Mindfulness and Thoughtfulness

Mindfulness and thoughtfulness have a close relationship in fact so close that we often mistake mindfulness for thoughtfulness. We hear people throwing around the word mindfulness a lot, ‘Be mindful of this’ and ‘be mindful of that’. What they are trying to say is be thoughtful of this and be thoughtful of that.

Words can take on different meanings for different people for example, to be conscious could mean an intellectual awareness for one person but could have a spiritual connotation for another person. The word mindfulness is no different. The word is traditionally associated with being observant with our conscious awareness meaning the wakefulness and aliveness of being conscious is used with intention to focus on our experiences. The generalized understanding is being thoughtful of our issues and considerate of others and their issues.

So where does thoughtfulness fit into mindfulness? Well the first thing we need to understand is that thoughtfulness is a by product of mindfulness.

It is our conscious awareness that observes whats is going on in the mind and externally. Then having perceived our present moment experience we get to discern how we are going to react. We get to inquire into why we feel a certain way or why someone is behaving a certain way and this is thoughtfulness. Thoughtfulness is the next logical step after mindfulness in the chain of receiving information and basing our responses from what we have just perceived.