This came to me in an email from a Buddhist friend.
Beyond the ubiquity of stress and pain operating in my own life, my motivation to practice mindfulness is fairly simple: Each moment missed is a moment unlived. Each moment missed makes it more likely I will miss the next moment, and live through it cloaked in mindless habits of automaticity of thinking, feeling, and doing rather than living in, out of, and through awareness. I see it happen over and over again. Thinking in the service of awareness is heaven. Thinking in the absence of awareness is hell. For mindlessness is not simply innocent or insensitive, quaint or clueless. Much of the time it is actively harmful, wittingly or unwittingly, both to oneself and to the others with whom we come in contact or share our lives. Besides, life is overwhelmingly interesting, revealing, and awe-provoking when we show up for it wholeheartedly and pay attention to the particulars.– Jon Kabat-Zinn, Coming to Our Senses (Hyperion 2005), 73-74