I have discovered that being mindful versus being mindless are not states of mind that are fully understood. Being mindful is also a state that is gaining greater and greater acceptance and preference. Why are more people desiring to be mindful and what does being mindful really mean?
From my experience with being mindful, it is a state where one is aware, that is, fully focused on the now moment with no distractions. The mind is clear and aware of all that is happening and yet, nothing may be happening. I have found that distractions take away one’s awareness from a now moment to a mindless state of non-focus. In a mindless state, one is not here with oneself. A good example is when you are driving and not putting your awareness on the road. You allow your mind to be distracted by distracting thoughts and when you do come back to the focus that you are on the road driving, you feel like you’ve lost a few minutes of time, as in, where did those seconds go and how did you get from there to here in your mindless state?
For me, being mindful is learning how to use one’s awareness to be in the here and now with all the attention on what’s happening now within the emptiness of one’s mindfulness. You can be empty, that is, in a Zen state where your mind is not filled with chatter, where you are emotionally neutral while you are folding clothes, walking, cooking, driving a car, talking on the phone, etc. you feel your awareness in being mindful as a sense of I am here, I am with myself. You are not somewhere else. While your mind is not brain dead, you are in what I call an alert stillness.
Mindfulness is becoming more preferable to mindlessness because people no longer want to experience activities like (or life in general) eating in an unconscious way or do anything unconsciously because they want to be present to chew slowly and enjoy how the food tastes, the aromas of the cooking of the food which enriches the experience instead of stuffing food down and
not remembering a thing about it.
People are realizing that life is short and savoring the really few moments they have by being mindful in them and living a deeper experience in them is a more preferred state of being than living mindlessly and not paying attention to how their senses are experiencing life. I have found being mindful to be living life more fully. Being mindless is being “out of it.”