While there is great value in the transmission of knowledge from teacher to student, no teacher is as potent an instructor as lived experience. In mindfulness training, knowledge arises out of the direct experience of the teacher's own mindfulness practice and is transmitted through one's embodiment of these attitudes and practices. The teacher isn't an expert per se, but a fellow traveler on a shared journey.
Mass mindlessness causes great suffering for ourselves and other living beings. Maintaining a personal mindfulness practice may be one of the most important things we can do to liberate ourselves and the world from the tyranny of our own unexamined minds.
When we are operating on autopilot, we are vulnerable to being caught up in a self-perpetuating downward spiral of reactivity that, for some people, can lead to depression and anxiety. Training in mindfulness can help disrupt this painful pattern. A self-perpetuating upward spiral gains momentum, cultivating greater equanimity and wellbeing.
"Listen to your gut" can be dubious advice. Mindfulness can increase awareness of our gut instincts and allow us to include other important information that may be available in a given situation. This helps us respond with greater wisdom and increases the likelihood that outcomes will be more satisfying for all involved.
The practice of mindfulness can help us pause before reacting impulsively to acts of aggression or hatred. This makes space for considering the many choices available to us for responding with skill and wisdom. Evidence throughout history and in the research demonstrates that a more reasoned and compassionate response leads to better long term outcomes for us all.