Most people live their lives based purely on external events and forget they have an internal life. Many problems arise from being ignorant of our internal worlds. We must understand that there are two events to every event – the external event and more importantly, the internal event or the internal state of consciousness, we can begin to correct any erroneous states that
How we react to external events is based on our internal state of consciousness. When we are ignorant of our internal states, we can react badly to situations and create many problems.
Mindfulness is the practice of keeping one’s attention on the external event and internal states.
Nearly all the time, we put our attention fully on the external event and little to no attention on the way the mind reacts to the event itself. With mindfulness, we look to have a division of attention, that is, we have the attention on the external event and at the same time, the attention on our internal states.
This helps us because we can see how we are reacting to an event and work intensely to stop a reaction that might bring us suffering or problems. For example, if someone cuts us off in traffic, if we only have our attention outwardly, we may mechanically become angry, that is, we are angry and don’t want to be. With mindfulness, we also have our attention inwardly so we can see the anger come and try to eliminate it before it even starts.
In effect, mindfulness is working with meditation but in the moment with the events of life.