What Is Mindfulness

What Is Mindfulness And Its Core Principles

Where it comes from

The term mindfulness comes from a Pali (the origin where Buddha was recorded) word, sati, which refers to awareness, attention, and remembering. With its roots in Buddhism, the process of mindfulness meditation requires one to remember their purpose of meditation in reference to their ethical, spiritual goals to eliminate hatred, delusion, and greed. (Mindfulness In Cultural Context by Laurence K. Kirmayer)

Mindfulness in Psychology

According to the Oxford Research Encyclopedias on Psychology, mindfulness in psychology is often referred to as Mindfulness-Based Interventions (MBIs). It has grown in popularity in healthcare, business, education, and government. In therapy, practices are used to train people on how to incorporate mindfulness into their daily life.

A key component is in education. Once someone is taught how to do something, they can better use it on their own throughout life. Teaching can be formal or informal mindful meditation practices.

There is significant research in the use of MBCT (Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy) to treat psychiatric disorders and considerable evidence supporting that this practice decreases the risk for relapse. It has been used in practice to treat depression, bipolar disorder, OCD, generalized anxiety disorder, and eating disorders. (Mindfulness-Based Interventions in Psychiatry, Benjamin G. Shapero Ph.D., et al.)

Core Principles of Mindfulness

When practicing mindfulness, it is something that can be incorporated into your day to day life reasonably easy. Below are some of the core principles adapted from “Full Catastrophe Living,” by Jon Kabat- Zinn.

Judgement Free

Be an impartial witness to your experience. Notice your stream of consciousness but instead of trying to control it, letting it go.


Letting things take their time to unfold. Practice being patient with ourselves. Every moment is valuable as they come. Being open to each of those moments as they come and accepting them, understand that things will emerge in their own time.

Getting Started

Often, we let our beliefs stop us from seeing things as they are. Be willing to see everything for the first time. Each moment has unique possibilities. View people as if you are looking at them with fresh eyes, seeing them as they are.


Develop trust in yourself and your feelings. Be trusting of your authority in the decisions that you make. Honor those feelings. Take responsibility for your actions and your well-being.

Anti- Striving

The goal is to be yourself. Focus is on doing and what you see, notice, and feel during the process of meditation (and or mindfulness) and coming out of it.


Believe what you see in front of you. Not what you hope something is. View something the way it is in the present moment. We waste time and energy, denying facts. Once we acknowledge a reality, we can move towards figuring out a solution.

Accepting yourself is not a passive act. It does not mean to settle for how things are. It doesn’t mean one should stop trying to achieve their goals. Once you have a clear understanding and have accepted how things are, you will be more likely to know how to solve your problem.

Letting Go

Standing back and letting things unfold. Letting go is a way of seeing things as they are in the space that they operate. If someone finds it hard to let go, switching focus to the idea of holding will bring a better understanding as to how exactly one can let go.

Like anything else, it takes time to get good at it. Find joy in the process. There are many routes and philosophies and psychology that incorporate versions of mindfulness in practice. Part of the journey is exploring different methods and seeing what is out there and what speaks to you.


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