MIND = HEART
Did you know, the word for mind is the same word for heart in the East? Being mindful is so much more than clinical exercises in concentration. Mindfulness is an holistic discipline which embraces every aspect of our experience of life, whether good or bad, pleasant or unpleasant, wanted or unwanted; – thoughts, feelings, senses and emotions.
Compassion is defined as:
Before studying this topic myself, I didn’t know there was a difference but empathy and compassion are slightly different.
Empathy is an ability to recognise the feelings of others, to vicariously experience what others are going through. Studies have shown that babies from as young as three months are able to recognise facial expressions of others and imitate them in some way. This ability to recognise facial features and imitate them is a window into what others may be feeling. Empathy enables connection and helps us to build supportive relationships, a vital part of community.
Mindfulness training involves the exploration of offering kindness and compassion to ourselves and others. We examine how it feels to offer kind thoughts to people we like and also those we find it hard to like. We examine our responses, our thoughts and emotions. We’re not performing any psychoanalysis, we’re simply noticing what occurs in our world, moment-by-moment when we practice empathy.
NOT CLINICAL OR COLD
Mindfulness is far more than exercises in concentartion or focus and it is not just a technique to help you to manage your thoughts. The awareness that comes from mindfulness allows us to notice our inner world of thoughts and feelings and approach them with tenderness. The same applies to others too.
As we continue on our journey to being more mindful and more aware, we inevitably begin to notice the nuances in the connections we have with others. We cannot help but affect each other. Hopefully, mindfulness will help us to make those connections more and more filled with love and kindness.