Sunset of Mount Rundle in Banff National Park taken from Norquay
Photography: Craig Zerbe
Gateway to Mindfulness
Introduction for Beginners
Dr. Kabat-Zinn who pioneered bringing the mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program in 1980’s to medical centers worldwide, coined the definition of mindfulness as “the awareness that arises by paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally” (2005, 2013).
Mindfulness is about being your best self every day. Furthermore, as summarized by Tang and Posner, “recent studies indicated mindfulness meditation improves attention and self-regulation, which has the potential for stress-reduction, well-being, performance improvement, and the like” (2018). The authors demonstrate significant neurological evidence, obtained through brain scanning techniques (fMRI), on how the brain mechanisms which are typically better developed in long-term mindfulness practitioners; also tend to overlap with the brain regions responsible for attention, such as: the prefrontal cortex, midfrontal, and parietal cortex.
According to research, the benefits of mindfulness training for individuals include improved cognitive functions, improved stress management, and emotional intelligence. The ability to pay attention on purpose is an integral part of all mindfulness training and it becomes possible due to brain plasticity or neuroplasticity. Since we live in an era that has been often described as the ‘attention economy’, any tangible tool helping individuals to develop the brain regions associated with focused attention can bring great benefits to overall wellbeing and performance.
We invite you to explore our resources to familiarize yourself more with the science and philosophy behind mindfulness and meditation training, and then join us for the practice when you are feeling ready.
Please visit the bookings section to find out when the next Mindfulness Foundations Program is being held.
Kabat-Zinn, J. (2005). Wherever you go there you are – mindfulness meditation in everyday life. Hachette Books. New York.
Kabat-Zinn, J. (2013). Full Catastrophe Living – Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness. Bantam Books Trade Paperbacks. New York.
Tang, Y., & Posner, M. I (2013). The neuroscience of mindfulness. Handbook of NeuroLeadership. (215 – 225) NeuroLeadership Institute.