Mindfulness as a practice is thousands of years old. In fact it exists in every single religious and spiritual tradition that I have ever heard of. Both western and eastern spiritual tradition - it just goes by different names. Now, what's interesting about it is and what is interesting to me also a scientist, is that although that's the spiritual tradition, and mindfulness has been there for years, what's been happening over the last, I don't know, ten years or so, maybe fifteen, there's been an emerging tradition in western science that's been looking at the very same practice.
So you find now in psychology also a really big emphasis on the practice of mindfulness. The good thing about this is that what you find if you start looking at the spiritual tradition and if you look at the sort of western science tradition, is that they both start saying exactly the same thing. In other words, they're coming up with the same insights. And that's what I'm going to talk about somewhat in this program, is the insights that you can get from the eastern and western spiritual traditions and the insights you can get from western science.
What are Mindfulness Skills? Well, there are 2 kinds. There's what you do, and how you do it.
What are the 'what' skills? Observing, describing, participating. Now the one thing about the what skills that I'm going to ask you to remember is that, when it comes to what you're doing, you can only do one thing at a time, if you are being mindful. Part of being mindful is 'one thing at a time'. So we're going to focus here on three 'what's' but we're going to do it one at a time.
Now I'm going to have you practicing with me as we go through. And as we go through, you try to do one thing at a time.
How many things are you doing right now? Have you gotten up to get a piece of paper to make notes? If you haven't, you don't want to get up and get a piece of paper to take notes while I'm talking - that would be 2 things at a time. So get up and pause this program. Go get yourself some paper, get a pencil, come back. When you come back, get it started again.
The good news is, watching a program and taking notes is like going to a class and taking notes. It's a complex thing, but its one thing at a time. So you can do that. Are you ready?