To be mindful means that we notice the sound or the smell come into consciousness, and then, instead of pushing the sense impression away or holding on to it, we’re aware of how the mind reacts. We stay centred and notice that the impression and the feeling that arises comes, and then goes. We can actually watch and feel the mind’s inclination to lunge out towards something that’s pleasant, whereas before it would simply lunge out, grasp and then proliferate about it. With mindfulness we can notice the movement of the mind arise and then, when we don’t engage with it, we see it falling away, ceasing. We see that it comes and goes in a wave pattern, and we begin to experience a steadiness underneath the waves. So in this respect mindfulness has two qualities. Firstly, it is dispassionate; it has no particular ambition, it’s neither rejecting or ashamed of anything, nor is it fascinated by anything. Secondly, it notices that things arise and cease.
Ajahn Sucitto, Mindfulness and Clear Comprehension