What is mindfulness? - Fay Adams mindfulness and compassion teacher
Read about what is mindfulness and compassion meditation practice and how it benefits practitioners. Watch a BBC documentary on mindfulness and try a guided meditation exercise sample.
mindfulness, meditation, Fay Adams,
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Mindfulness involves paying attention to our present moment experience with an attitude of openness, kindness and acceptance.


Whether you suffer from stress, low mood, insomnia, anxiety or chronic pain, or just find life a bit too much sometimes, mindfulness can become a sanctuary for you. Perhaps you feel empty or trapped, confused or fearful. Mindfulness allows us to make friends with ourselves and gain insight into what we really need in order to be at our best and live a meaningful life.


Being mindful is often described as a sense of ‘coming home.’ There is a feeling of completeness and being connected in a deeper way to yourself and the world around you. It can be said that this feeling is what we are all chasing after – it’s often felt as a longing for deeper calm or greater vitality and richness in our lives. The paradox of mindfulness is that the more we chase the less we are able to feel this.

The secret is to learn how to land into this very moment and make ourselves available to it wholeheartedly, even when it’s not what we want!

We tend to create extra stress for ourselves through unhelpful habit patterns within the mind. When we train in mindfulness we learn how to recognise this and withdraw energy from those patterns. This means that no matter what shape your suffering takes, you will find that mindfulness training will benefit you. As habitual patterns weaken their grip on us a new space opens up and a natural potential for resilience arises. Once we have learnt to step away from our habitual and automatic reactions to things, we can start to respond more skilfully to the difficulties and challenges that life brings.

being mindful is like 'coming home'

new space opens up and a natural potential for resilience arises

Although secular mindfulness has its origins in the ancient practice of Buddhism, it is now practiced widely in mainstream settings.


The government has prepared and launched a report on mindfulness with recommendations to establish it across the board in the NHS, education, the workplace and the criminal justice system. The report is entitled ‘A Mindful Nation’ and was published in October 2015. To read the full report please click here.


There is also currently an ongoing campaign run by the Mental Health Foundation, to increase awareness and access to Mindfulness interventions in the UK (www.bemindful.co.uk).

3-minute breathing practice taster

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