Mindfulness: What and Why?

mindfulness: what and why? card with mindfulness in cursive

Mindfulness: What and Why?

Hundreds of definitions exist for the word “meditation.” The type of meditation I practice follows a tradition dating back thousands of years: Vipassana, insight, often translated “to see clearly.” The technique is called “mindfulness.”

Jon Kabat-Zinn, creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School offers an elegant definition:

“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, nonjudgmentally, as if your life depended on it.”—Jon Kabat-Zinn 3

Rather than escape from experiences, mindfulness meditation teaches us to be fully present with them. Instead of escaping from our lives, we escape into them.

I learned to meditate while I was moving, and you can too.

Why this form of meditation and not others?

My experience, the experience of countless others, and scientific studies confirm4 that these practices—ones that teach you how to keep your head where your feet are—offer freedom from suffering.

If you already have a movement form you enjoy, learning to meditate while you move can refresh, deepen, and renew that movement while opening new doorways of discovery. But if you already meditate regularly, attend retreats, or even have a teacher, this book can freshen your practice by adding a new dimension: meditation in motion. And if you’ve fallen away from any practice, the suggestions in these pages might bring you back to a joy you once knew.

If you do not have a movement practice, I can help you find one you love and show you how to infuse that with meditative awareness and a calmness of mind to create something beyond exercise—a practice of transformation.

3 Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday
Life. (New York: Hyperion)
4 Zeis “30 Evidence-Based Benefits of Meditation.”

This excerpt is from Make Every Move a Meditation by Nita Sweeney which is available now through Amazon and Mango Media.