What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is wakefulness or awareness of the present moment, cultivating clear, stable and non-judgemental awareness of each thing, each thought, and each activity.
We are often preoccupied with thoughts about the past or the future or with fantasies. With the practice of mindfulness, we learn how to overcome these preoccupations. We develop a friendlier and more compassionate relationship with our experience, ourselves and with others.
To be mindful means to dwell deeply in the present moment, to be aware of what is going on within and around us. Mindfulness cultivates understanding, love, compassion and joy. It helps us to take care of discomfort and disappointment in our lives and transform suffering in our society.
By residing more frequently in the present moment, practitioners begin to see both the inner and outer aspects of reality. Inner reality may unfold as one sees that the mind continually chattering with commentary or judgment. By noticing that the mind is continually making commentary, one has the ability to carefully notice those thoughts – and decide if those thought have value. Most often, mindful people realize that “thoughts are just thoughts” – the thoughts themselves have no weight. People are free to release a thought (“let it go”) when they realize that the thought is not concrete reality. They are free to observe life and live and experience their lives fully without getting caught in the commentary.
The Miracle of Mindfulness – A Manual of Meditation by Thich Nhat Hanh. Ryder, London 1975. One of Thây’s early books describing practices and experiences of mindfulness in everyday life.
Mindfulness Meditation Gil Fronsdal insightmeditationcenter.org