Can Anyone Practice Mindfulness?
We all possess the ability to be mindful: to be fully present in the moment, in touch with our senses and the simple pleasures that life has to offer us. It is a quality that every human being is born with, and which young children demonstrate with skill and ease. But as we get older, we often lose sight of our inherent mindfulness and replace it with more habitual, automatic ways of perceiving and navigating our outer and inner worlds. With training and practice, we can rediscover and nourish the mindfulness skills and qualities that have been buried under all our usual ways of thinking, doing, and reacting.
But practising mindfulness requires courage. Difficult thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations can arise during mindfulness exercises. We learn new ways to ‘look after’ these difficult experiences, but this can be challenging. For this reason, mindfulness is not suitable for everyone. Sometimes it is not the right time to practise meditation intensively. If you are currently experiencing stress, anxiety, addiction, bereavement, trauma or depression, moving into the feelings associated with these difficulties can feel overwhelming, especially if you are not used to it. If you are navigating difficulties like these at the moment, it may make sense to wait for a while to make sure that you have suitable support and are feeling a little more settled
before starting intensive mindfulness practice.