Mindfulness, Pleine Conscience, Atención Plena… no matter where you go, this word gets thrown around a lot these days, doesn’t it? If you’re not into TM, Yoga or Zen, you HAVE to have a mindfulness retreat / teacher / practice.
As a yoga teacher, people often ask me about mindfulness and what I think about this new trend.
Here is a thought (ha!): it isn’t a new trend. It might look like it, but just like yoga, it has been around forever… I believe (but I’m not the only one) that we were born in a natural state of mindfulness. With our first breath we became aware of our breathing. With our first glimpse we became conscious of our surroundings. And with each new action we became aware of our humanity.
If this seems far fetched, just observe a young child interacting with his or her environment, see how they get “lost in the moment”, how each and every action is of utmost importance for them. They have such an amazing ability to be in the moment that the world around them ceases to exist. As adults we sometimes grow impatient and tell them to hurry, but if you think about it, they are spot on and we are the ones who forgot what it was like to be truly present.
Mindfulness is your natural state, people can remind you of what it is and how to get back there, but it isn’t some elite thing that can only be attained through expensive practices. It’s like forgetting how to get back home: people can show you the way, but eventually you’re the one who ha to walk back home…
Which is why we find ourselves ready to do about anything just to be able to experience what it is to be PRESENT… we practice sports, martial arts, we travel the world to explore ancient civilisations, we cook, we knit, we write, we paint, we get lost in a singular occupation, because this is when we are FULLY PRESENT, this is MINDFULNESS.