“I like Jon Kabat-Zinn’s definition of mindfulness.
“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way;
in the present moment and
Kabat-Zinn, if you haven’t heard of him, is a famous teacher of mindfulness meditation and the founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.
Paying attention “on purpose”
First of all, mindfulness involves paying attention “on purpose”. Mindfulness involves a conscious direction of our awareness. We sometimes (me included) talk about “mindfulness” and “awareness” as if they were interchangeable terms, but that’s not a good habit to get into. I may be aware I’m irritable, but that wouldn’t mean I was being mindful of my irritability. In order to be mindful I have to be purposefully aware of myself, not just vaguely and habitually aware. Knowing that you are eating is not the same as eating mindfully.