What Is Mindfulness
It can be difficult to pinpoint a holistic definition of mindfulness as there are differences in its teachings. One school of thought teaches mindfulness as a self-regulating attention to the present moment with curiosity, openness, and acceptance.
Others may say that it needs five components: non-reactivity, acting with awareness, observing, describing, and non-judging.
Still others emphasize qualities of awareness not well defined in those definitions.
We Primarily focus on MBSR and MBCT
What Is MBSR and MBCT
Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and its adaptation MBCT are meditations that emphasizes this “mindfulness.” Mindfulness meditations are originally derived from Vipassana and Zen(In fact you can learn MBSR for free here). MBCT, on the other hand, is targeted at depression and is more focused on problem solving rather then cultivating awareness.
How Long is a Mindful Mediation Course?
Most would consider MBSR and MBCT to be standardized programs (although instructors may teach differently.) Programs tend to last 8 weeks with 2-2.5 hour meeting sessions with a 6-8 hour retreat in the middle week.
Shorter versions may last 4 weeks with varying amounts of mediation.
Both courses tend to be dynamic, which means as the student gains understanding of the skill: the experience and the level of awareness and methods may evolve.
Do Mindfulness Techniques Actually Work?
A summary of results from the NIH shows that there is a moderate amount of evidence that mindfulness may improve anxiety, depression, in nonspecific active controls. Unfortunately there was little correlation in specific active controls.
Meditation literature has many limitations due to improper control comparisons. It is important to study well-defined control groups so that proper conclusions may be drawn about the particular meditation effects on well-being and psychological stress