Seems like I can’t look anywhere lately, without being told to be “mindful.”
“Mindful? You mean, paying attention?”
No – being present in the moment.
“Well… I am here.”
No – critically examining each thought and moment, without being critical of the rightness, or wrongness, of your way of thinking of that given moment.
[Here, my head explodes].
Look. I kinda get it. Reflect upon what’s happening, as it’s happening, without judgement. Learn to be accepting. Engage.
And, I think I actually have experienced something, akin to zen, a few times in my life, while in the act of creation: writing a network handler, overnight, under deadline, awakening the next morning to some of the best code I had written to then (and perhaps, since), but not really remembering all the details of exactly how I had done it… spending days working through a thorny technical problem, before having a Eureka! moment, while making a sandwich… and – more recently -solving a tough budget challenge after the tenth attempt, with a clarity that was missing in tries one through nine.
But, I don’t know if mindfulness really played into it, as much as everything simply coming together – only after hours and hours of concentration and effort and worry and toil.
Back in the day, I guess I would have just called this work.
And, maybe, mindfulness is just that – work.
Because if it’s only emptying your head of thought, we’d be living in the most mindful society conceived of by man; plenty of empty-headed people about.
No. I reckon that those hours I spent, listening to Yes and Pink Floyd and Black Sabbath and Jackson Browne and Elton John and the Rolling Stones and the Beatles and James Taylor, weren’t me goofing off. That was me, being mindful.
Hours reading science fiction? Mindful.
Hanging out with friends? Mindful.
Fishing? Yeah. Mindful.
But – does mindfulness really make us more focused? Kinder to our friends and kittens? Able to better cope with stress?
Solve world peace?
Beats me. I’m trying to pick a better Instagram filter.