Mindfulness has a certain modesty about it. People who practise diligently develop a taste for that. They find themselves appreciating the company of other modest beings. There is no ‘big talk’ about one’s practice. Such behaviours are a hallmark of equanimity, a key ally to mindfulness. If reports of meditatively expanded egos and statistically significant self-enhancement scores amongst meditators are true then they indicate that there are varieties of ‘junk mindfulness’ – conceptually slack, functionally pointless, ethically sterile – operating at large.
Such is the subtlety of mindfulness that it’s easy to get muddled about its what’s, how’s and why’s. A common confusion is to divorce, often unintentionally, the cultivation of present-moment awareness from a warm-hearted embrace of the world. If your mindfulness isn’t umbilically connected to your heartfulness, it’s not mindfulness fully bloomed. By contrast, if your mindfulness is allowing you to be more awake to the world around you so that you might respond skilfully, then your practice is in good shape.