What is Mindfulness and Why is Mindfulness Important Now?

People seem to be losing the ability to “simply be” and “savour the moment”.

We tend to spend a lot of time and energy living in the past (which has already gone) or living in the future (which hasn’t yet arrived), constantly rehashing and rehearsing our life. Often we aren’t present to what is happening right now – which is actually the only moment we can really live.

Most of us live our lives on autopilot, trying to multi-task to fit more and more into each moment often resulting in a sense of disconnection to ourselves, to others and to life in general.

With the constant demands and pressures of life, more and more people are struggling with “burn-out”, depression, chronic diseases of lifestyle, relationship issues and loss of purpose and meaning in life.

Mindfulness is more than just awareness and meditation. It is a way of being. A basic human quality of awareness that is cultivated by learning to pay wise attention to whatever is arising in the present moment of our lives. It is about practicing being in life with an attitude of openness, curiosity, patience, kindness and compassion regardless of our current circumstances.

Mindfulness practice helps us to open up to new possibilities for living a life filled with equanimity, peace and joy.

Mindfulness is an integrative, mind-body approach to life that helps people relate effectively to their experiences. It involves paying attention to thoughts, feelings and body sensations in a non-judgmental and compassionate way that can increase our awareness, help us manage difficult experiences, and create space for wise choices.

Scientific research indicates that practicing mindfulness and meditation regularly has many benefits, including stress relief, improved health and well-being, anxiety management, and better concentration and focus.


Mindfulness is the awareness arising from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally, in the service of self-understanding, wisdom, and compassion. (Jon Kabat-Zinn (Mindfulness and Learning: An Interdisciplinary symposium, hosted by John Hopkins University on September 29, 2014)

Ingrid’s Mindfulness Journey

“My mindfulness journey began in 2008 when I participated in the 8-week MBSR programme. Since then, mindfulness has become an integral part of my life. I completed the postgraduate certification training in Mindfulness-Based Interventions offered by the University of Stellenbosch’s medical faculty in 2017. I regularly attend silent retreats, participate in mindfulness programmes and attend a weekly mindfulness group to support my practice and ongoing learning.” 

Video Introducing Mindfulness

(Introduction to Mindfulness with Saki Santorelli and Florence Meleo-Meyer)

Extensive research into mindfulness training consistently reveals its effectiveness in enhancing health and well being.

  • Reduction in stress, anxiety, depression and exhaustion – and an increase in positive emotions, resilience and well being
  • A stronger immune system, helping you to fight of illness more effectively
  • Increased ability to cope with chronic diseases and cancer
  • A reduction in chronic tension and pain levels and an increased ability to cope with pain
  • Improved quality of sleep
  • An increased capacity for focus, attention, learning, memory, creativity and concentration
  • A greater ability to regulate your emotions and to feel kind and compassionate towards ourselves and others
  • Heightened self confidence and assertiveness