Mindfulness has been getting a lot of press lately.  It’s hard to open a magazine without finding a reference to it. Friends may offer, ‘Have you tried mindfulness?’ when listening to you share how you are confronting life’s ups and downs.

But what is it and how does one do it?

Mindfulness uses our natural ability to pay attention as a source of strength as we move through life’s joys and challenges.  It is not only the ability to be present in the moment but the training of meeting the present moment with a particular set of attitudes.  These attitudes include patience, trust and acceptance.

Similar to physical exercise, we can practice strengthening our ability to be in the present moment with pleasant and unpleasant experiences through regular exercises. At the beginning of starting a mindfulness practice, it can be helpful to receive the support of a facilitator and group. In fact, even for seasoned mindfulness practitioners, group support can be valuable.