Paying attention to the present moment
We can all pay attention to the present moment, at least for a short while. If you haven’t tried meditation before though, you might notice that your attention wanders and is not easily controlled. This is also known as the ‘monkey mind’, where thoughts and attention can jump from one thing to another, operating on autopilot or go in a certain direction, where ever our emotional or physical states may take us.
Mindfulness strengthens our ability to pay attention in the present moment, but also increases our awareness of how our minds fluctuate, often in unhelpful ways. People who practise mindfulness regularly find that it helps their ability to stay in the present moment without being deflected and also bring awareness to thought patterns that would benefit from addressing.
“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally”
– John Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are