Within human society we are continuously looking for ways of applying certain models, formulas, and concepts to our lives in order to reach a better way of life. “Mindfulness” is a term applied to a practice of coming into stillness with the present moment and observing what is happening within that moment. If we are unhappy, stressed, worried, or feeling anxious about circumstances in our life, we look to practices of meditation, mindfulness, yoga, prayer, and so on so that we might alleviate said stress and unhappiness.
Mindfulness or, being aware of the moment, certainly has benefits to the psyche as has been scientifically displayed. However, there is the allure of utilizing this definition of what mindfulness is as a mechanism to apply to problems we face in our lives, in our society. We look at our problems as though we need solutions to apply to them in order that they will be alleviated. But problems and solutions go hand in hand. You cannot have a problem without a solution and you cannot have a solution without a problem. So, by looking for the solution to a problem, we are also indeed perpetuating the problem.
Mindfulness, perhaps in its truest sense, is something that takes place in a land where there is no problem nor solution. It is a way of seeing beyond these two options. Two options, it seems, is what we are almost always offered. In the political arena we are offered Republican or Democrat. In the religious arena (speaking from a historically Christian perspective) we are offered Christian or non-believer. The foundation of our society is based on the premise that we have a problem to solve.
Mindfulness sees through the dynamic of problem and solution to view simply what is happening now without judgment. In one sense, we might say that mindfulness might be a solution or, cure, to alleviate our mind from the problems and stress we suffer which cause us to feel unhealthy in our lifestyle. But in another sense – perhaps a deeper sense – it is not itself a solution because Mindfulness is not encased within the realm of dualistic thinking and classification.
What do you think Mindfulness is? How would you define it, if you would attempt to define it at all?