Mindfulness is non-judgmental awareness of the present moment: being present.
Being present is a goal of the conscious mind, but every goal is a future state.
On the one hand, we cannot be present without wanting to be present, without setting our mind to it.
On the other hand, we cannot be present while wanting to be present, while thinking about a future state.
This is the basic problem of mindfulness.
How can we set our mind to presence without thinking about presence as a future state?
How can we want to be present without wanting to be present?
How can we will without will?
Three solutions are possible:
- Yin. Shedding all goals to become childlike. However, children already have conscious goals; we would have to become babylike: pure yet helplessly dependent.
- Yang. Using mindfulness as an instrument of the True Will. However, mindfulness as a tool for goal achievement is anti-spiritual; we may lose ourselves in our restless pursuit of goals.1
- Yin & Yang. Becoming enlightened to merge Being with Doing in an ultimate, eternal state of flow. However, I am talking out of my ass here; what do I know about enlightenment?
PS: An alternative title for this blog post could be “Overthinking Mindfulness.”
- What Is the Definition of Mindfulness?
- Solving the Problem of Acceptance
- Practice Mindful Gestures of Gratitude
- Don’t Confuse Acceptance with Happiness
- Is Happiness the End Goal?