What is Mindfulness?
What is the mind full of, when we are mindful? Our minds are really good at shuttling between past and future, driven by our fears and desires, memories and imagination. Our minds habitually go from reflecting on the past one moment, to worrying about the future at the next moment, with very little time spent on being fully present. This disconnection with our present reality has become even more severe with the advent of smartphones, the high levels of stress in our modern day lives, and endemic psychological trauma in our communities.
Mindfulness is the practice of filling our minds with the present, moment by moment. When we are mindful, we are more present; when we are more fully present, we listen rather than just hear, we perceive rather than just see. It affects everything we do, and impacts every interaction we have with others.
How do you bring your attention back to the present moment?
In Niroga’s Dynamic Mindfulness, we use the Mindful ABCs as a tool to anchor ourselves in the present: Action, Breathing and Centering.
Mindful Action is mindfully reconnecting with our bodies through movement to release stored stress and trauma. Mindful Breath is regulating our breathing to shift the way we feel so we can better regulate our emotions. Mindful Centering is being aware of what you are thinking about as you think it and using the interaction of your five senses with your environment to keep your focus in the present moment. This allows you to center back in the present when the mind moves into the past or the future.
When you integrate all 3 ABCs -- connecting action, breath, and centering --you have a powerful tool for retraining the brain to stay in the present, gain greater emotional control, and dissolve stress within the body. This neural rewiring will lead to greater calm alert focus on the present moment throughout your day and in your interactions with others. Just a few minutes a day of DMind practice results in measurable, powerful, and lasting changes. These pebbles of practice can then ripple out into your life, community, and world with dramatic and influential effect.
El Cerrito High School student shares the impact Dynamic Mindfulness practice has had on his ability to cope with the stress in his life.