A few definitions exist of what of mindfulness is. However, understand that the theoretical definitions of mindfulness and the experience of mindfulness are two different things. Understanding the basic theory behind mindfulness can be very helpful, though, and is the first step towards actually experiencing it.
Mindfulness is an experience of being in a certain state of awareness and being. This can only be fully understood by doing the practice.
This way of looking at things can be very helpful as it will prevent you from having to try too hard at ‘getting’ what mindfulness is. You cannot ‘get’ mindfulness, but you can experience it.
Mindfulness has its origins within the reflective Buddhist tradition dating back to 2,500 years ago in India and can be described as moment-to-moment awareness.
The Chinese character for mindfulness is composed of two single sections: the top part is the word ‘now’ or ‘present’ and the second is the character for the word heart or mind. It’s interesting that the Chinese word for the heart and mind are the same. In the Asian culture and language mindfulness is seen more as the mind or heart that is resting in the present moment.