Mindfulness is understood as «being in the moment» in some way or another. And for an everyday use of the concept, “the moment” may be a practical approach. I often emphasize the moment when I teach about mindfulness, and the audience feel at home with that way of thinking, knowing that the usually hasten through the days without actually being present in their own life.
Trouble with the concept of “moment” is that the moment basically never can be grasped. Whenever we come close to it, it has vanished. It is like trying to catch a shadow. The moment is both real and unreal, both at the same time. That is one of the big paradoxes in our existence. We like to think of time as a series of moments, defining another difficult word, “time”, in term of a word that in itself has no fundamental existence. It has to be this way, because our language is not constructed to go beyond what can be expressed in language itself.
This is philosophy, as we find it in Zen, but it is also science, as in the quantum field theory of physics. And to understand the more fundamental characteristics of mindfulness, we may perhaps turn to Tao, and its huge implications for our way of living. Tao is never still, it is always process and change. Wu wei, doing by not acting, is the radical consequence of the truth of a never ending change. In this changing reality, the only way we can come close to what resemblance a moment, is to be part of the change. By accepting the change, and float with it, we become the moment ourselves.
Becoming the moment is the only way be in the moment. Mindfulness is therefore fundamentally not about grasping the moments, but to be the moment. And the only way to be the moment, is to ride the wave of change, simply because there is no other reality than change. Reality is process. Mindfulness is though not standing still, but a process where past and future meet and converge into movement.
Mindfulness is to be awake, be part of, and conscious aware of, the change that the existence is all about.