The theme of Mental Health Awareness Week is Kindness. People often ask me why is

Mindfulness so important during Mental Health Awareness. Some people are confused by

Mindfulness and think on it’s own is simply a present moment non-judgmental awareness, as

researchers say. But to develop the beautiful peace, gentleness, and stillness of meditation, a

kindly awareness is required or, as termed by the renowned monk, Ajahn Brahm, we should

develop Kindfulness!

I think rather than using the word mindfulness, perhaps kindfulness is better—it reminds you

to be forgiving and friendly as you practice.

Mindfulness without kindness becomes dry, boring, and cold. Kindness without mindfulness

is hard to imagine. How can you be kind if you’re not aware of what you’re being kind to?

Most good meditation teachers encourage a warm, kind, and friendly awareness. B

How to Apply Kindness to your Daily Practice

Kindfulness is not just for stress. You can also apply Kindfulness to your daily practice.

Begin by noticing the effect of your practice, whatever that is—meditation, yoga, mindful

movement, jogging, consciously swimming backwards with one arm. Whatever your thing is,

notice how you feel afterwards.

Then try these simple steps:

  1. As you’re meditating, place your hand on your heart. The warmth of your hand

encourages a compassion feeling to whatever you’re focusing on.

  1. Smile (please). This is mindful time for you, not self-tourture. And if you can’t smile,

use your two fingers to push up the corners of your mouth and hold them there for a

while….I’m serious!

  1. Pay attention to whatever your focus is, using your heart, not just your head.

Feel the breath with emotion if you can, rather than noticing the sensation in a cold,

non-judgmental way.

I am interested how in how do you mix mindfulness with kindness? What practices work best

for you personally? Please let me know in your own time 🙂

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