I have written a lot about qigong and how it is a mindful activity...but I do also do mindful meditation and other mindful activities. Mindfulness is very much associated with meditation but I have realised that may well put some people off. Mention meditation and some people are immediately put off by the feeling that means clearing their mind....something they find impossible to do.
Well I have some news. NO-ONE can clear their mind in that way. Minds are meant to think thats why we have them. So what is the point of mindfulness? Mindfulness could really be much described as awareness. Awareness of what you are thinking...awareness of when your thoughts are being unhelpful. Many problems are caused by what we think. Stress depression and anxiety are caused by out thoughts about a situation. Pain is often made worse by anticipation of future pain.
Although much of the talk is about techniques that promote mindfulness, in fact what you want to aim for living mindfully..by which I mean learning to recognising when your thoughts are unhelpful, and then automatically bringing your mind to focus on something else. This can be your breath, or it can be an activity your enjoy...gardening, walking, computer games reading, cooking, sewing. I have learned that there are ties when I need traditional mindful techniques like meditation or breathing, or of course qigong. But my practice with those techniques means I notice when my thoughts are being unhelpful.... normally worrying about how something will go in future, or how someone may react to an email or pm. Another favourite activity of mne is anticipating conflict...... I have lost count of the number of times I have imagined how a difficult exchange may go only to have the rug pulled out from under me when what happens is nothing like my fevered imaginings!!! By being aware (mindful) of my tendencies I now notice (by being mindful) when I have drifted off into an unhelpful thought pattern. I ave learned how to end those patterns by focussing on what I am doing right here and now in this moment. That may mean just focussing on a current activity....or it may mean I opt to stop and use a another technique like breathing qigong or meditation.
I still regard myself as not a natural meditator.....but I realise I have become far more mindful in my daily life...and that is actually the goal. The technique yu use and how good yu are is actually alost irrelevant.