Walking at sunset - mindfullness or mindfulness?“Mindfullness” is a common misspelling of the word “mindfulness.” An interesting misspelling because it implies a full mind. But the question is, “full of what?”

Thoughts make up our reality, our story, and we are so “mindfull” of it that we have a hard time distancing ourselves from that story. And with distractibility winning out in our over-stimulated world, the story becomes that much more real. It’s as if we’ve gone from watching a movie on a screen to watching 3D. We were captivated before, but now the movie is everywhere.

We can unwrap ourselves from this drama of “mindfullness” through “mindfulness.”

Mindfulness is about being aware of the madcap activity of the mind with non-attachment. Thoughts are going to run through our minds all day, every day.

Through mindfulness this mental content is revealed and understood for what it is, just thoughts. When we let thoughts rush past us, we let them dictate our identity, our desires and aversions—who we are. Our thoughts run the show while we sit in the theatre mesmerized.

We’re so attached to the past and future that we miss out on the present moment. We’re caught with the remote in our hand fast-forwarding or rewinding without slowing down to realize the 30 individual frames per second. And it’s that distraction that causes us to act without first stopping and considering the outcome of our actions.

Watch Zen Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh explain the basics of mindfulness:

image: thomasje