Mindfulness has become popular word nowadays. We hear this in many contexts. And if you dare to learn more about this, you may have realized that this has something to do with meditation.
But what’s the point? Is this really some kind of meditation?
The short answer is yes and no.
But to understand the essence of the issue, we need to better understand what is real mindfulness is all about.
What is Mindfulness?
It is defined as “paying attention, on purpose, at the present moment without decisive”. This is one of the most popular definitions of mindfulness by Jon Kabat-Zinn. Of course, there are variants of this definition that you may encounter, but this reflects the essence of mindfulness.
Mindfulness is really a way to pay attention. But it does not pay attention to anything because someone asked you to. Like your teacher in class when you were lost or distracted. It is paying attention to the purpose, even without even asking.
It is nothing but consciousness. Awareness is what we all know well. Our understanding comes naturally. More formal is the explicit knowledge or perception of each fact or situation.
The plain awareness will immediately color by judgments. Simple awareness is usually associated with judgment. If you remember an earlier definition, with mindfulness, we are trying to develop unconscious awareness.
Mindfulness is a state of mind that arises from intentional attention to the present moment. As an alternative, we can say that it arises by paying attention to the present moment.
Some people, of course, pay close attention to what is happening at the present moment. Even without preliminary meditation. Have you ever noticed how thoughtful you were, but someone else could have noticed what is happening right in front of you?
From this point of view, this is a trait. We all have this trait in varying degrees. But in order to fully recognize this trait, we must develop it through formal meditation.
As we see that meditation leads to mindfulness and mindfulness is a real meditation itself. We can also say that this is a state of mind. This is also a trait that we naturally possess to varying degrees.