Mindfulness means being aware and awake in every moment. Thich Nhat Hanh has explained it as the energy that helps us to know what is going on at this given moment. Other teachers say it is a way to pay attention to the present moment. A dictionary definition is for example: “Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations..”
Today there is an increasing interest towards mindfulness as a tool for coping with pain, chronic illnesses, stress and busy lifestyles. Mindfulness based programmes are used in the care of for example depression, eating disorders and chronic pain. The number of scientific studies showing the benefits of mindfulness practice is growing exponentially.
For us at Adventure by Design mindfulness has given the tools to cope with Elina’s cancer and the consequent chronic pains. Over the years mindfulness has turned from simple practices we made to cope with stress into a way of understanding our life.
Elina studied mindfulness instructor qualifications with dharma teacher Seija Mauro, a frequent guest at the Plum Village. Elina’s mindfulness meditations are gentle, full of compassion towards oneself and those around us. There is no religious or other ideological content apart from respect of each other and the nature around us. People of all beliefs are welcomed to join.
All the wonderful things that you are looking for–happiness, peace, and joy–can be found inside of you. You do not need to look enywhere else.
— Thich Nhat Hanh