Different forms of mindfulness

Mindfulness has often been classified according to the object of its awareness eg: mindfulness of breathing, mindful walking, mindful eating, and so on. Often there’s little mentioned about different ways in which mindfulness can be utilized eg: mindfulness of specific objects, mindfulness of behaviours, mindfulness of biofeedback (‘body hacking’) and mindfulness of behavioral patterns over time.

Mindfulness about specific objects means awareness of the breath, body, feelings etc. They are happening in the present moments, under our very eyes. It is a straightforward to be mindful of these phenomena. A more subtle focus, is to be aware of behaviors in order to change them to be more desirable ones. If there are moral behaviours that aren’t desirable, the Buddha mentioned being aware of that they occured after it occurred, and while it is occurring and even more, before it occurs, helps in modification of that behaviour. Mindfulness arising in threatening situations is another form of mindfulness, that most complex creatures are likely to have: it provides us with a survival mechanism, apart from the learning function, which is also helpful in surviving, mentioned above. Mindfulness which is involved in biofeedback is helpful when we want to know how the body is reacting to a given stimuli: if we want to go on a diet, can we ignore hunger pangs to safely skip a meal or if we exercise will we feel better afterwards or being aware of social conventions so that we fit into society. Mindfulness of behaviours, over a long period of time involve becoming aware of dysregulated patterns of behaviours, such as catastrophic thinking as a response to everything, or being attracted to people who abuse others.

Published by matheeshagunatil333

I am a meditation instructor, mindfulness facilitator and psychiatrist. I have conducted 10,12,and 14 day retreats in the South London and Suffolk and conducted meditation groups for 5 years at Thames Buddhist temple. I am currently exploring mindfulness in Bipolar affective disorder in my professional practice.

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