Mindfulness is an activity that everyone should practice. It is easy to learn, and once you get the hang of it, it becomes a way of moving through life. It can make you more conscious of why things are happening the way they are, and as a result, you can be more in control of your life.
But most people don’t practice mindfulness, because they don’t understand how it works. They think mindfulness is about noticing things — “Oh, that was good, that was almost bad, that was interesting.” But that’s not the point. Mindfulness is about paying attention to the whole of your awareness, and your awareness is shaped by your experiences.
So when you practice mindfulness, the things you notice will be shaped by your experiences, too. The problem is that most people have not been taught how to be aware of their experiences. Instead, they have been taught to pay attention to their responses. So they have trained themselves to notice the bad things, not the good things. As a result, when something bad happens, it overwhelms them.
Mindfulness is the opposite of that. When you practice mindfulness, you pay attention to your responses, not your feelings. You can be mindful of a bad feeling, but you won’t notice it. Mindfulness is not noticing things; it is noticing your responses, and your responses are usually shaped by your experiences. So practicing mindfulness will move you towards noticing your responses to your experiences, and eventually it will change your responses. When that happens, your reactions will no longer be shaped by your past experiences.
Eventually, you will become free of the reactions to the experiences you have had. And when that happens, you will have discovered something new.