What is Mindfulness?

There is a lot of talk about mindfulness in the world today… mindful birthing, mindful eating, mindful dating, and just about everything else! The topic is always a part of Wisdom 2.0 in San Francisco and we will dive into it more deeply at Mindfulness in America in NYC. But what is mindfulness?

We asked singer/songwriter Jewel, who performed at Wisdom 2.0 and will join us in NYC, to share her definition. Watch her 1-minute answer here >>> (A special guest shows up at 20 second mark!)

There is no “one answer” of course. This ability to wake up and see clearly “what is present” is a mystery in many ways. We cannot force it or command it to show up, and no amount of money can buy it. However, it can be invited and cultivated.

The great mythologist Joseph Campbell said:

“People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive….”

It is this direct experience that matters and this has no religion per se … it is what sent Thoreau to the woods so he would not when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

Knowledge is helpful, but mindfulness asks of us something more: to show up, to practice, to fail and get back up, to make no excuses.

While it is easy to think someone is hindering our mindfulness, there is really no one we can blame. In Eckhart Tolle’s words, “The state of your consciousness is your ultimate responsibility.” There is always the present moment and the awareness of that moment.

And we cannot rest on the past or the future … all the moments we may have been present or plan to be present in the future matter little. What matters is this moment. And this moment…

Though the definition of mindfulness may continually be in flux, may our practice deepen; may we show up again and again for what is here now.

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