Are You Attentive or Mindful

How often have you heard: “Be mindful when you eat, drink your tea or coffee, take a shower or bath, talk, walk etc.” There is mindfulness for sex, poker, work, sports, eating. The main emphasis seems to be on paying attention to what you are doing! Does this make a thief or sniper mindful? They are certainly focused. Is this what mindfulness is all about?

I believe that being attentive is confused as mindfulness. There is no question that the first aspect of mindfulness is to be aware. If one is not aware then one is trapped in the automatic reaction to what is happening and you can’t do anything about it. The problem is that there is no direction on what happens after you are aware. Mindfulness is multifaceted. It is about developing a skillful relationship with the present moment. There are multiple components present. Awareness, embodiment, compassion, insight into the true nature of reality and self leading to non-attachment to self and subsequent skillful and ethical action.

Be aware but just don’t stop there!

by Dr. Phil Blustein
March 21, 2023