Mindfulness is trending: it is being offered by top corporations to their employees, it is taught in schools to their students and it has even been trialled in Parliament.

But what is mindfulness exactly?

groupchildrenpicMindfulness is the practice of paying attention – to thoughts, physical sensations and the environment – without constantly feeling the need to judge what’s happening or to make it other than it is.

To cultivate this present moment awareness, we pay attention on purpose, with an attitude of kindness to ourselves and others.

Children are natural-born mindfulness practitioners. If you take a walk with children, you will notice that they stop to touch, smell and taste things (whether they should or not!) and often come up with observations that adults tend to miss. Children pay attention to experiences in the present moment.

While mindfulness has its roots in ancient Eastern philosophy, many mindfulness programmes today are secular and have no religious content.