It seems to me that “mindfulness” is often misunderstood. In my view it’s because of wishful thinking or simply “wrong view” to use a buddhist paraphrase.
I guess you can argue about the definition of “mindfulness”. And you can argue which is more or less accurate in and out the Buddhist context. The following is however not really dependent of an correct definition of term “mindfulness”.
A simple and straight forward definition of Mindfulness is the act of being aware of the present moment.
For example being aware is in a natural and strict sense not judging. If you’re judging, you are judging, and then you’re not being aware. Off course you can be aware that you’re judging, but then you’re not judging, you are being aware! Daydreaming is not being aware, but suddenly you can become aware that you’re daydreaming. If you’re lost in your past or thinking about the future; you simply cannot be mindful of the present moment.
Mindfulness is the act of being aware, moment to moment, of everything that happens in your entire field of perception, without being seduced, captivated or lost in the intertwining events of your own mind. You are even aware of awareness itself. Your mind is clear like water. The longer time you’re able to support pure awareness, the more mindful you are. When you are truly mindful you are the lord of your own house in a spiritual sense.
Most people really don’t know what mindfulness are in regards to pure awareness as mindfulness. Because they have no access to this experience. It can only be hinted at, but it cannot be explained. This understanding of mindfulness can only be understood through direct experience.
If your mind is all over the place. And your mind is jumping around the entire time like a monkey in a tree. Then you are not mindful. In a sense you’re lost. You’re constantly being captivated by everything that occurs to you. You can say you’re a victim of your emotions and thoughts. In away this is a negative definition of mindfulness. In a spiritual sense this is to mistake the servant for the lord in your own house. Many consider it the common and the current state of the human mind.
Life takes place in the present moment. It’s not yesterday or even tomorrow. In a way there is no yesterday or tomorrow. Truly we will never have anything but the present moment. The practice of mindfulness awakes you to, and anchors you, in the present moment.
In this way mindfulness to me is good in an absolute sense. It’s an essential skill in life. And it’s something that should be learned, practiced and mastered by every single human being on the entire planet.
Mindfulness is not escapism, blind acceptance, or a radical form of denial.
To be mindful of the present moment, is to align you self with the truth of this moment. It’s not more and it’s not less.
Mindfulness is an innate quality or faculty of the human mind. Like the skill, ability or faculty of “concentration”, “acceptance”, “understanding”, “affection”, “cognition” and “conation”. It is not inherently good or bad in it self, it’s just an ability, skill or faculty of the human mind.
Being mindful of the present moment, I get to understand the events in my life, understanding all the events, I get to understand my self deeply. Understanding my self, how can not begin to understand others. Understanding others deeply, how can I avoid seeing the suffering of others. When I understand the suffering of others, how I can avoid compassion? When the feeling of compassion is alive in me, I see my self in others. Seeing my self in others, is that not like becoming one with them? Then I need not speak of love – because love is all pervading!
How can it not be better to live and act from this understanding of “mindfulness” in regards to self, others and the planet?