To live well, we need to be able to see what’s happening, in us and around us. We also need to know how not to get impulsively drawn into unskillful, reactive patterns of behavior that don’t serve us or those around us well. Mindfulness offers us a way of paying attention to what’s actually going on, to know what’s happening at an experiential level. And that is something that we tend not to train ourselves in these days — instead our education system, our workplaces, our media, our governments, all tend to train us in creating and valuing concepts or products — we get stuck at a head level and a doing level, driven by thinking and activity. There’s nothing wrong with ideas or products, but there’s an imbalance in our culture whereby a more intuitive knowledge is ignored, or just not cultivated, and it is this kind of intuitive awareness that mindfulness practice can help us to unlock. So mindfulness could be a way for us to restore balance — to help us recalibrate in a way that enables us to connect with our deepest, most heartfelt values and to act in accordance with them more often. That in turn, could lead to us living happier, healthier lives in a happier, healthier world.
Ed Haliwell, author of The Mindfulness Manifesteto, Interview in Tricycle Magazine