What is mindfulness?
There is no single, definitive, answer to the question "What is mindfulness?"
Borrowing from multiple sources I compiled a working definition suggesting:
"Mindfulness is an exploration of the present moment experience, cultivating an expansion of clarity and non-judgmental awareness. It is a practice grounded in meditation that nurtures the development of peace, patience, insight and wisdom."
How is mindfulness different from meditation?
I like the answer Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D gave in Women’s Health: “Meditation is when you intentionally set aside time to do something that’s good for you, and there are all kinds of meditations. Mindfulness is both a general awareness of the world and a formal meditation practice."
Where meditation is a sharply focused training of attention, mindfulness can take a broader view like the lens of a camera zooming out for a different perspective.
Mindfulness is NOT about cultivating a special state, having certain experiences or stopping your thoughts (it is your brain's job to think). Nor is mindfulness passive. Non-reactivity does not rule out an appropriate response. It often makes it possible.
"Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom." -Victor Frankel