Mindfulness has been very popular the last few years, both as practice (for a wider audience) and as a topic of research.
I rarely use the word, partly because I don’t know exactly what it refers to, and partly because other terms seem more specific and cover what I wish to talk about.
Taken literally, mindfulness may mean being mindful of – or bring attention to – something, for instance the breath or dynamics of the mind or how we behave in daily life.
To me, it makes more sense to divide it up into (a) training a more stable attention, for instance through bringing attention to the sensations of the breath, or movements, or even an image. (b) Natural rest, shifting attention – or center of gravity, what I take myself to be – to that which already allows and is the field of experience, as it is now. And (d) inquiry, a natural curiosity into immediate experience, whether it’s a belief, trying to find an identity or threat or command, or a separate self, or something else.
– almost never use that word
– (a) don’t quite know what it refers to, seem too fuzzy/broad, (b) just one phase, missing steps before and after
– (a) stable attention, (b) natural rest, (c) inquiry – makes more sense to me (a distinction that makes more sense, seems more precise and helpful)
I rarely use the word, partly because I don’t know exactly what it refers to, and partly because it seems a little too broad and vague to be useful.