The word mindfulness stems from the Pali word sati, which means “to stop and to “maintain awareness of the object”. Mindfulness plays a central role in the Buddhist meditation where it is affirmed as a critical factor to the path to liberation and enlightenment. Within the Buddhist traditions, mindfulness means awareness and it also means looking deeply.

The Buddha, 2500 years ago, delivered the “Sutra on the Four Establishments of Mindfulness” to an audience of monks and nuns. According to these, there are four areas of mindfulness or foundations, those are: body, feelings, mind and objects of mind.

  1. Establishment of mindfulness is mindfulness of the body in the body. This means that when you bring mindfulness into your body, mindfulness becomes the body; the body becomes the object and the subject of mindfulness at the same time.
  2. Establishment of mindfulness is our feelings.
  3. Establishment of Mindfulness is the mind, namely mental formations.
  4. Establishment of mindfulness is the reality of perception, in the Sutra, spoken of as the “objects of mind”. In the Sutra on the “Full Awareness of Breathing,” the Buddha proposed four exercises on mindful breathing for contemplation of the objects of mind, so that one can penetrate, embrace and look deeply into the object of our perception.

The term “mindfulness” has been used to refer to a psychological state of awareness, a practice that promotes this awareness and a mode of processing information and character logical traits.

By introducing mindfulness within the therapeutic session can help:

  • To learn the skills to stay with sadness but not to fall into depression.
  • To become more aware of bodily sensations, feelings, and thoughts from moment to moment.
  • To develop a different way of relating to sensations, thoughts, and feelings through mindful acceptance and acknowledgment of unwanted feelings and thoughts, rather than habitual, automatic, pre-programmed routines.
  • To be able to choose the most skilful response to any unpleasant thoughts, feelings and situations.