Since the mindfulness Godfather (Jon Kabat-Zinn) integrated the practices of Buddhist mindfulness meditation into the well known 8 weeks non-Buddhist psycho-educational and experiential programme ‘Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction” (MBSR), mindfulness has become one of the most powerful movements in the 21st century becoming fully integrated with both mainstream medicine and with society as a whole. From treating chronic pain to working through depression and combating eating disorders, it has been used successfully with what seems an endless amount of people, and the hype about mindfulness just continues to grow.
You only have to walk into a bookstore and plastered all over the shelves are ‘mindfulness colouring books’ for instance! It is being used by people on an individual basis, finding mindfulness through peers, social media or just stumbling upon articles written online. It’s everywhere, and you can’t escape it! The simple point here is, it works!
Mindfulness is quintessentially simple! It just takes practice just to notice – to observe – to not judge. For us in the western world, we live in fast-paced, stressful swamp of energy, where simply meditatively observing is almost alien. From cradle to grave we are taught that we must work hard, conform to societal norms, live for planning the future, but we always forget to appreciate the now! As I have said to myself many times, the now is all we have. The future, nor the past – exist!
For a man who struggles with OCD and cripplingly intense intrusive thoughts, the concept of not worrying about the future and what may have already occurred can be difficult. But it’s certainly not impossible! It just takes practice. Don’t get me wrong I am no guru and I am by no means free of OCD – I am however constantly working on my own recovery journey though!
I would like to share a little of that journey with you though, so I am going to write up a few articles following the MBSR structure. I will start writing about ‘Automatic Pilot’ and hope you gain benefit from my series. Watch this space for the first instalment. In the meantime have a look at the Wellness Toolbox.
You might want to check out my favourite meditation website here too 🙂