For me, mindfulness is a real-time meta-cognition.
It is the process of me thinking about and being quietly aware of my tension, emotions, positions, postures, movements, opinions and my actions. Quietly aware of them all, whilst they are taking place. Real-time thinking & awareness.
When I “remember” 🙂 to practice mindfulness I find that I am genuinely able to make a different choice e.g. choose to drink a glass of water, choose to sit upright but relaxed, choose to uncross my legs, choose to prioritise, choose to plan, choose to wait, choose to change posture…
There are many ways to learn mindfulness. I am not aware that one method of learning is any more powerful/ beneficial than another.
I have been listening to the podcasts “Zencast” – they have taught me a lot about mindfulness from one of the Buddhist perspectives. There are others.
Mindfulness also exists within mainstream healthcare, without using the Buddhist teachings.
Mindfulness seems to be one method that may help reduce pain (e.g. Zeidan et al (2010) Journal of Pain 11(3); Cusens et al (2010) Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy. 17(1); ). Mindfulness may be a useful method to reintroduce physical-postural-movement balance during physiotherapy.
Low levels of mindfulness have been linked to traits within those that have chronic, on-going pain (e.g. Schutze (2010) Pain. 148(1)).
I am a more physical-postural-movement balanced person when I remember to use mindfulness.
It is a process and a challenge, not a habit as yet 🙂