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Do you know the surprising origin of Mindfulness?

Have you ever wondered what the origin of Mindfulness is? We are talking about a tool or a set of tools that are current because they are so easy to understand, because of the stories told by the people who use them and because they have a very powerful practical element. Thus, it is rare that you pass by a bookstore and not find the word “Mindfulness” in one of the books on the window.

However, this technique that promotes full awareness of what we are doing is far from being modern, no matter how much we have given it a layer of evolution that updates it to the particularities of our times. To know its origins we will travel several centuries back in time.

The origin of Mindfulness

They say that all fashions come back. Even so, it cannot be said that Mindfulness is a fad, but it is curious how much there has been talk in recent times about an almost three-millennial technique. Peculiar, don’t you think?

It is considered that Mindfulness has its origin in Kapilavastu, a place that today is the border between India and Nepal. There, where so many Eastern teachings about man and consciousness have taken shape and then spread throughout the planet, it seems that this practice arose.

But the most curious thing is that Mindfulness was born from the palace environment of about 2500 years ago. In this place, a man, a descendant of Suddhodana, king of the Sakya, called Siddharta Gautama, constitutes the first historical reference that we have today.

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Siddharta’s first steps during the origin of Mindfulness

Siddhartha ended up being a man fed up with his comfortable and routine life. Thus, he too ended up feeling tired of the suffering that surrounded him. Thus, He decided to give his existence to a truly rigorous asceticism.

Siddhartha began a life of intense meditation, but he did not find in it the encouragement he needed.. The search for escape routes from the emotional state in which she found herself led her one night to sit under the sacred fig tree in Uruvela, on the bank of a river tributary to the Ganges. And that was where he promised himself that he would not move until he found true knowledge.

But curiously, that same night he received a revelation. To achieve it he had to overcome the temptations sent by the god Mara, who tried to trick him in every possible way to make him give up his goal. That is how He became known as Buddha, that is, the Enlightened One.

“Walk as if you were kissing the earth with your feet.”

-Thich Nhat Hanh-

Is the origin of Mindfulness real?

In reality, this story may be more of a novel than a reality. In fact, Siddhartha, or Buddha, whatever we want to call him, did not leave any written document. However, The essence of his thought and philosophy survived and was transmitted by word of mouth and has survived to this day.

This character, accompanied by such a curious story, emphasizing his own experience as a source of knowledge, found a series of foundations that can be considered solid. These foundations have given way to Mindfulness and would be articulated in the following

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During each moment of our life we ​​must be fully aware and live in the present. Welcoming whatever arises from our own experience, whether negative or positive, with love and without entering into judgment. Keeping our hearts open to be our best friends and let compassion arise for everything around us.

These three points would constitute the basis and origin of Mindfulness, in addition to the essence of walking through our existence.. They would give way to a renewed way of connecting our senses with our emotions, of being fully aware and acting according to the place and circumstances in which we find ourselves at all times. Later, a Tibetan Buddhist teacher, Chogyäm Trunga Rinpoche, who fled from the Chinese invasion and repression, dedicated himself to studying the views that Western human beings had on the world.

“The worst attack on ourselves, the worst of all, is to remain ignorant for not having the courage and respect to treat ourselves with honesty and tenderness.”

-Pema Chödrön-

In this way, Rinpoche predicted that Buddhism would reach the West in the form of psychology. Later, Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, during the 1960s, picked up the gauntlet and used the Mindfulness technique to improve the lives of patients who passed through the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.

So from these ancient origins the practice of Mindfulness comes to us today with more force than ever. Pure Buddhist philosophy adapted to the Western world that little by little, and due to social demand, is consolidating itself as one of the most widely accepted tools to improve our mental activity.

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