‘Being mindful’ simply means: being aware of the present experience. We usually get dressed, drink a glass of milk or walk to the bakery in an automatic way, without really noticing it, unaware.
But we can also live in a more conscious way: aware of each and every moment, as it unfolds. Every object or event, when experienced with full attention, comes to life and starts blossoming, clear and sparkling like never before. In full awareness, all experiences deepen.
The present moment has this unique quality of peace and acceptance. With awareness we are fully present for what we could call life’s ‘dimension of depth’. We are awake and aware and experiences feel as fresh as morning dew. That’s the world of mindfulness.
Of course, we can think of the past, but we can’t be in the past. The past is no longer here. The same goes for the future: we can think of it, but we can’t be there. Only in the present, in the here and now, we can be… present.
Mindfulness is part of everyday life. It can accompany us in each and every moment, in everything we do. We can put our children to sleep in a mindful way, drive to the gym in a mindful way, make a telephone call in a mindful way.
Bringing back the attention to the present moment is something you can practice with the experiences of everyday life. Nothing mystical about that. Mindfulness brings your thoughts and emotions back to reality, with your feet firmly on the ground. It teaches you not to lose yourself in old memories, fantasies or doom scenarios of the future. It teaches you to remain here, in the present moment. This way your thoughts won’t be wandering off all the time, but instead you’ll be here and able to observe in a clear way.
Mindfulness has nothing to do with philosophies, religions or gurus. It simply teaches us that the mind is not our greatest master.