Mindfulness is a way of being that is conducive to dealing with problems more effectively. The practice of mindfulness is about becoming more and more familiar with how our minds work. It is about noticing the constant chatter of thoughts and feelings and becoming more and more able to not drown in it. It is about developing an increasing ability to stay still, solid and centered while facing this chaotic flow, including at times when strong emotions are evoked in us.
The calm, poised posture of the Buddha in the statue appears as an embodiment of this ability to stay still and solid, but not rigid while noticing the chaotic flow.
It takes discipline to keep at it. But this does not mean discipline in the sense that “discipline” is enforced in a prison, where you simply don’t have the right to do certain things and get punished if you do. The discipline of practicing mindfulness is one that comes from a deeper understanding of how we function and an increasing sense of comfort with who we are (as opposed to censoring ourselves).
Meditation is not the only way to develop mindfulness. Self-awareness and emotional self-regulation are skillful means to strengthen our natural abilities for mindfulness.