Mindfulness: Bringing Your Meditation Practice to Life

May 30, 2021

Mindfulness is the energy of being awake and aware. It involves bringing our total attention into the present moment experience—without judging it, without forming a concept about it, without discriminating it in any way. It is to experience the present moment just as it is.

Mindfulness and meditation are really the same thing in their essence. They both involve being present to our immediate experience of life. However, the word meditation has also grown to refer to meditation practices and techniques, typically seated meditation. Whereas mindfulness generally refers to being present in everyday life, during whatever we may be doing.

Formal meditation practice helps us to better experience mindfulness in each moment of our lives. It trains the mind to be present to life, instead of being lost in thought. As we practice mindfulness of the present moment, we begin to feel more connected and in touch with the present moment, and as a result, we begin to feel more satisfied with life. The dissatisfaction that comes from constantly dwelling in our thoughts and feeling separate from life begins to dissolve, and as it does, we become more open, aware, peaceful, and free.

The practice of mindfulness has been described as walking through the morning fog. In a fog, you do not know you are getting wet, but as you keep walking you get wet little by little. The practice is like this. Though waking up to the present moment is naturally quite joyful and peaceful—especially if you’ve been suffering from anxiety of the past or future—you may not notice that much is happening, but little by little, your perception transforms.

What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a way of being and perceiving, in which we are simply just here, awake and aware, in touch with the immediate experience of life in the now.

It is very simple, but as so many of us do not live life in touch with the present moment, it is incredibly profound. It feels like we have finally arrived. All that running and striving to achieve, to figure things out, is set aside, and we are able to finally relax, open up, and just be here, just be alive.

Mindfulness, is not necessarily about getting to some special state, but rather, it is an invitation to be present with whatever state we are experiencing, whether pleasant or unpleasant. Mindfulness is radical acceptance of the present moment and all that is existing in it. 

The essence of mindfulness is to bring our attention fully into this moment, and to perceive reality clearly by doing so. The basic point is to really be present to life and to see our immediate experience as it is, as so many of us live removed from life’s immediate reality by living in the world of our thinking.

When we are truly present to life as it is, we can see how the reality of life is vastly different than our ideas about it. In fact, every single one of our stories and concepts about life is completely inadequate when it comes to explaining life in its totality. To really experience the beauty and truth of life, we have to surrender our concepts and ideas about it, and experience it openly as it is in each moment.

The habit of compulsively and continuously thinking is deeply ingrained in most people. This is why the practice of mindfulness is so essential. It helps us to become aware of the present moment, and aware of how the mind constantly distorts our experience of life in the present moment. When you really see clearly that the mind generates an illusory world of thought, and that it is our occupation with this illusory dream of the mind that creates the majority of our unhappiness, you will be motivated to stop feeding these thoughts with your interest and emotion, and to start opening yourself to the true reality of life.

Mindfulness is all about freeing ourselves from the mind and our identification with it, and opening ourselves to the reality of life and the reality of who we are, here and now, in the present moment.

Mindfulness of Breath

To be mindful is always to be mindful of something, and a way to begin our practice of mindfulness in daily life is to bring awareness to our breath. It is very simple, but very deep. As you breathe in, simply become aware that you are breathing in, and as you breathe out, simply become aware that you are breathing out.

There is no need to control or manipulate the breath. To be aware of it is enough. As you practice awareness of breath, you will find that it can be very refreshing, relaxing and pleasant. You can be happy and peaceful with something as simple as your own breathing. Keeping your awareness on your breath, you can also continue to perform other daily tasks, allowing your breath to be the anchor that helps you stay present and peaceful.

Simply following our in-breath and out-breath brings us back to the present moment. We depart from whatever plane of thought we were on, and we arrive in our body in the here and now. Our breathing is a stable solid ground that is always here for us to take refuge in. Whenever we are carried away by regret about something that has happened, or swept away in our fears or anxiety of the future, we can return to our breathing, and re-establish ourselves in the present moment.

We don’t need to control the breath in any way. We simply encounter it, just as it is. It may be long or short, deep or shallow, but with the gentle energy of our awareness and presence it will naturally become slower and deeper.


Mindfulness is the energy of being awake and aware. It involves bringing our total attention into the present moment experience—without judging it, without forming a concept about it, without discriminating it in any way. It is to experience the present moment just as it is.

Because so many of us are out of touch with life in the present moment, this simple practice can be incredibly liberating. One way to begin the practice of mindfulness is simply to bring awareness to our breathing. Simply by following our in-breath and out-breath, we can return our attention to the present moment and can begin to relax our bodies and minds and find peace in simply being alive here and now.

If you'd like to learn more about mindfulness, check out our Conscious Living: Awakening with Mindfulness course.


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