Mindfulness is not something that is only done in the meditation hall, it is also done in the kitchen, in the garden when we’re on the telephone, when we are driving a car, when we are doing the dishes.– Thich Nhat Hanh
Mindfulness, a term that until lately has not been frequently heard, has recently become a popular subject. There’s even a magazine, actually named Mindful that claims to “celebrate the basic human ability to be fully present and aware of where we are and what we’re doing.” And not long ago, Time magazine, an icon of mainstream American culture, featured a cover article on mindfulness. According to the article, all kinds of people, particularly celebrities, are engaging in this practice with surprising results. “Surprising” perhaps for those who haven’t been practicing mindfulness, but not for those who have.
What may be surprising for the latter group, is that mindfulness is not so much a form of meditation that one engages in with eyes closed and legs crossed on a zafu (pillow) once or twice a day for a set period of time, but it is actually a way of being in which we experience clear awareness of our moment to moment experience and are present with it in a way that is receptive, accepting, and non-judging. While to the uninitiated this may seem simple, as anyone who has ever attempted to do this knows, simple isn’t necessarily easy.