways for Couples to Grow a Deeper Connection

Relationships are dynamic in their nature, and it’s no wonder that people find themselves...