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Only a decade ago, the term ‘mindfulness’ was rarely mentioned in public. Now it is everywhere. At schools, children are taught how to focus upon the present moment, especially as increasing numbers of secondary school pupils suffer from periods of anxiety and depression. In hospitals and hospices, it is a way to help those who are recovering or in the process of dying. In bookshops, numerous books by therapists and practitioners aim to support us as we expand our knowledge of this subject. Anyone can participate, and therefore, I decided to investigate it myself. What struck me immediately was that there are numerous versions and definitions of mindfulness. For some it is purely a refocusing of one’s mind upon the present moment. Others however, move beyond purely personal exercises and try to apply it to the whole of life – becoming mindful to enrich all we do. This book attempts to encapsulate both aspects, majoring on the application. Mindfulness had its origin in spirituality. It was a technique to become more aware of the whole of reality, both what we sense and what can only be discovered in the silence and through prayer. For some who use its various meditations, it deepens every hour of every day. Each Blob exercise, therefore, tries to utilise the images from both these perspectives. As you work your way through the book, you will find some activities very suitable for individual use, whilst others are centred around a discussion or small group. Even if, like myself, you are a thinker who is happy to internalize and reflect, it aids the understanding to discuss and hear other opinions upon the same activity. No one individual can grasp the depths of being on their own – we are both social and solitary creatures. Even those who were trailblazers in this field, such as Buddha and Jesus, had support groups around them, to enhance and earth all that they were doing.
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