Now, you would think that in this situation you’d be pretty mindful and in the moment. Your adrenaline is rushing and you’re hyper aware, and even though you crashed you were still mindful enough to help someone else out. But, being in the moment isn’t the same as true mindfulness. In fact, it is another state altogether, a state of survival. You have to be aware and living in the moment to survive. Most of us haven’t begun to think beyond survival to consider other dimensions of reality.
True mindfulness is about thriving in a state of awareness, compassion and empathy. Of course, you have to be present to be in this state, but the other passenger is actually closer to this state of mindfulness in our story. This person can see immediately our perspective and our urgency to make our train. They are truly seeing things as if they were in our shoes. Now, it’s true we also had compassion and helped a bit before excusing ourselves, but we weren’t really aware or compassionate of the other passenger’s situation. They could have been coming off a previous train or they could have been trying to catch the same train! We were too caught up in surviving to have real compassion and be in a state of mindfulness. We were in a psychological state of the mind. The other passenger was in a state of conscience. To know the difference between awareness and consciousness, you must first figure out who is aware of your awareness. Hint: It isn’t the ego. True mindfulness is the awareness that we are all connected. This awareness allows true compassion and empathy to come as naturally as taking a breath.
With true mindfulness your perspective and perception on everything changes and you begin to see a new world around you. Or rather, you begin to see the world around you in a new way. With compassion and empathy so many of life’s struggles and suffering can be put into proper perspective. Would we really be fighting over everything if we could all reach the state of true mindfulness and change the way we we see the world?