Having a dedicated daily formal practice may help you to be mindful, and you may practice and attend Retreats and courses, and ~ as I and many others have found ~ you may benefit greatly. If this is what you want, you can gain all the experience you need to develop and sustain this kind of meditation practice elsewhere. My concern here is to help those who sincerely want to be more mindful but find that they cannot keep it up; and to help those who want to approach mindfulness for the first time to really understand what they are getting into. I don't see mindfulness as a skill to be learned entirely through formal meditation ~ more an understanding and awareness of mind, to remember, wherever you are and whatever you're doing - especially remembering to be Mindful when you get off the cushion! I enjoy meditation as an act of choiceless awareness, and what most interests me is being able to be more aware more of the time ~ not just when I meditate by sitting, lying down, or walking up and down. I find in life, awareness comes and goes; and being able to see and accept the reality of what is happening and letting go, is very helpful when I'm driving, shopping, riding my bike, at the gym, talking with people, doing my daily routines, or whatever's happening there and then in each moment that unfolds. Life is a lot less stressful when I'm present and mindful. I hope you find something here to inspire you to be mindful in real life.
My name is Colin Eveleigh, I live in Petersfield, Hampshire in the UK, and I am a 'retired' and very active psychologist - the joy of grand kids! No doubt, like me, there are many times when you're not as mindful as you'd like to be. Moreover, you've probably found that if you've been able to start a practice, it's hard to keep it going ~ life seems to get in the way. So we fall by the wayside and beat ourselves up in the process. In my experience, learning to be mindfully aware in everyday life is the real test of being mindful. If you want to be more mindful and you have a practice or you've lapsed, or you don't know what it is to have a practice, or you just want to approach mindfulness for the first time, I may be able to help. You see, I'm not sure that it's entirely about 'practice' anyway.
Practice implies something we do in order to improve and get better, or being on a journey in some way. In my view, being Mindful is about being alive to each moment - there's nowhere to get to and no time for practice!
"Seeing everything that goes on in your daily life, your daily activities - when you pick up a pen, when you talk, when you go out for a drive or when you are walking alone in the woods - can you with one breath, with one look, know yourself very simply as you are?" Krishnamurti - Freedom from the Known