In the past 2 or 3 years mindfulness has become a household word and many people ask me what it takes to learn it. There are many articles/seminars and advertisements geared to having you believe that along with the instant culture we live in there is also instant mindfulness. I’ve spent a lifetime looking for short cuts and have yet to find any. Thankfully I’ve always hedged my bets with diligent practice.
Understanding mindfulness is a pretty quick process and I’ll admit that someone can become an expert in a short period of time if they were inclined to do a lot of reading on the subject or attend multiple seminars. I’ve read articles and attended seminars that came from mindfulness “scholars” but came away shaking my head when I sensed that they hadn’t really applied it to their own lives. As for the short practices that these experts promise will deliver desired results, I don’t think they do.
Certainly an introduction to mindfulness through bite-sized practices has its place and can
I’ve experienced and seen through my students what it takes to stick with a practice of mindfulness, first over an 8 week program of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and then to continue to practice and make it part of your life. It may seem harsh to say this and I’ve tried to prove myself wrong for years, but what I notice is that if there is not a sufficient level of suffering, discomfort, dissatisfaction, pain or whatever you want to call it, there is a good chance you won’t stick with it.
It could be physical, mental, emotional or spiritual or a combination of these things but they are necessary engines to drive us through the inevitable resistances that come up with sustained practice and make no