Mindfulness is about learning to work skilfully with our present-moment experience so that we can flourish and lead a fulfilling, meaningful and healthy life. Curiosity is an important one of these skills that motivates us to notice, gain insight, learn about and explore the world around us, as well as the subtle, rich complexity of our inner experience.
The word derives from the Latin “curiosus”, meaning to be careful, inquiring, and diligent. Curiosity is closely linked to the mindfulness skill of beginner’s mind. This is about observing the world with a fresh openness as if through a child’s eyes, seeing something for the first time. Using curiosity, we can reveal what lies behind the assumptions we apply to reality that may otherwise remain hidden and filtered out of our awareness.
This type of curiosity is not about problem-solving and analysing with the mind; it’s about using our attention and awareness to really explore what we experience. The practice of mindfulness is like being a pioneering explorer, setting out from our own front door to discover the world and our place within it. This includes our thoughts, emotions, feelings, impulses, behaviour, tastes, sounds, or sensations in the body. Curiosity is a useful tool for moving beyond what our mind ‘knows’, to a more connected and vivid experience of how things really are in the present.