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What is Mindfulness? How to meditate for the peace of mind

People today are always busy, always on the go. Let's release our daily fatigue and tension with mindfulness meditation, by understanding what is mindfulness, its effects, and how to meditate in an easy-to-understand way for beginners.


What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a method of focusing your attention on the five senses of your body and accepting yourself as you are "in this moment".

In recent years, mindfulness has become increasingly popular around the world, especially in Europe and the U.S. In fact, its roots lie in the philosophy of Zen, which has long been cherished by the Japanese people.

The driving force behind the mindfulness boom is Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the United States. Having studied Zen teachings under Zen masters from a young age, Dr. Zinn utilized the essence of Zen and combined it with advanced brain science to develop the "Mindfulness Stress Reduction Method".

Zazen is one of the training methods of the Zen sect of Buddhism. To put it simply, zazen is a sitting meditation method. The goal is to sit quietly, clear the mind, and detach from the immediate reality.

Mindfulness, which has its roots in zazen, is an attempt to achieve a balance between body and mind through habitual meditation. Recently, it has been the focus of specialized research and attention in a variety of fields.

A woman on the beach breathing deeply to achieve the peace of mind


Benefits of Mindfulness

Even while we are doing something, we tend to get caught up in negative thoughts and feelings, such as regret for past failures, anxiety about the future, and evaluation by others. Continuing to think these useless thoughts drains the brain's energy.

"I feel tired even after I rest." "I am sleepy no matter how many hours I sleep." If you are suffering from these problems, your brain, not your body, may be exhausted. If brain fatigue is left untreated, it is said to lead to irritability, low ambition, and a decreased sense of well-being.

This is where mindfulness techniques can be helpful. By creating a state of concentration on the task at hand and allowing the brain to rest from re-proposing thoughts, the following effects can be expected.

  • Recovery from brain fatigue
  • Reduction of anxiety and stress
  • Stress relief
  • Improvement of concentration
  • Improved sense of well-being
  • Improved quality of sleep

The use of mindfulness is expanding in the business world as well. It has been shown to be effective in speeding up work and increasing productivity, and is practiced by Google Inc. and other well-known companies and celebrities.


How to do mindfulness meditation

Mindfulness meditation has no religious or spiritual elements and is based on medical evidence, making it safe for everyone to engage in. There are no strict rules, so don't think about it too hard and feel free to practice it whenever you feel like it.

What are the steps to follow to practice mindfulness meditation
    1. Sit with your back straight.
    2. After adjusting your posture, relax your entire body.
    3. Close your eyes lightly and take a deep breath. Nasal breathing, breathing in through the nose and out through the nose, is the basic method. Breathe in slowly, feeling your stomach expand as you inhale and contract as you exhale.
    4. There is no need to force deep breathing. Focus on your natural breathing.
    5. It is OK to let thoughts come to mind; do not force them out, just let them become a part of you and bring your attention back to your breathing.
    6. Start with 2-3 minutes, then as you get used to it, do 10-30 minutes.

Assiduity in Mindfulness meditation is more important than continuing to do it for a long time a day. You may not get it right the first time, but if you keep doing it every day, you will get the hang of it. If you concentrate only on your breathing, little by little the distractions will disappear and your mind will become clearer.

A woman doing Zen meditation

The idea of Zen, the origin of mindfulness, has permeated Japan since ancient times. The unique Japanese sensibility and sense of beauty are greatly influenced by Zen. Why not experience the spirit of Zen through mindfulness?


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