Mindfulness is not about creating emptiness, nor is it about producing thoughts. It is about stopping to make contact with the moment, the ever-shifting experience that we are having at any moment in time, and to observe our relationship to that experience.
If you walk in the woods listening to birdsong, you become aware that you are also breathing and having bodily sensations, such as feeling the breeze on your skin. You become aware of objects in your field of vision besides the trees, that there are sounds around you other than the birdsong, that there are thoughts that keep calling you away or making judgments about what you are doing.
Mindfulness means, just as you are about to turn a corner and change direction, you halt your movement and observe, for example, the intention to change direction that is already within you. Saying to yourself ‘I’m going to change direction’ rather than doing it without even noticing.
Mindfulness means making a little space every now and again to see ourselves doing something. You may think that you don’t need to do this in order to change direction. And that is true. However, it may be useful at other times in our lives as it teaches us to be more present in the moment and aware of our surroundings.