Mindfulness is rooted in the ancient wisdom of eastern philosophies, Buddhist psychology and associated writings (Abidharma) which date back some 2,500 years.
Introduced formally to mainstream western culture as a secular practice to successfully manage physical pain and thereafter, to reduce stress by John Kabat-Zinn, MD, in the 80’s mindfulness is defined as:
“paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgementally…It wakes us up to the fact that our lives unfold only in moments." Jon Kabat-Zinn
To a greater or lesser degree, therefore, we all know what it means to be mindful, a natural awareness and a life skill that can be taught, caught and cultivated to increase our awareness by paying attention enabling us to reflect and respond rather than automatically react to the unavoidable stresses and strains of modern life.