Many modern scientists in different branches of psychology are incorporating the practice of mindfulness in their rehabilitation and therapeutic procedures for certain types of mental disorders, and it's easy to see why.
Here are the reasons:
1. MINDFULNESS PROVIDES INSIGHT INTO THE HIDDEN STRUCTURE OF THE BODY AND MIND.
The body and mind are the fundamental properties that make us who we are. If you think about it, many of us don't really pay attention to the things we do from moment to moment like the way we eat, stand, walk, talk, write, sit, drink, breathe, think, and so forth.
Mindfulness meditation allows us to isolate the areas where we are having issues with by giving us knowledge of the structure of our own personality. By developing a sense of awareness of our behavior, sensations, thoughts, and perceptions, we get a great deal of information about their quality and how they affect the way we live our lives.
2. MINDFULNESS GIVES AWARENESS OF THE RELATIONSHIP OF OUR OWN THOUGHTS AND PERCEPTIONS.
The way we think can influence how we perceive the world. Optimistic people, for example, see positive things all around them; pessimists only see the negativity. Equally, what we perceive in our environment can also influence the way we think like when you suddenly become afraid of the dark after watching a very convincing horror movie.
Our thoughts (memories, desires, and beliefs) and perceptions (information that pass through our senses) are dynamic and interrelated parts of the mind. Through mindfulness meditation, we are able to see the hidden relationships of these elements (positive and negative), and this awareness gives us the opportunity to elicit changes in our thought patterns.
3. MINDFULNESS PROVIDES INSIGHT INTO THE RELATIONSHIP OF OUR THOUGHTS AND BEHAVIOR.
Our beliefs and desires give rise to our behavior. Consequently, our behavior provides feedback and this information is what reinforces these thoughts although the process goes by unnoticed most of the time. An example of a belief is the statement, "I want to eat chocolates because they say it makes you feel good." Eating the chocolate is the behavior. The resulting sensation (feedback) that it gives you consequently produces and reinforces thinking patterns in your mind.
We acquire our habits and tendencies, whether these things are of a constructive or destructive nature, through the hidden relationship of our thoughts and behavior. Mindfulness meditation helps us become aware and understand the feedback loops that make us repeat many of the disruptive things that we do.
4. MINDFULNESS PROVIDES OPPORTUNITY FOR INTERVENTION IN PATTERNS OF DISRUPTIVE BEHAVIOR.
Once you develop a deep awareness and understanding of your thoughts, perceptions, behavior, and sensations (feelings), it becomes easier to convince yourself of the need to eliminate the negative patterns in the structure of your own personality. With this kind of awareness, you can then decide to intervene at certain points in negative behavioral patterns that you observe in yourself.
So let's say you are addicted to eating chocolates, instead of the old pattern (thinking of chocolate -> eat chocolate -> feel good -> eat more not good -> exercise to lose calories -> feel good -> gain confidence).
5. MINDFULNESS ENABLES YOU TO CREATE FURTHER PLANS FOR INTERVENTION.
With improved awareness, you can then begin to sort out and systematize the way you intervene in the patterns of your own thinking and behavior. When you dedicate more time in your meditation practice, you'll be able to see more hidden disruptive patterns in your personality and this gives you a chance to come up with better ways to change them. In Buddhist psychology, disruptive patterns in thinking and behavior are treated as hindrances to spiritual development. One of the primary goals of Buddhists who practice mindfulness meditation is to get rid of these hindrances. (See the five hindrances to meditation.)
6. MINDFULNESS ALLOWS YOU TO TARGET PATTERNS THAT ARE EASILY CHANGEABLE BUT PRODUCES THE HIGHEST DEGREE OF CHANGE.
Through consistent practice, you'll be able to identify key areas in your thinking and behavior patterns where even a slight amount of change is enough to cause a significant amount of improvement. In the example I gave earlier, adding a simple script such as "makes me fat; not good" can prompt you to take a different course of action every time you think about eating chocolates. That's just an example, of course.
7. MINDFULNESS PROVIDES ACCESS TO DEEPLY-ROOTED THOUGHT AND BEHAVIOR PATTERNS.
Our deeply-rooted thought and behavior patterns are invisible to us. Practicing mindfulness is just like shooting a video of yourself the whole day and then playing it back afterwards to observe every bit of movement you've done or words you've spoken. The only difference is that with mindfulness, you're doing the shooting and the play back simultaneously. You'll be surprised at what you will discover.
8. MINDFULNESS ALLOWS REARRANGEMENT AND CONTROL OF YOUR THOUGHT PATTERNS.
More advanced practitioners get to the point where they are able to control their own thoughts. This is where it gets a little bit far out. You can learn about this from written accounts in Buddhist literature about monks and yogis who are able to withstand long hours or even days of uninterrupted meditation practice.
9. MINDFULNESS CAN BE PRACTICED ANYWHERE.
One of the great features of mindfulness meditation is that you can practice it at any given time, place, and setting. You don't need to sit down for long hours alone in a room or in a forest to do it. The technique is actually quite simple; you focus on your breath and do whatever it is that you need to do. When you become distracted, that's ok. Just take note of the distraction without becoming attached to it then go back to focusing on your breath. Of course, practicing in isolation in a sitting position is more advantageous.
10. MINDFULNESS ENABLES YOU TO ENTER HIGHER STATES OF CONSCIOUSNESS.
Advanced meditators who are able to gain a high degree of control over their minds are able to reach higher states of consciousness. If you reach this stage, you may begin to have transpersonal experiences. In the Buddhist tradition, these experiences may include the attainment of the four jhanas, knowledge of one's previous lives, insight knowledge, and enlightenment.
Books in PDF format to read:Aleister Crowley - Book 4 Part I Meditation
Alan Wallace - Lucid Dreaming And Meditation