If you are at all into popular or academic psychology, you may be well aware of the fact that the concept of “mindfulness” is one of the hottest topics in the entire field today.
Dr. Jan Chozen Bays, who is both a physician and Zen master, has defined mindfulness as “deliberately paying attention to what is happening around you and within you – in your body, heart, and mind. Mindfulness is awareness without criticism or judgment.”
What I like about mindfulness is that it provides us with the attitude and skill to be in “the now”. If we are in the now, we can be alert to our breathing so that we can regulate it for proper relaxation and energy. Being in the now enables us to stay conscious of our posture and also to make good choices about food when we are hungry
Being in the now enables to enjoy our bodies when we are taking a walk and to enjoy the beauty of nature that surrounds us during that walk.
Goal-achieving psychotherapy has its primary focus on the future, but that focus is not incompatible with enjoying the present time. And when we accomplish our future goals, we will then have a new present time to enjoy.
There are entire training programs in mindfulness, and I’ve never met anyone who has gone through such training and regretted it. But you can be in the now without a lot of training by staying conscious of yourself and your environment.
I encourage you to allow yourself a few times a day every day to be in the now. You will only need a few minutes, and sometimes even less than a minute, but you may be surprised to learn how rewarding it will be to be in the now.