"Mindfulness is the awareness that arises, from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally." ~ Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, developer of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR).
Mindfulness is a natural human capacity that we can access and develop through formal practices such as meditation. We can also cultivate mindfulness by intentionally bringing qualities of openness, curiousity, & kindness to our everyday life. Mindfulness can help us to see more clearly what is happening and create more space to make choices to respond to the conditions of our life rather than react habitually based on past experiences.
Mindfulness is taught in a wide range of modern secular settings and can be traced back over 2500 years ago to the teachings of the Buddha. Mindfulness is an English translation for the ancient Pali word "Sati" which has also been translated as "awareness" which has certain additional qualities, including kindness and clarity.
Since the introduction of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) over 4 decades ago by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts medical school in 1979, the word and the practice has become even more popular. Research on Mindfulness has grown exponentially in recent years with hundreds of scientific studies demonstrating long-lasting mental and physical benefits of Mindfulness.
One of the key ways to develop, deepen and strengthen mindfulness is through particular meditation practices that emphasize present moment awareness. Taking time each day to intentionally place our attention on aspects of our experience of what is happening right now, without pre-judging how it should be or wishing for things to be different than how they actually are. The Guided Meditations offered by Julie and other teachers on Insight Timer may be helpful in developing your own personal mindfulness practice.