What is Meant by “Mindful”?


‘Mindful’ and ‘Mindfulness’ are concepts that have recently boomed into our culture like an Atomic Bomb. According to the American Mindfulness Research Association, the use of this particular term has seen an near exponential growth in journal publications.

Depending on what end of the spectrum you fall, ‘Mindfulness’ may conjure up ideas related to Psychology, Philosophy, Religion, Mysticism, or New-Age ‘Woo’. (Full disclosure, this is in part why the founding members of Mindful Rochester were attracted to this term in the first place… it casts a wide net).

Unfortunately, terms that are “too broad” are prone to attract all sorts of misunderstandings (i.e. bias, resistances, exaltations & false expectations). So it should come as no surprise that the terms ‘Mindful’ and ‘Mindfulness’ have likewise attracted similar misrepresentations.

Some people will hear the term ‘Mindfulness’ and be instantly attracted to it.

Others will make a similar snap-judgment and be turned off by it.

Some will expect a strict definition that accords with certain esoteric Buddhist traditions.

Others may hope to gain a certain sense of relief, if (for example) they had prior experiences from psychologically-derived programs like Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction.

Some will predict that such a ‘Mindful’ community will merely reflect the misguided stumblings of people who peddle new-age propaganda.

Others may expect to find a highly intelligent cohort that ardently drives towards deep philosophical insights that cut to the core of this particular human experience.

Whether or not Mindful Rochester will in time accord with any of these intuitions has yet to be seen.

What Mindful Rochester means by the term ‘Mindful’ is the wonderful ability for individuals and our community to STOP AND REFLECT on what we are now experiencing.

We believe that an attempt TO SEE THINGS CLEARLY is a skill that can be developed.

We believe that the more we can see a thing clearly the better we will be able to RESPOND TO IT CORRECTLY.

Mindful Rochester was founded on the belief that Mindfulness (the nonjudgmental and clear awareness of one’s experience) can improve one’s ability to cope with the many challenges of life. We believe that the development and deployment of Mindfulness aides an individual and a community to make better choices that opens the doors to experiencing a more fulfilling life.

Mindful Rochester emphasizes a non-sectarian approach to ‘Mindfulness’ that draws on teachings from a variety of religious, medical, psychological and philosophical traditions.

On Mindful Rochester Radio, you will hear dialogues. You will hear no experts, just two people, just like you, exploring that which lies just beyond ‘the known’.

Mindful Rochester Radio has no other motivation than to provide a format where people can stop together, reflect together, attempt to see a thing more clearly (and thus hopefully develop more skillful ways to respond to the world via this fuller perception).

The show holds no answers, no agenda, no direction… it strives to be an exploration, in the deepest sense of that term.

Anyone is welcome to be a guest.

Any subject is welcome for discussion.

In a world so full of conflict, hostility, violence, ignorance, depression, loneliness, boredom, longing, dissatisfaction and all the rest of it, Mindful Rochester and Mindful Rochester Radio seeks above all to look clearly at ourselves and our environment and slowly improve our day to day experiences.

For more information check us out on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/MindfulRoc)

If you want to be a guest or suggest a topic for discussion, we record our show Sundays at 12pm, email us at (MindfulRochester@gmail.com)

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