The new “M” word on a lot of hip lips these days is mindfulness. More than just a trend, mindfulness meditation is becoming a movement. Although mindfulness has strong religious and spiritual roots, it is not, by definition, aligned with any one belief system. The practice of focusing our attention and embracing the moment, whatever it holds, doesn’t interfere with or require any other spiritual commitment. Read on to discover why mindfulness is worth your attention.
What’s pretty amazing is that science and spiritual teachers and multi-millionaires are converging to support the profound benefits of mindfulness. Slowly, we are beginning to hear about the uber successful CEO’s, celebrities and athletes who have been practicing it for years and who credit much of their success to the practice of mindfulness meditation.
Bill Ford, Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company, has used mindfulness to weather some of the company’s darkest days. “Meditation more than anything in my life was the biggest ingredient of whatever success I’ve had.” That’s what Ray Dalio, the billionaire founder of Bridgewater Associates — the world’s largest hedge fund firm — explained in 2012. Oprah, Padmasree Warrior (CTO of Cisco Systems), and Russell Simmons (Co-Founder, Def Jam Records and Founder of GlobalGrind.com) all credit mindfulness for their success.
Science is proving that mindfulness is not just good for the emotions, but for the body too. Mindfulness can decrease anxiety and depression. Okay, that’s good…but did you know it can also help re-build grey matter in the brain? And make DNA healthier? And control genetic markers that create inflammation? That’s not new-age mumbo jumbo; that’s science, people. On the count of three: “Wow!”
Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, founding executive director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Deepak Chopra and Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hahn are just some of the spiritual voices in modern society. They all emphasize that mindfulness can be as simple as closing your eyes and choosing to focus on what it feels like to simply take one breath: the air moving through your nostrils, the tightness or openness of your chest, the length of the exhale. If you just did that, you just experienced a mindful moment. And the more you do it, the better you will feel.
Floatation therapy is a powerful tool for practicing mindfulness meditation. In the tank, all the distractions of the outside world fade away. Unlike floating in your pool or the ocean, you won’t have to think about being cold, about waves splashing your face, about your neighbor’s dog barking. The silence, the darkness, the stillness, the effortless floating are all provided. You are able to focus on simply what it feels like to breathe, or to be still, or to be free of gravity. In other words, you are in the perfect space to be mindful.