Eliot Singer, Mindfulness-Based Psychoterapy, Licensed Professional Counselor, Charlottesville, Virginia
Eliot Singer, Mindfulness-Based Licensed Professional Counselor, Charlottesville, Virginia
"When you deeply accept this moment as it is - no matter what form it takes - you are still, you are at peace." — Eckhart Tolle

What is Mindfulness?

    Mindfulness is about reducing one’s suffering. This reduction of suffering is accomplished through awareness – awareness of sensations in the body and thoughts in the mind – and by letting go of resistance to what already is.

    Suffering is caused by resistance to one’s experience in the present moment – wanting things to be different than they are. The poet Robert Frost said, “Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.” This applies to both physical and emotional pain. By resisting emotional pain, one increases suffering.

    Through mindfulness, one can be aware of the physical sensations and the mental thoughts that comprise painful emotions (sadness, grief, fear, anger, jealousy, shame). This awareness reveals the sensations and thoughts to be unpleasant but bearable and not worth the suffering caused by frantically trying to get rid of these feelings or by denying their existence in the present moment.

    Mindfulness is not about apathy or resignation. Resistance to one’s experience makes it very difficult to change that experience. Awareness and acceptance of things as they are in the present moment allows for healing and change.

    Mindfulness is valuable on its own or as part of counseling or psychotherapy. It has been found to be helpful for a wide range of conditions including anxiety and depression.