Life is interaction, and mindfulness is our natural ability to manage the interactions of life. We can develop this innate ability through practice.
Mindfulness is not some sort of otherworldly state that is a break from ordinary reality. It is as an aptitude that we all have because it is part of our evolutionary heritage. See: Demystifying mindfulness.
It takes a pause to shift from mindless to mindful
A mindful pause (or a mindful practice) is not just a temporary interruption of the flow of life. Unlike what happens when we pause a video, the flow of life does not resume as if nothing had happened. Mindfully interrupting the flow of life gives us an opportunity to get a different sense of where we are and where we are going. An analogy is how a GPS recalculates the route when there is a disruption. See From mindless to mindful.
Much of the pausing that we do is micro pausing that is integrated with action. This is the way that we manage interaction, modulating our responses moment by moment. As we do so, we experience a sense of self, a sense of meaning and purpose. See Mindful engagement & the regulation of interaction.
Interactive mindfulness (shared pause)
Something happens when we bring this mindful attitude into an interaction with another person or with a group. Such a shared pause provides an opportunity for organic co-regulation. That is, our nervous systems shift to a mode of mindful engagement which helps lower our reactivity and allows us to function optimally. See Shared pause: Interactive mindfulness & organic co-regulation.
The neural circuitry of mindfulness
It helps to see mindfulness within the broader context of the nervous system, with the mind defined as “an embodied and relational regulatory process.” Thee is a circuit mediating mindful engagement in the autonomic nervous system. See: The neuroscience of relational mindfulness.
Thinking as contemplation
A different take on how we think: Thinking as allowing, as opposed to squeezing our brains. How we can set up conditions for this to happen. See: Contemplative thinking.