I keep coming back to this question, again and again and again, as I look for ways to teach mindfulness so that people get it. So they experience it. So that it has a direct, immediate, and relevant application to their situation. It has a lot to do with “knowing oneself.” It might have something to do with paying attention to what goes on within the skin, as the behaviorists say. It also might have something to do with paying attention to the universe at large, or an expanded awareness. A sense of awe or wonder, a way of being in touch with one’s spirituality, and an ability to reconnect to being disconnected.
The definition on the www.mindfulnet.org website is “Paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, without judgment.” The DBT skills are observing, describing, and participating without judgment. There’s also this business about one-mindfully and doing what is effective. Doing what works. Cindy Sanderson has a great little blurb on the applications of mindfulness if you visit www.behavioraltech.org and click on Mindfulness- Learn to practice mindfulness. This awareness stuff has been around forever- ages and generations. Even Dr. Suess was into teaching awareness: (check out the book I can read with my eyes shut).
My goal is to bring people mindfulness in mini-packages, a small portion of the DBT skills group time. The thing I love about mindfulness is that there is a lot of creative ways to get people to pay attention, carefully, on purpose. This awareness business has been around forever. It’s just that it needs to be taught in a way that people can “get.”