realizationThe word mindfulness has been used in the Buddhist tradition for thousands of years to describe the state of optimum well-being and fulfilment.

Modern psychology has now adopted this term (and regularly references this state as the true cause of human happiness).

But the Buddhists weren’t the only ones to discover this sacred state. Mindfulness has been known by many other names around the world in different cultures and time periods. Here are some you might recognise…

Lao Tzu called it ‘the tao’. In the sacred yogic texts it is referred to as ‘sat-chit-ananda’ (being-consciousness-bliss).

Modern spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle calls it ‘being-ness’ or ‘presence’. St. Francis of Assisi called it ‘the peace that surpasses all understanding’. The Buddha also called it ‘awakening’.

Athletes have a name for entering this state, they call it ‘the zone’ and the grandfather of positive psychology, Dr. Mihaly Chentmihalyi calls it flow’ (the state of optimum human experience)

Some wise sages have talked of it as simply ‘self realization’, ‘pure consciousness’ or simply ‘the truth’ or ‘’awareness’.

There are countless other words used in different traditions and time periods but all these words are pointers to the same state of being – a state of wholeness, deep peace and connectedness with life.

Do you know another word used to describe the state of mindfulness? Do you have your own? Share them with us in the comments section below!

With warmth,


Learn the Art of Mindful Living with Melli O'Brien: