Recently in Indianapolis and elsewhere there have been many people who have been marketing ‘mindfulness’ meditation. While we are indebted to John Kabat-Zinn for his classic research laid out in Full Castrophe Living and a more recent work on the subject, Mindfulness for Beginners, we should not lose sight of the fact that the practice of meditation in and of itself is a ‘mindfulness’ practice. What Kabat-Zinn has long ago acknowledged is that he has just stripped the words Buddhism or Buddhist from the context of what he is teaching and has presented the ideas. What most people don’t know or want to know is that these ideas about ‘mindfulness’ are not much different from what you can get at a yoga center where people are classically trained in yoga science.
Many in the ‘exercise’ yoga world down play the idea of being ‘mindful’, and the ‘mindfulness’ training inherent in yoga is all but eliminated in practice. Granted there are many who do not want to be ‘mindful’ in this way. These people might then seek out a ‘mindfulness’ based meditation not being aware that if they found a yoga class where the teachers were taught in a classical setting, where yoga is system truly dedicated to mindfulness and the evolution of human consciousness, they would not have to search elsewhere.
Mindfulness is inherent in the life of critically thinking people. Meditation, ‘period’, is a process that increases the subtlety of one’s awareness, allowing a person to be aware of themselves on all levels. Find a good source of learning meditation in Indianapolis, or anywhere else, and don’t be led astray by the idea that ‘mindfulness’ is only inherent in the name of a current day phenomena, and can only be learned from mental health or medical professionals. The truth is that current research has impressed upon the once skeptical medical and psychological establishment the benefits of an ancient practice.
We have long advocated meditation as a practice is not associated with one philosophy or religious tradition. When all is said and done meditation, ‘mindfulness’ being a primary component of it, should be respected for what it is. It is high time that we get over our misconceptions, fears, and bias regarding meditation and use it for what it is worth.