Mindfulness practice means directing calm and alert attention toward what you are feeling and experiencing in this moment. Waiting for the subway, eating a salad, kissing a lover, or whatever. It is a means of witnessing all that is transpiring Now. With practice, it is a way of abiding rootedly while exposing yourself fully and therefore experiencing deeply this moment. It is not about fixating on a higher power or the Earth but it also deepens those practices when you are engaged in them as well.
So long as you mistake yourself to be a body, bound and limited in time and space, then love/devotion to a higher power and a connection to the Earth are both very useful.
However, during the course of spiritual practice, the question shifts from awareness of things, be they divine or mundane, to whose awareness is it?
Self-realization does not mean being aware of something new. It means being aware without being aware of something. Yet that does not mean being unconscious of those things.
Someone once asked Nisargadatta about having a body and he replied that he has no body, only from the questioner’s confused perspective does the matter of having a body appear. So the questioner then asked him if he was therefore unconscious of the body. Nisargadatta replied that it was quite the opposite: he is conscious of not having a body. He asserted that in reality he never had a body and neither do we.
This is when you start getting into nonduality and advaita, which can sound very philosophical and heady if it’s not rooted in experiential insight and spiritual practice. It’s very Zen in the actual way, as opposed to what everyone else means when they say “That’s so Zen.”
In my personal experience with respect to higher powers and connection to the Earth, I have found that rootedness with the Earth provides a great deal of physical and emotional healing as well as confidence, strength, and vitality. While a connection to a higher power encourages love, humility, joy, and gratitude, all of which facilitates another dimension to healing.
However, that is just my experience. It may be very different or even the opposite for others. What matters is the approach you take, not necessarily the subject you are approaching.
In the end, for those seeking realization/enlightenment, all notions of division are surrendered and experientially forgotten, even if the intellectual understanding of them is retained.
When there is illusion then the World, the individual self, and God appear to exist as separate things. When there is no illusion, then it is seen and known as self-evident that no such things and divisions as that trinity ever existed. That is the teaching of enlightened sages, not my own continuous experience. But I felt it worth mentioning.
God, Earth, World, Individual, Mind, all of these are within the dream. Some elements more than others in the dream seem to be useful for indicating awakening. As I mentioned, devotion to a higher power and a connection with the Earth are very useful practices.
But in meditation at its highest pitch, you are just being. I was going to type “sitting” but the idea or thought “I am sitting” would not be there. Not even the idea “Oh, I’m being.” So what’s left? All there ever was. Take up a meditation practice and find out.