Pre-word: Awareness and acceptance of reality as-it-is, in present moment.
Mindfulness is awareness and acceptance of present moment reality as-it-is. In simple words, paying attention to what’s going on “now” without forming a cloud of judgement—Good or Bad. Yet, remaining fully observant of the experience.
For example, if you are sitting in a beautiful garden and experiencing the vibrant colors of flowers, fresh breeze, perfumed air, sounds of dancing wind passing through trees. And, you are absorbing the fullness of life but not making a judgement that is it better than yesterday or if sunlight is more than it will be better now etc. Then you are mindful.
We know that our common experience is made by contact of five senses with external world. And, we can add one more internal mental sense (including thoughts, feelings, sensations) which makes our experience. So total six senses make up our world of experiences, in individual or collective manner.
Mindfulness can be practiced in all six senses by being aware of them and accept what they bring to us as messengers of experiences.
Common five senses are: smelling, tasting, hearing, and touching. Buddhist tradition added sixth sense of mental phenomenon to include: thoughts, emotions, sensations and integrated perception.
So, in all activities of life, wherever you station your awareness with equanimity, Mindfulness occurs!
What is the simplest form of activity which is always happening in you—sleep, dream or waking state? It can be voluntary or non-voluntary. The answer is your simple “Breath.”
Can you be mindful of breath? This may be your first step of mindful living.