Much is being made these days of the benefits of mindfulness, being present, noticing what is happening around you, living in this moment now rather than digging up old ones or fearing the ones yet to come.

But let’s face it, few of us achieve this ideal. For most of us our waking hours are usually mindless. We respond without thinking to what life throws at us based on what our parents taught us or what we see others around us doing. Conditioning kicks in before we get the chance to think for ourselves.

If we think at all we usually think what we feel we should think. Or even worse we do what we think we should do based on role models in film and television, or images drip fed to us by marketing teams since we were children.

We are asleep. We’ve been trained to be asleep. Waking up and asking awkward questions just causes trouble. Life is easier if we don’t question those in authority. But we risk sleepwalking into some pretty dystopian futures. We need to wake up.

Mindfulness is not just about some new age sense of well-being it is also about stepping back from mindlessness. About getting clear about what is happening in our lives right now, and what to do about it. This moment is the only chance we get to do something, everything else is mindless dreaming.

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