What Is Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a conscious direction of awareness to the present moment – find out why it is the most essential Life Tool to have at hand.
What Is Mindfulness?
We talk a LOT about Mindfulness at Awakened Source. In fact, we believe it is the most essential Life Tool, providing the foundation for any creative or conscious work we choose to undertake.
So we want to start out with a simple explanation of what Mindfulness actually is – we want to clarify what is often seen as a rather vague and abstract mental process.
In this article, we will give a simple explanation of what Mindfulness actually is, as well as what it is not. And we will introduce why it is such an important Life Tool to practice.
Mindfulness – Attention To The Moment
Mindfulness is a form of simple meditation with its roots dating back to Buddhist traditions and beyond.
It works to bring your full attention to the present moment, instead of having our minds jump from thought to thought while we complete the tasks at hand on auto pilot.
Auto Pilot? What’s That?
Well, auto pilot is non-mindfulness – it is when we are being not mindful.
Auto pilot is when we are not fully present and aware of what we are doing or what is going on around or within us.
Have you ever driven to work and arrived at your destination with little or no real recollection of your journey? You remember very little about it, but somehow you have arrived at work.
You have run the exact same journey so often, that you can drive it from memory, from habit.
This is an example of running on auto pilot.
And we do this for a very precise reason:
Running on auto pilot allows your conscious mind to run through a vast array of ‘more important’ thoughts, such as;
The meeting you have that morning; or that the kids have extra class today; or that you need to remember to buy some milk on your way home.
We become so preoccupied with our internal thoughts that we notice very little about our immediate surroundings or how we are actually feeling, both physically and emotionally.
So, auto pilot is being non-mindful. It is the opposite of Mindfulness, and we talk more about the difference between the two states of being in our article, The Difference Between Mindfulness and Auto Pilot.
But Let’s Get Back To Mindfulness………
Wild Mind Buddhist Meditation, define mindfulness as,
“The gentle effort to be continuously present with experience.”
This involves becoming attentive to, and maintaining, an awareness of your environment, your physical self, your emotional self, how you’re feeling, and your thoughts.
It involves a conscious direction of awareness to the experience of the present moment.
And if you choose to develop your Mindfulness practice further, you can begin to consciously direct your awareness to ever more subtle aspects of the experiences of life and the Universe.
We will talk more about the various levels or states of awareness possible with Mindfulness in our article, Levels Of Awareness.
However, just introducing even the most basic practice of Mindfulness into your days will facilitate your ability to effect real changes within yourself and your life.
And when you are beginning a practice of awareness, when you are new to mindfulness, it is absolutely essential to begin with a basic level of awareness.
The reason being is that there is little use in being aware of the big picture, if you are not fully aware of your own position within this big picture.
But Why IS Being Mindful So Important?
Mindfulness is the first and most important Life Tool to start practicing.
The reason is this:
When we are being Mindful – when our full awareness is consciously directed within the present moment – we bring our full creative potential and energy into that moment.
We gain a clarity and perspective which stretches well beyond the immediate situation at hand.
We gain subtle yet profound insights as to ‘why’ and ‘how’ we have arrived at this point and place in our lives.
It allows us to see the vast array of possibilities which lie before us, and the potential which each possibility contains for us.
And here comes the best part:
When we know clearly where we are, how we came to be here and the possibilities which lie ahead of us, we become empowered to consciously direct our life along the path we choose.
So, you can see, that for anyone wishing to make real changes in their life, Mindfulness is an essential tool to have at hand.
It acts as a compass and map for your journey in life, allowing you to keep track of where you are, where you have come from and where you are going.
But What Does All This ‘Conscious Direction Of Awareness’ Really Mean?
If truth be told, there is little to be gained from reading about ‘what’ Mindfulness ‘is’.
The reason is this:
That auto pilot has become such a habitual way of being for so much of our time, that many of us have little conscious experience of being truly Mindful.
We will delve into the subject of Mindfulness is later articles, as there is much to learn and gain from the practice.
But at the end of the day, it is a PRACTICE.
And that means that in order to begin to fully grasp it, you need to practice it.
So, whether you are new to Mindfulness or whether you already have some experience of it, we recommend listening to our short Guided Mindfulness Meditation Video.
Not only will this give you a very real and practical experience of ‘being Mindful’, it is also a great guided meditation to follow first thing in the morning and last thing at night.