What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness combines remembering specific beneficial or ethical intentions and applying continuous attention. It is not a blank awareness of the moment, or attempt to stop of one’s thoughts.

For a brief, insightful overview of this topic, the article below can be helpful.

What did the Buddha really mean by “mindfulness?” B. ALAN WALLACE

Mindfulness meditation originated in Buddhist practices, with variations between traditions and lineages. However, the practice is available to people of all backgrounds and can be supportive of most religious, spiritual traditions and secular practices. “Mindfulness” is frequently co-opted and misused in modern settings, so it’s important to explore the authentic meaning.

How is Mindfulness relevant to Habit Building?

Mindfulness may be the most effective skill for habit change, because it supports the process at all stages. Practicing mindfulness also becomes a habit itself, and a positive feedback loop: the more mindful you become, the more awareness and intention you bring to breaking old habits, or building new habits—including your mindfulness practice!

Even a tiny but consistent mindfulness practice becomes a powerful foundation for beneficial habit change.

By practicing mindfulness, we develop the awareness needed to unlock our routine behaviors so we can create positive habits or disengage from old, unhealthy patterns. We’ve included a few videos below to introduce meditation and how it can be easier than we expect, and a few examples of guided mindfulness practices.

Mindfulness Meditation on the Breath, with Sharon Salzberg
Meditation Is Easier Than You Think, with Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche
Come Back to What Matters, an exercise/meditation with Rev. Angel Kyodo Williams
Guided Mindfulness Meditation, with Jon Kabat-Zinn

“At all times and in any situation, how can I make mindfulness my constant habit?”

-8th Century Master Shantideva