what is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is tuning in to our direct experience in this moment, just as it is. Maintaining a moment-to-moment awareness of bodily sensations, feelings and thoughts. 


Mindfulness is really 'being there' and fully attending to what is happening, how we are, what we are doing, conversations or interactions we are having. We may think this sounds simple, but our thoughts are often racing off to the past and future, overwhelming us with emotions, or distracting us.

Through mindfulness practice, we are learning to 'come back' to our experience in this moment, once we notice that our minds have been carried away. We are developing an increasing ability to sustain attention and be with our present moment experience just as it is. We are learning to relate differently to our reactive patterns, and to more clearly see how best to respond to different situations. 

Rather than being caught in our constant 'doing' mode, where stress and reactive habits get to rule, mindfulness encourages us to engage our 'being' mode, where we are more aware and exploring bodily sensations, feelings, and mental states with kind curiosity.


Rather than trying to avoid pain and discomfort, which is when we react and act in less skilful ways,  mindfulness practice helps us understand our present moment experience, whether it is positive, negative or neutral. We are learning to respond more skilfully to difficulty and stress. 


Practicing mindfulness, we are learning to be more aware of where our mind goes off to, to understand our automatic reactive patterns, and to live life with more intentionality. We are developing a clearer view of unhelpful habits that impedes on our well-being. We are seeing what supports us and what does not, we have more awareness and can guide our mind and actions more skilfully. Having more choice in how we relate to various situations and interactions, in turn reduces stress and increases our capacity to live a life with greater joy and ease. 

Empirically Supported Benefits of Mindfulness

  • Reduced Rumination

  • Less Self-Criticism, More Self-Acceptance

  • Stress Reduction

  • Increased Well-Being

  • Focus

  • Less Emotional Reactivity 

  • More Flexibility and Openness

  • Resilience

  • Relationship Satisfaction 

What mindfulness is not

  •  We are not aiming to achieve a specific state or outcome with mindfulness practice, and sometimes there is a misconception that mindfulness is about relaxation. This may be one outcome of some mindfulness practices, however mindfulness is about waking up to experience, rather than 'zoning out'.

  • Similarly, mindfulness is not about 'emptying' the mind. We are turning towards all experience, and through increased awareness and openness we are finding how best to respond. 


  • Mindfulness is not supposed to 'fix' us or lead to overnight changes. Instead, we may see mindfulness as a practice for life, where we are noticing the layers, textures and richness of more moments of our lives. 


  • Mindfulness is not the same as meditation, however mindfulness is a capacity we all have and that we can d evelop and cultivate through various meditation practices.