Mindfulness is a technique used to for many reasons such as to improve mental health and wellbeing and to help one think more clearly. One definition of mindfulness from the internet by someone called Jon Kabat-Zinn, which I think succinctly sums it up is: “mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and non judgmentally.”
Naturalistic mindfulness has similar principles but is a different technique as the purpose is different being used for the improvement of understanding in natural knowledge, so it’s different from conventional mindfulness in the sense that you are applying the best of your scientific/natural knowledge by paying attention to all the laws of physics that is currently happening for the purpose of familiarization in the present moment with a non judgmental approach to observing the activity of the natural world and its laws which surrounds and always and will surround you. It is not simply just paying attention and concentration but It is pure empiricism or knowledge derived from sensory experience without distracting thoughts and moral judgments.
Generalising here but I think many of us are not concerned with the physics of daily life (unless you’re a physicist) as it does not impact the calling of our daily labours from work, relationships, spiritual endeavours or whatever prior commitments that face people in a modern commercialist society these days. However for those interested in physics, then, I think a technique such as this applied to daily life is a way to understand the physics of reality better by proactively paying attention to all aspects of physics in your immediate surroundings. By using this technique, just like conventional mindfulness, your thoughts are not concerned with the usual happenings of life, of politics, of your career, relationships or vacations but instead concerned with that of the physical world.
Applying theory into practice, your familiarization to natural phenomena will grow as so will your comprehension overall of the background workings of nature. As an added bonus your curiosity increases about how the physical world works. With this increased awareness you might notice things you did not notice when before you adopted a mindful approach especially when you come across phenomena you don’t understand because you have been paying meticulous attention to the present workings of the external world at that very moment in time. Find something you observed in nature and can’t explain? Google is your best friend!
No matter what phenomena it is whether you think it trivial or important, the point is to be as mindful as possible without judgments and just observe…thus. remember, moments don’t last long!
Be mindful, leading by some examples
- As you walk through town, be mindful of the inertia of the ground upon you walk, notice it pushing your feet away as you apply force with every step enabling you to move on forward; remember Newton’s third law people! ‘For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.’
- Be mindful, then, of the wind as you go against its flow knowing that air particles are colliding against you, with enough force to register to your pressure receptors on the skin; remember kinetic theory of particles.
- Be mindful of the sun as infrared radiation travelling from a distance of 150,000,000 km now finds its final destination on your skin, exciting the temperature sensitive nerve endings dotting all over your skin (don’t forget to apply sun protection); remember electromagnetism and its spectrum.
- When cooking food in a microwave oven, be mindful, of the microwave frequencies emitted by its magnetron disturbing and agitating the water molecules that saturate the food vibrating them and thereby causing friction to neighboring molecules, so that the rest of the heat spreads out deeper into the morsel (this heat transfer is called conduction) the result being a net rise in temperature, cooking!; remember again electromagnetism.
- When listening to music on your smart phone using earphones, be mindful that there are air particles inside the cavity of your ear between the earphone and eardrum. It is there that trapped air particles transmit the musical sound waves to your conscious experience; remember longitudinal waves which are mechanical waves.
Apply this technique for a deeper understanding and familiarisation of nature!