What Is Mindfulness, Really? Practices for Daily Life

I recently said to a friend, as I watched him eat very quickly (as he always does), “You’re really not interested in mindful eating, are you?” He replied, “I don’t get mindful eating,”. “Respectfully,” I said, “if you don’t get mindful eating, I’m not sure you understand mindfulness at all.” “Maybe not,” he said.

Thich Nhat Hanh says, “Mindfulness is the energy that helps us to know what is going on in the present moment. I drink water and I know that I am drinking the water. Drinking the water is what is happening.”

How often in a day, do you know what is going on in the present moment? How often are you aware of the movement of your breath? The sensation in your spine? The distant sound of a bird or a car driving by? To be mindful is to be engaged in the practice of noticing what is happening right now.