What is the Mindfulness symbol?

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This blog post will explore what the mindfulness symbol is and how it was developed. 

We will also briefly discuss what mindfulness is, the benefits of mindfulness, and the various ways the symbol can be used for contemporary purposes. 

What is the Mindfulness symbol?

The mindfulness symbol is the visual representation of the philosophy behind mindfulness. 

The symbol consists of a water droplet with ripples around it that is mirrored- so it is both rightside up and upside down. 

The symbol represents the goal of an individual who practises mindfulness, be it a meditator or spiritual practitioner- to focus on the central droplet and be free of the past and the present and rather focus on the present. 

The symbol has both a vertical aspect to it that represents time- the past, present, and the future- with the present being the point of mirroring while the horizontal aspect of it- represented by the ripples of the water being the issues that surround us. 

The idea behind the symbol is to remind people to focus on the now- the present- rather than focusing or worrying out the future or spending our regrets of the past which are both considered mirages or illusions when it comes to mindfulness. 

Thus, the symbol is a reminder to focus on what matters which is the present- the centre of both time and space because it is within the present that we can act and do something that is positive and influences our wellbeing and way of life. 

What does the mindfulness symbol mean?

The mindfulness symbol is a symbol that represents and reminds people who are practitioners of mindfulness in their day to day life to focus on the present and be aware of the now and all the things around them in the present. 

The water droplet symbol represents the following ideas and concepts:

It is a symbol of tranquillity where it instigates the idea of an absolute state of calmness that is brought about by a meditative state of being. It is a symbol that, the user who visualises it, can be brought to a state of calmness by intentionally refocusing on the present and letting go of worries and concerns. 

It is a symbol of the present and the melting point of the whole mirroring images of the droplet represents that. It has been designed with the sole purpose of encouraging people to remember the present.

It is a symbol of stillness to remind individual to remain still or take a moment of rest in a world of noise and chaos

It is a symbol of awareness and strikes to evoke awareness of the present, the space around them, andon a greater level an awareness of the self to inculcate greater understanding of the self. 

How was this symbol developed?

While the concept of mindfulness in the west gained attention and popularity in Europe and America from the 1960’s onwards the symbol itself is rather recent. 

Upon understanding the idea of mindfulness, Cibulskisa, a Lithuanian graphic artist, was inspired to design the symbol to represent mindfulness. 

This artist conceptualised a symbol to help people meditate and stay rooted to the present and is now widely accepted by psychologists, philosophers and spiritual guides. However, it is not recognised as a legitimate symbol in terms of religious context. 

What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a state of being and more proficiently a way of life where the individual actively imagines in the act of cultivating full awareness of the present. 

This awareness of the presence is related to both the world outside and around the individual and the world within the individual in terms of thoughts and feelings.

A person who practises mindfulness may begin with putting effort to bring about all of their senses to focu on what they’re experiencing right now however, over time, it becomes a way of life- done without much effort and with a greater understanding of one’s self. 

Mindfulness is the experience of being present with the here and now. The state of Mindfulness is an experience of your present feelings, thoughts, and behaviour. It is the act of paying attention to yourself, your body, and the world around you.

It is the complete opposite of living in an autopilot mode of existence which can cause various problems, mental health related issues, stress, and an overall poor sense of well being. 

Being mindful requires you to let go of the past, and the worries of the future and simply focus on the present and the things you can do in the present. This can help you move past unnecessary anxious and depressive thoughts that are unnecessary and often causing dysfunction. 

Mindfulness is widely accepted and encouraged by philosophers, psychologists, and spiritual guides, and has garnered traction in mainstream society with various gurus and social media influencers talking about the practice. 

Although originally articulated as a part of Buddhism,  it is often taught independent of religious connotation and it is now seen as a lifestyle choice that can help improve well-being.

There are Buddhist themes in modern-day mindfulness, such as meditation, breathing exercises, and being one with the world- however, in modern or secular mindfulness, there is no need to connect religious or spiritual meaning to one’s practice of mindfulness. 

Meaning that one does not have to adhere to the Buddhist faith to be mindful. Infact, there has been a rising trend of mindfulness now being part of the science of wellbeing where mindfulness practises has been studied scientifically and empirically researched to help researchers understand what mindfulness does and how it impacts wellbeing. 

What are the benefits of Mindfulness?

Some of the benefits of practising mindfulness include:

  • Mindfulness practises can help lower stress and stress related symptoms that can harm well being because the act of staying in the present can help curb anxieties related to the future.

Worrying about the future or fretting about regrets of the past can cause an individual to remain stuck in life and stop them from making effective choices that can help them improve the conditions of their present such as choosing to manage stress. 

Being mindful and engaging in the act of being in the present can help individual make note of the positive things in their life, relax, and choose healthier ways of coping. 

  • Mindfulness can help increase empathy because practising mindfulness can help you be more observant of the world around you and the people in it. By intentionally developing awareness you can also develop empathy and the ability to see the viewpoints of others making you more empathetic in dealing with relationships and conflicts. 
  • Mindfulness improves your senses and helps you find greater enjoyment in the world around you and this can be refreshing especially for people who are part of a busy world. The practice can be a reminder to help people take notice of what is around them and this way of life can be helpful in developing a sense of happiness and appreciation.

What are the different ways To Use The Mindfulness Symbol?

Some of the ways you can make use of the mindfulness symbol as suggested by Barrie Davenport for mindfulzen includes:

  • Get a tattoo with the mindfulness symbol as it is a minimalist tattoo which can fit well even as a small tattoo and this can be used a personal reminder to remain mindful throughout your day, 
  • You can use the symbol to create a mindfulness jewellery piece that you can and most likely will wear daily, it can be rings, necklaces, pins, earrings, bracelets, etc.You can use the symbol to make a custom design. 
  • You can add the symbol to your clothing by using ink, paint, or stitches to embroider to add the mindfulness icon to a favourite shirt, a new handbag, a scarf, a jacke to act as a personal reminder to be mindful. 
  • Get creative and add a mindfulness icon for your meditation room that you can hang on the wall of your meditation room — or any room you like to rest in as a way to remind yourself to intentionally take rest and not bother about the worries around you in your moment of rest. 

Conclusion

This blog post has explored what the mindfulness symbol is and how it was developed. 

We have also briefly discussed what mindfulness is, the benefits of mindfulness, and the various ways the symbol can be used for contemporary purposes. 

FAQ related to mindfulness symbols.

What is the yoga symbol?

The yoga symbol is known as the Om or Aum symbol as it is more commonly used. 

This symbol is used because Yogis believe that the sound or vibration of Om unifies everything in the universe and aids in channelling energy. 

What exactly is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the experience of being present with the here and now. The state of Mindfulness is an experience of your present feelings, thoughts, and behaviour. It is the act of paying attention to yourself, your body, and the world around you.

Does mindfulness mean not thinking?

Mindfulness does not mean to get rid of all thoughts or to stop thinking, rather mindfulness means to intentionally and consciously pay attention to one’s thoughts, feelings, and emotions, without judgement or criticism.  

What are the 3 steps of mindfulness?

Three easy steps that you can follow right now into developing mindfulness are:

You can start by challenging yourself to Step Out of Autopilot the moment you notice that you are feeling stressed, tired etc. You can do this by intentionally thinking more adaptive thoughts, intentionally moving your body. 

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Next, Become Aware of Your Breath- do not change the way you breathe but simply take a mental note of how you are breathing, whether it is shallow or fast etc. 

Next, Expand Your Awareness Outward to the space around you- take note of the world around you and use your five senses to experience them. 

References

Getting Started with Mindfulness. Mindful.org. Retrieved on 4th January 2022. https://www.mindful.org/meditation/mindfulness-getting-started/

Mindfulness Symbol – What Does It Represent? Symbolsage. Retrieved on 4th January 2022. https://symbolsage.com/mindfulness-symbol-meaning/

Mindfulness symbol. RadicalCourse. Retired on 4th January 2022. https://radicalcourse.org/mindfulness-symbol/

Dean. M.E. What Can A Mindfulness Symbol Tell Us? Betterhelp. February 11, 2021. Retrieved on 4th December 2022. https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/mindfulness/what-can-a-mindfulness-symbol-tell-us/

Davenport. B. The Mindfulness Symbol and Where It Comes From. Mindfulzen. October 7, 2021. Retrieved on 4th January 2022. https://mindfulzen.co/the-mindfulness-symbol-and-where-it-comes-from/

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