Thinkfulness is not mindfulness and it gets mistaken for mindfulness all the time. Keeping our focus on what we are doing without our minds wandering to other thoughts is thinkfulness. I call that directed attention and from my 25 years of practicing and teaching mindfulness, it bolsters our focus and not our consciousness.
Mindfulness, on the other hand, is attention and presence. We are awake and aware that we are aware. We have a sense of self that results from the ability to observe ourselves and know that we are observing ourselves. We are here now, knowing that while we do other things, we have this sense of self.
I can get my mind to follow an action like drinking tea, taking in every sensate experience about it, and it will not bring me closer to consciousness. it will develop my attention and ability to focus which could help things but it isn’t mindfulness. Many will think focusing on our action means being in the now, but if we use only our thinking to be in the now, we are fooling ourselves greatly.
Here’s my video on this subject and the tools I use to develop mindfulness.
Have a great week!