I love Jon Jon Kabat-Zinn’s definition of mindfulness:
“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way;
On purpose,
in the present moment, and

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The “happiness map” above indicates that mindfulness leads to appreciation and compassion. How does this work? I believe that mindfulness allows us to see others more fully. We discover their good qualities, and we are moved by their struggles and pains. If we then take what we have learned about the other person, and give voice to our appreciation and compassion, something quite remarkable happens! Through that vocalization, we become even more mindful of this person whose merits we are celebrating.
Bodhipaksa, a member of the Triratna Buddhist Order, talks about the power of appreciation on a website called wildmind. “Rejoicing in merits,” or punya-anumodana, is a traditional Buddhist practice of celebrating someone’s good qualities. One of the benefits of expressing appreciation is that it allows us to see others more fully. “When we are prepared to really be mindful of another person, without self-blinding judgment, then we start to notice things about them that we were previously only dimly aware of.”
I encourage you to watch a few of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s video presentations. In this first one, he describes mindfulness as “presence of heart.” The video shows the nian, which is the Chinese character for mindfulness. It is a combination of two separate characters, each with its own meaning. The top part of the character means “now” and the bottom part of the character means “heart” or “mind.” Literally, the combined character means the act of experiencing the present moment with your heart.

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My other post about happiness is "Happiness How To's: http://www.ahhthesimplelife.com/happiness-tos/