What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness means: Consciously directing the attention, to observe without judgment.

Maybe it sounds a bit too obvious, but in fact it is mostly not our habit. Very often we are reliving the past or planning the future, and thus missing out on the richness of the moment. We are living in the world of all our judgments, interpretations and emotions, and are determined by them.

In mindfulness meditation we practice attentiveness: conscious and open, not judging while noticing the experiences within and without. This is practiced in the different meditations as well as in daily life.

Mindfulness as a method means to apply this attitude in all of your life: in the realm of you emotions, physical challenges, work, communication and relationships. But also in the many simple activities of the day such as walking the stairs, eating, doing the dishes.

The enormous popularity of mindfulness nowadays only shows us how much we really lack and need stillness, calm and slowing down.

Listen to Mark Williams, developer of MBCT here on this shift in stress levels. (3 min.)

Extensive scientific studies have already shown that the aplication of mindfulness provides significant support in case of stress, burnout, pain, anxiety and depression. E.g. read this article about this in Science Daily: here.

However, whatever science may be able to ‘prove’, millions of people around the world  by now have already experienced how mindfulness has enriched their life to make it lighter, happier and more relaxed.

Jon Kabat-Zinn is the founder of the world famous eight week mindfulness-training MBSR (mindfulness based stress reduction). From there, many other programs developed, like MBCT (mindfulness based cognitive therapy) that helps prevent relapse in depression.

Watch John Kabat-Zinn on mindfulness on Youtube.

The program I teach was developed by David Dewulf of IAM. (instituut voor aandacht en mindfulness). It is based mostly on MBCT and MBSR.

The Eight-week Mindfulness Course

Mindfulness is the perfect way to really improve your quality of life. 
Plus… it is really fun and, though sometimes challenging, very enriching! It brings you so many useful insights to start a more conscious way of life.

The word ‘mindfulness’ is derived from Buddhism, literally meaning ‘to remember’ but more precisely means ‘to observe consciously without judging’.

Too often in our daily lives, we rush about from one task to another, taking little time to sit back and just be. We are constantly ‘in gear’. This results in a sense of dissatisfaction and hurry: things are never finished, never enough. Our minds can run overtime, worrying and fretting over things past. Never finding real peace.

With mindfulness meditation, we learn to settle our thoughts and find this peace. You will learn to observe your thoughts and feelings, rather than be overwhelmed by them. Key in all of this, is not to resist our experience, but rather to embrace and observe.

You will be encouraged to apply mindfulness to your day-to-day life and find that you start to enjoy life more: for example, eating, biking, working or doing yoga with more presence and awareness.

The eight week programme has a beautiful structure, that takes you step by step, from focusing on the breath, to refined body consciousness; it includes mindful yoga and the insights to respond wisely to pain. Also included are mindful communication skills and wise self-care. 
You will be asked to practice guided meditations at home daily (with recordings). The daily practice will soon cause a clear improvement in how you experience your life!  

This classical mindfulness training has been (scientifically) proven to be really effective to strengthen mental resilience. This is also why it is covered by various health insurance companies. It is nowadays applied world-wide for a wide variety of issues like stress, pain, insomnia, depression, eating disorders or panic attacks.