Mindfulness: n. The practice of paying full attention or giving full awareness to the present moment.
In Buddhism, mindfulness is one of the seven factors of enlightenment.
In modern psychology, this spiritual practice has been incorporated into cognitive-behavioural therapies, often using techniques such as meditation, breathing and yoga, to enable individuals to become more aware of their thoughts and feelings, in order to better manage them.
Having spent some time practising yoga, meditation and breathing techniques, I have never really found they have enabled me to wholly hinder my mind from wandering away from the present. What does seem to work is having a camera in my hand.
Whilst wandering, with my camera, I am aware of so much more - I give the world around me my full attention (the people who I am with, less so!) and I lose myself in the moment, connecting with what I am viewing.
Thoughts of what is for dinner / whether I have left the oven on / who I have to telephone that evening disappear; my mind slows and focusses on exactly what I am doing in that instant. Deliberately, I find myself trying to view things from different perspectives and capture as much as I can of the world around me. It is wonderful.
What enables you to achieve mindfulness?