There is much research on the efficacy of mindfulness in the workplace. Research ranges from the levels of happiness experienced by mindfulness practitioners to whether mindfulness practitioners are authentic. There is also research confirming that mindfulness practitioners, who are prone to “surface acting” at work. experience lack of self-control. “Surface acting” is the act of hiding one’s genuine feelings. However, many studies do not provide accurate results of mindfulness practice. Why? Just as there are people who have different levels of skills in carpentry to mathematics, it too applies to mindfulness. Moreover, not every mindfulness practitioners understand what is mindfulness meditation.
Meditation without mindfulness
Mindfulness practice is quite difficult to understand because it goes against the grain of our habitual mind. Most people seek meditation to relieve stress. It helps to calm the mind because the mind gets tired of thinking endlessly between the past and the future moment to moment. Training the mind to be contented in the present moment gives the mind a place to rest without needing to time travel (the mind’s propensity to think of the past and future to draw conclusions).
Usually, we either think about what our boss or our co-workers share with us about the project we need to do, or we think about hurtful things someone said. All these are the past. Or our minds are absorbed in thinking about how to deal with uncertainty in the future or simply what to do the next moment. This is thinking about the future.
Meditating on the breath helps us to stay in the present. The breath is after all a part of the body. Our bodies are always in the present moment. Unlike the mind, our body cannot time travel. Meditation can cause the meditation to feel so happy in the present moment, s/he closes out all other experiences. But mindfulness meditation is not about closing out everything in our lives to stay in the present moment. Meditating this way is helpful, but it can become a problem if the meditator only wants to hang onto the present moment and does not want to face real life.
Meditation with mindfulness
Both meditation and mindfulness share the common practice of calming the mind and training it to be in the present moment. The difference is mindfulness does not close off other experiences. Instead of having the mind hang onto the peace, mindfulness teaches the mind to open up to all experiences and to let go.
Some meditators may get agitated when others disrupt their peace and quiet in the room while practicing. The mindfulness practitioner, on the other hand, welcomes both peace and disruptions by accepting them. The mindful practitioner recognizes the constant flux in everyday life. There is always something happening in the present moment. A mindful person can see when his/her mind closes up or when it is opened to experiences happening in real-time.
All of our experiences are always changing. We see, taste, touch, think, smell all the time. However, our minds can only focus on one thing at a time. So we may be looking at something but then get absorbed in thinking and gloss over what we are seeing. Later a smell may catch our attention and our attention goes to the smell. All of these changing experiences take place so rapidly it requires mindfulness to see these changes. A well-practiced mindfulness practitioner may be perturbed every now and then, but s/he is too wise to dwell in changing experiences.
How to practice mindfulness?
To practice mindfulness, one needs to train the mind to meditate. Without being able to stay still in the present moment, the mind cannot be sharp in seeing what it is doing.
From what is shared here, you may have guessed that mindfulness is the ability to see into your own mind. What causes the mind to change, and what are the common thoughts and biases held by your mind. We come in touch with objects with our bodies. Whatever we come in touch with gets perceived by our minds. Some people perceive particular behavior as offensive. Others don’t perceive the same behavior the same way. This makes our minds different because of the habitual way we think.
By being able to see how we think affects our experiences, we have the power to change our minds so we can have a happier experience. Life experiences are a construct of our minds that causes us happiness or unhappiness.
In short, mindfulness is the awareness of your body sensations, feelings, thoughts, and action. What we come in touch with creates a body sensation. Our feelings can be considered body sensations too. These create certain thoughts or vice-versa. The way we act based on our bodily sensations and thoughts creates our reality.
If you would like to learn mindfulness meditation, get in touch with us.