An introduction to mindfulness

There are thousands of mindful bartenders in the world, and you might be one of them, whether you know it, or not. Mindfulness, a Buddhist concept, though you don’t have to be a Buddhist to practice it, is, in the very simplest of terms, all about living in the present moment, and being completely aware of everything that’s going on around you.

Very few people ever achieve a state of complete mindfulness, so the most we can hope for is to understand the concept, and to bring ourselves back into a state of mindfulness whenever we realize that we’ve strayed from that path.

And mindfulness is an ideal practice for bartenders since there’s nothing quite as important to the man or woman behind the bar, than knowing exactly what’s going on around them at any given moment.

There’s a Taoist saying that instructs that there’s no need to leave your house in order to know what’s going on in the world, and when we look at this concept from the point of view of the bartender it easily translates into something like: There’s no need to turn your head to know that the idiot at the end of the bar is annoying everyone around them. Much of mindfulness is based on intuition.

Mindfulness also entails connecting with everyone around you, and this is another concept that’s so very important to bartenders. If we don’t connect fully with our guests, after all, how can we expect to be able to make them happy? And that’s the main reason we set foot behind the bar in the first place, right?

The most important aspect of the bartender’s craft is to be of service to others, and make people happy.

Gary Regan is the author of The Joy of Mixology, gaz regan’s Annual Manual for Bartenders, and many other bartender-related books and newsletters. You can find him at www.gazregan.com.