Mindfulness is the act of applying present-moment attention to experience the richness of your life as it is happening. In some moments, especially ones that are laden with pain or rife with struggle, we don't want to be present. We develop many strategies throughout our lives to avoid our discomforts, and our strategies ultimately become unconscious habits. We may fantasize and strive towards some scenario that we'd rather have, or re-imagine and ruminate on experiences that came before. This way of habitually and unconsciously being caught up in a swirl of thoughts induces an experience of "going through the motions" of our lives while in a trance-like state, rather than actually living the moments in real time, with full conscious awareness.
Mindfulness practice helps us to become more present, awake and aware of what is actually happening in our lives in real time. It helps us to develop a more stable, clear attention that can help us to experience the richness and depth of whatever it is that is happening, whether the greatest sorrows or the most illuminating joys. And with greater attention and presence, we find that we can reduce our propensity to get bogged down in prolonged suffering or preoccupied with undo striving.
May the guided practices included below support you to become more connected to your actual life experience, the one that is here right now, the only one you have.
Mara Wai, M.Ed. is a mind-body coach who supports her clients to shift their consciousness and energy for healing, growth and self-transformation. With mindfulness and a variety of mind-body awareness tools, her clients deepen awareness of inherent mind and body conditioning that exacerbates their pain, prolongs suffering or is no longer resonant with what they want out of life. With gained insight and practice, her clients create new, more desirable mind-body patterns that result in greater ease in body, clarity in mind and an inherent sense of self-trust to discern what's best for themselves and take "just-right" actions. In addition to her work as a coach, Mara is the Associate Director of the Penn Program for Mindfulness, where she oversees administration and facilitates Mindfulness-based Stress Management programs.