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Mindfulness: Foundation of life to approach happiness It is no more infrequent that every time people look at the newspaper in the morning, terrible news dominates the cover and headlines. As a matter of fact, we all notice that the violence is dramatically growing in this world. This is not a new modern issue but already becomes a common topic in both the world of laypeople and that of social scientists and spiritual leaders. Hence, there is an urgent calling for a solution to the security of every individual and the whole world as well. Nevertheless, tragedies that people have been suffering, are still taking place. They are not natural but sadly man-made catastrophes. The root of cause is not in external and top down factors such as security measures, laws, and policies, but it is originated from consciousness of human. Unquestionably, the issue should be solved at the root. Hence, mindfulness, which could help people to deal with the causes, would be a solution for this problem. As an ancient notion that was taught as the heart of Buddhism’s teaching, mindfulness was proved as a valuable practice in health care and life that help people deal with their suffering and reach happiness.
In Buddhism’s position, mindfulness means awareness moment-by-moment in the present without forming attachment and making judgment. Mindfulness is comprised of consciousness and awareness. The motivation of Buddhism is practice that can help people to reach the enlightenment and happiness. Mindfulness was taught as the heart of the practice leading to enlightenment. As a legacy of Buddhism, mindfulness has the power to liberate human being from those delusions. The ability to stay firmly in the present is another way to convey the mindfulness’s meaning as Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, who is a Buddhist monk, once said in his book: “Life is available only in the present moment.” On practicing mindfulness, the practitioners could sense their bodies, feel and listen to how the body speaks out. However, practicing mindfulness does not mean that people suppress their judgment or attachment but rather to properly take care of them. When you are aware of the current moment, people will be able to aware of themselves and their surroundings. The effective result that mindfulness brings to practitioners is simply observing things as they are. There are many studies showing perspectives about mindfulness such as Freudian theory, constructionism. In Freudian theory, he wants to prove that people always live with their innate driving forces hidden and repressed. Freud assumes that the problem primarily lies in the sexual and aggressive suppression created to satisfy social norms. This theory reveals the secrets buried deep down inside human that people all share but often defy and evade. The innate sexual and aggressive manifestation level depends on individuals and the circumstances. Meanwhile, constructionists’ perspective contrasts mindfulness with the concept of mindlessness. The mindlessness is conceived as people perform mechanically or simply do things on autopilot without paying attention. It unfortunately often brings them to the past or makes them worried about the future. The body is in the present but the mind is lost somewhere and hence, they fail to achieve the unification. In constructionist position, mindfulness is an ongoing process of evaluation to have a better understanding about reality for present and future. Nevertheless, this understanding informs bias, values and evaluation that distort the reality. Although those mentioned therapeutics might help temporarily save people from their mental disorders, they are just short-term methods, in which patients are quite passive and cannot build up their own awareness of the problem. Furthermore, they always need another one’s help. Unfortunately, this opposes the definition of mindfulness that practitioners would rather practice themselves to take the full benefits. Even though mindful approach takes time and effort, it is worthwhile once people could find their happiness in their own ways through practicing mindfulness.
Health care According to the center for Disease control, over 35% of those who are considered obese has a body mass index of 30 or greater. Obesity affects every organ in the body and it increases health risks of chronic diseases such as stroke, heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Health care cost to treat obesity- related illness is estimated in 2008 to reach $147 billion. Why is the obesity trend increasing dramatically? The problem is not in the food, the fat cells or the stomach and intestine but it rather lies in the mind. Specifically, it is people’s lack of awareness of the messages from their body. One of the practices of mindfulness, mindful eating can help eaters efficiently deal with eating issues.

Mindful eating is a practical, effective way for people to have a solid foundation of healthy life. It involves paying full attention to the experience of eating and drinking, both inside and outside the body. Thich Nhat Hanh, a Vietnamese Buddhist monk and Lilian Cheung, a nutritionist and also lecturer at the Harvard School of public health cooperate to apply ancient Buddhist mindfulness techniques to eating in the modern world. As a faithful practitioner of mindfulness, Dr. Cheung realized the necessity and benefits of unifying the insight of Buddhist practice and the truth of Western science. Therefore, she suggested collaborating with Thich Nhat Hanh on a book named “Savor – Mindful Eating, Mindful Life”, which was published on March 9th, 2010. Through the book, they want to help people to understand the physical, psychological, cultural and environmental factors that shape the way people consume. There are four kinds of nutriments according to the Buddhism’s discourse: the edible food, the food of sense impression, the food of volition, and the food of consciousness. They are to be conceived as multitudes of channels through which human nourish their body and mind in everyday life. Specifically, edible food is defined as the food people consume everyday to maintain their physical wealth. In other words, this is the one concerning the material and physiological side of a person. On the other hand, food of sense impression includes all the information collected from the senses that people experience from their living surrounding. In the same line of categorizing is the food of volition, which comprises the deep motives and desires that affect people’s decision and lead to their action such as the greed and hatred. Ultimately, the food of consciousness is the latent form of human mind and exists as good and bad seeds in the garden of consciousness underlying each of our thinking and action. Everyday we gain more seeds from the environment and either cultivate or subdue the existing ones. Being aware of all kinds of food people “consume” every moment reminds them to “eat” with responsibility in order to conserve the wealthy and sustainable existence of ourselves and the future generation simultaneously. Ethical eating is one of topic that can exemplify for the spirit of these kinds of food. During the past 20 years, studies have found that mindful eating can help people to reduce over-seating and binge eating, reduce your body mass index BMI, lose weight, reduce anxious thoughts about food that access people to cope with chronic eating problems and improve the symptoms of type 2 diabetes. The value of practicing mindfulness is discovered more than that. There is mindfulness-based stress reduction program in University of Massachusetts found by Dr. Zon Kabat. The program weaves together meditation and yoga to apply into medicine to heal mental disorders.

Life How long does a person’s life last? The answer is just simple as our life last within a breath. Frankly, people’s life is being maintaining in every breath or heartbeat. Since our life is just simple as a breath so why don’t people live in consciousness and awareness to reach happiness properly? People in the modern world are working to achieve success because they think success and achieving what they desire will access them to happiness. In contrast, happiness is around them and they do not need to walk farther to reach it. The happiness is when one know how to enjoy every present moment and be aware it with consciousness. Mindfulness meditation could help people. Conscious breathing is the simplest technique that they can benefit. It helps practitioners to keep in their mind that they are breathing and enjoying the life in every moment. It reminds and even calls them back to the present moment to encounter whether it is pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral. People can practice mindfulness meditation anywhere and any time by bringing the spirit of mindfulness to every present moment of life. As the result, they could discovery the pleasant that is in the now and here. The well is lying inside every individual but they need to dig deeply with the insight and understand of mindfulness meditation. It is just similar to the way they dig deep down into the ground to find the fresh of water. Present moment is the place where everything is happening. In Eastern, the temple bells are also the symbol of Buddhism. It is used to remind people to come back to the present moment.
People might have the different definitions of happiness. However, the meaning of happiness exists merely. A happy person should have a healthful mind and body, which are essential elements express the happiness in human being. Hence, mindfulness should be an equipment during people’s life, can help people savor living in the present moment.

Work Cited
IS, HIRST. “Perspectives of Mindfulness.” Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing” (2003):10, 359-366. Web. 7th December 2012.
Shauna L. Shapiro, Linda E. Carlson, John A. Astin, Benedict Freedman. “Mechanisms of Mindfulness.” Journal of Clinical Psychology (2006): Vol. 62(3), 373-386. Web. 7th December, 2012.
Cheung Lilian, Thich Nhat Hanh. Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life. New York, New York: Harper One, 2010. Print.
Thich Nhat Hanh. Peace is every step. United States and Canada: Bantam Books, 1991. Print.
Burch, Vidyamala. Living well with pain and illness: the mindful way to free yourself from suffering. Boulder, Colorado: Sounds True, 2010. Print.
“What is Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction?” Mindful living program. Use N.p. Use N.d. 11 December 2012.

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