Mindfulness is now a household term yet most people do not know what it means. This is bolstered by the fact that different experts define it differently. The Tibetan word is ‘tenpa,’ which can also be translated as ‘remember.’ ‘Present moment awareness’ is the essence of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s definition. He developed MBSR – Mindfulness-based stress reduction to treat chronically ill patients suffering pain, which has been highly successful. There are now many MBSR training programs. Teasdale, Williams, and Segal developed MBCT – Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy in an attempt to interrupt automatic cognitive processes in depressed people. They teach participants to focus less on reacting to incoming stimuli, and instead accepting and observing them without judgment. They are quite successful at reducing relapses of depression. In both approaches meditation becomes a vehicle to focus awareness, non-judgmentally. Next time we’ll discuss the role of meditation in all of this.