I opened up my chrome browser and I punched in “mindfulness training” and a plethora of information came up! Years ago this would have been unthinkable, not just because the Internet didn’t exist so punching in anything in it could have been impossible, but because social awareness regarding mindfulness training was next to nil.
For my generation it was really the Beatles that brought it into world awareness when they visited the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Back then meditation came wrapped in a Hindu tradition.
You didn’t just get the meditation you got all the add-ons with it as well.
Today mindfulness training is an entirely secular phenomena.
It is regarded from a scientific viewpoint as a tool to deal with different phobias. In the mental psychological fields it’s regarded as alleviating or at least reducing symptoms of depression, stress, anxiety or even helping individuals to free themselves from drug addiction.
Jon Kabat-Zinn from the U.Mass medical Center is largely credited with coining the term mindfulness meditation with his mindfulness-based stress reduction program(MBSR) in 1979.
Fortune 500 companies like Raytheon, Procter & Gamble, Monsanto, General Mills, Nortel Networks, unilever, new balance, bose, bioresearch, BASF, Comcast are just a few of the companies that Institute it. The most famous one perhaps being Google.
Some of its greatest benefits consist of its ability to help the individual disengage from his inner dialogue or inner narrator which he normally perceives as himself or belonging to him or herself. Mindfulness meditation can assist people in becoming aware of their thoughts as not originating from themselves. Mindfulness meditation can offer people the freedom of watching their thinking process without owning it as theirs, in short not being fully identified with it!
The practice itself is derived from a Buddhist tradition as well as a Hindu tradition. Mindfulness, derived from “sati” which like it’s Hindu counterpart “smrti” also means to remember.
At our very core what we need to remember is who and what we are, and the practice gives us an opportunity to allow the miracle to happen, within. More often than not, the role of an instructor is to aid the student in navigating the waters of their own resistance, because who we are not is so deeply entrenched in our journey, that distinguishing between the two can be extremely confusing at best, whereas someone who has sourced themselves can reaffirm for us the allowance that we need in order to grow.