Is Mindfulness like gravity. If we treat mindfulness like gravity it falls into place.
When we adopt mindfulness, it becomes like gravity, making us grounded and stuck to our earthly awareness and that which is timeless and omnipresent.
Steve Hickman, Psy.D., Executive Director of the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness joins William Mobley, MD, PhD for a discussion of how to be present in the moment and leverage the practice of mindfulness to stay engaged, focused, and fulfilled.
How Gravity teaches Mindfulness
What is mindfulness?
The simplest, most straight forward explanation is that mindfulness is the non-judgmental awareness in each moment to present moment, as Steven_Hickman, Director of UCSD Director Mindfulness Center states.
In an interview with William Mobley, MD, PhD on the UCTV Brain Channel(see the full interview below), Dr. Hickman explained the true nature of mindfulness is based on awareness.
He stated that when practiced regularly, mindfulness helps us achieve a greater self-understanding, self-compassion and empathy for others.
How do we learn mindfulness? Is there an easier way?
Dr. Mobley asked, what can we do to help achieve an easier, better path to mindfulness, awareness and these important traits of self-compassion and empathy?
- The answer was technology. Dr. Hickman spoke of biofeedback as a tool that can help this inner thought process to become better understood.
Interestingly, research on how new feedback technology helps teach mindfulness was the answer. Similarly, the learning curve for meditation also becomes easier by using new tools available in biofeedback. Here is an example of one of the most popular and effective biofeedback programs.)
In our essence, there is only 1 true time to create or live: the present. When we ruminate about the past, or we plan for the future, we leave the only time when we can actually do anything in life.
Therefore, the practice of becoming more mindful of what was, what might become, but most importantly, staying in the active moment of now is our greatest asset.
How is Gravity like Mindfulness?
Gravity has many effects in life for us, many of them negative such as the falling of and breaking of objects or the heaviness of our bodies as ‘we stick to the earth’. But we never think about them. Gravity is non-judged in our mind. This is the foundation of present moment awareness called mindfulness — the non-judgment of our thoughts.
Many people call the practice mindfulness meditation as the best way to train awareness with the release of wandering thoughts with attention control of thoughts and emotions serving us.
For example, if we are in pain we can be aware of the pain; we can attend to our thoughts in relation to that pain and even re-frame the level of pain (a biofeedback related mindfulness benefit found in studies); we can also notice our emotional connection to that pain, such as fear or dread. By becoming aware, we can melt away some of the intensity of the pain, or troublesome emotional event by re-framing it.
Can we change a fight to a dance — with pain as our partner?
Mindfulness via an awareness method such as biofeedback can lead to a person taking control over their body and mind’s reaction to the pain. An interesting anecdote is shared in the re-framing of the pain concept as instead of ‘fighting the pain’ a patient transformed his relationship with his pain to ‘dance with it’; thus, he took control of it via his mindful attention and understanding.
Here is the brain Channel interview from University of California TV, uctv.tv and Dr. William Mobley with Steven Hickman.
See theUniversity California San Diego Minfulness Center for more resources and information.