Do the words meditation or mindfulness scare you? Do you have a negative reaction if someone encourages you to meditate in order to reduce the stress in your life? Are you an individual that believes only Buddhist monks can meditate? Do you feel that it is against your religious beliefs to meditate?
Let’s think about other ways to define mindfulness. The ancient Sanskrit word SATI is defined as the ability to observe things with bare awareness. The ability to observe thoughts, emotions, and sensations in the body without judgement. It is the capacity to perceive events without labeling them as either positive or negative.
The capability to view events with complete neutrality and complete objectivity is a tremendous asset to possess. To learn this ability takes time and practice just like any other learned skill. The good news is that all humans are capable of developing the skill of mindfulness. Unfortunately, the use of words like meditation and mindfulness can frighten or intimidate people preventing then from exploring these concepts further.
I have found that using other words or phrases can assist people to get over their initial aversion to mindfulness or meditation. Changing these terms to ideas that make sense in the modern world and that make sense to you as an individual will help you move forward in exploring the wonderful world of mindfulness.
Below are possible terms that can be used to describe mindfulness:
Getting in the zone
Accepting the moment
Opening to the moment
Changing the channel
Taking a breath
Changing your relationship to thoughts and feelings
Surfing the moment
Getting into the game
Creating space from negativity
The above are some of the possible terms that can replace the terms mindfulness and meditation. It is best if each of us come up with our own phrase or word to define mindfulness. Take five minutes now to do this.