Enriching Our Conception of Mindfulness

Let’s enrich our conception of what mindfulness is.

In the ancient languages, the term would carry a meaning more like heartfulness, sense-fullness, gratefulness, wonderfulness, soulfulness.

“Mindfulness” means way more than the English word “mind.” In Sanskrit, manas has a wide range of meanings—“mind” in its widest sense, including all the mental powers, intelligence, perception, sense, conscience, will, the way through which thoughts and perceptions touch the soul, heart, spirit, spiritual principle, breath, imagination, invention, opinion, desire, mood, temper—and is connected with heart.

Consider each of the following words (and notice the common suffix “ful”/full/fullness). 

  • heartful
  • soulful
  • grateful
  • joyful
  • peaceful
  • skillful
  • wonderful
  • colorful
  • playful
  • delightful
  • mindful 
  • resourceful
  • plentiful
  • bountiful
  • blissful
  • beautiful

Each could accurately replace the word “mindful.” Play with these as you explore your practice of finding your fullness. 

About the Author 

Lorin Roche was lucky enough to begin practicing asana, pranayama, and meditation in 1968. He has been practicing, researching, and teaching meditation for more than fifty years—and he still feels like a beginner every day. Lorin is a pioneer in developing personalized meditation practices, designing the techniques around an individual’s inner nature. He is the founder of two related meditation systems: The Radiance Sutras®, which utilizes the richness of the Sanskrit language and is oriented toward the yoga community, and Instinctive Meditation™, an approach that uses commonsense language and is designed to match one’s individual nature. Lorin has a PhD from the University of California, Irvine, where he has done extensive research on meditation and meditative experiences. His books on meditation are treasured by meditation practitioners across the globe and have been widely recognized as “must read.” He leads international meditation retreats and workshops and trains meditation teachers in a two-year meditation teacher training. Lorin lives in Marina del Rey, California, with his yogini shaktini wife, Camille Maurine. He also teaches and consults worldwide with individuals (private coaching), businesses, and universities to create custom meditation programs that suit their needs and cultures.