There are so many people whose minds do not belong to them. There are so many people whose thoughts have been purchased by people. There are so many people who have made people kings and queens of their thought. There are so many people who cannot sleep because of people. There are so many people whose lives are a small percentage of their own self and a greater percentage of others. When the offenses of people occupy your mind, your mind becomes the offenses of people instead of your own mind. To have your own mind and to be your own self, free your mind!
– Ernest Agyemang Yeboah
The theory of mindfulness without the practice is like a lecture on hydration without drinking water. It’s very dry, and it doesn’t really do us much good. So this next section is going to be very much around how to apply mindfulness. The application of mindfulness can be divided into a few different areas. Firstly, there’s the formal practice of mindfulness meditation. It’s like the gym work for attention, if you like. But there’s no point in being mindful for 5, or 10, or 20 minutes practicing meditation, and then being unmindful 23 hours and 40, or 50, or 55 minutes in the day.
So the aim of mindfulness meditation is to have a better opportunity to be mindful when we get out of the chair and re-engage with our day-to-day life. So that’s the informal practice of mindfulness. Now, implicit it in both the formal and the informal practice of mindfulness are also a range of cognitive practices. And the big four, as far as I’m concerned, in mindfulness, have to do with the relationship between perception and stress, letting go, acceptance, and presence of mind.