An important point to make regarding Buddhism and any serious metaphysical quest to resolve the mystery of the human condition:
There is a widespread belief – in both popular Buddhism and now increasingly in popular psychology – that being able to live in a state of ‘mindfulness’ and being fully attentive to ‘the here and now’ has completely done away with any need for a difficult and tormenting struggle for metaphysical realisation. Living mindfully in the now is all there is to it, and to think otherwise is to be wilfully self-deluded, because it is simply a question of surrendering to the moment [as advocated by Eckhart Tolle and others] or practicing mindfulness [as proposed by many schools of popular Buddhism].
However, this is seriously mistaken. The quest for metaphysical knowledge requires both commitment and sustained effort – usually over many years, perhaps decades – before it will begin to deliver. It requires a patient mental shift, by means of increased insight, away from psychological fulfilment [the realm of both popular and even high culture] towards a more detached appreciation of the human condition, as a prelude to something else altogether. This is not about appealing to the human heart, or about winning arguments by force of intellect, it is simply making plain that there is more to the lucidity at the core of human existence than mindfulness, or any variant thereof. Put more forcefully, there are insights to be realised, and goals to be achieved, and they have nothing to do with the trivialising that has taken hold of popular Buddhism and New Age thinking. To tell people that they are ‘already enlightened’ is a dim-witted perversion of the truth, but fortunately no genuine seeker is going to be fooled by this kind of silliness for very long.