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Comments

  • RodrigoRodrigo Veteran São Paulo, Brazil Veteran

    If we think about mindfulness as awareness with acceptance — acceptance meaning non-judgement — the author makes a good point: we focus more at the awareness (which is the easy part) and less at the acceptance (which is the difficult part).

  • vinlynvinlyn Veteran Colorado...for now Veteran

    Could you discuss "acceptance" more, @Rodrigo?

  • RodrigoRodrigo Veteran São Paulo, Brazil Veteran

    @vinlyn, there are people who can explain it much better than me. For example, Tara Brach, with her concept of radical acceptance:

    http://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindfulness/2009/09/radical-acceptance-an-interview-with-tara-brach/

    An excerpt:

    Radical acceptance has two elements: It is an honest acknowledgment of what is going on inside you, and a courageous willingness to be with life in the present moment, just as it is. I sometimes simplify it to “recognizing” and “allowing.”

    You can accept an experience without liking it. In fact, let’s say you are feeling stuck in anxiety and disliking the feeling. Radical Acceptance includes accepting both the feelings of anxiety and the aversion to it. In fact, acceptance is not real and not healing unless it honestly includes all aspects of your experience.

    lobsterShoshin
  • vinlynvinlyn Veteran Colorado...for now Veteran

    ok, thanks. i assume acceptance does not mean leaving the situation as is.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    As I understood it, and as explained by my Qi Gong master during my Shiatsu-studying days, Acceptance is seeing what is, digesting what is, living with what is, connecting with what is, feeling what is - and then if necessary, doing something about it, with no emotionally-instigated agenda.

    Pretty much echoing @Rodrigo and Tara Brach. :)

    Buddhadragon
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran Veteran

    I think turning towards something with equanimity is the missing part. So we accept it but we also turn towards whatever.

    Buddhadragon
  • TheswingisyellowTheswingisyellow Trying to be open to existence Samsara Veteran
    edited April 2015

    To the OP:
    Intentionally paying attention, simply noting. Which leads to this:
    "We open ourselves up to greater discernment, compassion, and an intelligent, empowered sense of choice." From the article you posted. Good article BTW thank you.

    Earthninja
  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    What does mindfulness really mean anyway?
    @SpinyNorman

    I think Mindfulness best describes ones willingness to transcend our identities obscuration's of enlightenment.

    The countless adjectives that can be attributed to mindfulness are really just us marking how "everything changes".

    My caution in defining mindfulness comes from how often I've seen an attachment to
    ones mentality be mistaken for mindfulness.

    If forced to choose one description, I look for whatever one least weighs down, that which is innately weightless.

    ShoshinEarthninja
  • vinlynvinlyn Veteran Colorado...for now Veteran

    Very well stated Dakini!

  • genkakugenkaku Veteran Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    Just sneeze once...

    And do your damnedest not to be 'mindful.'

    Like it or lump it, mindfulness is who anyone is. Praise doesn't improve it and blame can't diminish it.

    Go ahead ... try your best NOT to be mindful.

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran Veteran
    edited April 2015

    I agree @Dakini. For me mindfulness means discerning what is good for us and what is bad. But it is also noticing our experience and especially noticing that there are thoughts in awareness rather than get lost in the thought contents as 'I' (will be hurt or whatever). So in addition to having some kind of message (sometimes) from the thought we also have a broader perspective that 'it is just a thought in awareness'.

  • vinlynvinlyn Veteran Colorado...for now Veteran

    @genkaku said:
    Just sneeze once...

    And do your damnedest not to be 'mindful.'

    Like it or lump it, mindfulness is who anyone is. Praise doesn't improve it and blame can't diminish it.

    Go ahead ... try your best NOT to be mindful.

    I don't think so. I have a mind that, for good or bad, is often multi-tasking. I can walk in the kitchen and forget what I went in for. Not because my memory is bad, but because while I'm walking into the kitchen, there are 2 or 3 other things occupying my thought. Thus, I am not being mindful to any of them. At least to me, being mindful begins with focusing.

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran
    edited April 2015
    Acceptance of things as they are is also accepting they will change.

    Also that we can affect many changes.
    Hamsaka
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran Veteran

    @vinlyn I read that it is part of our genes/evolution that we blank out when we enter a new area so that we can take in new info such as that there is a snake in the way. So in modern age going from room to room or going outside to inside (or reverse) it is part of our genes to blank out.

    Hamsaka
  • seeker242seeker242 Zen Florida, USA Veteran

    This here is the best explanation of mindfulness I've ever heard!

    lobsterZenshin
  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran

    It says when you contemplate the body as a body which is the breath and the body as a body is also the 1st foundation of mindfulness out of the four foundations in the anapanasati sutta then unremitting mindfulness is established then when unremitting mindfulness is established then the mindfulness enlightenment factor is aroused.

    And in the analysis of the eightfold path called the magga-vibhanga sutta it says right mindfulness is mindfulness of the four foundations of, body, feelings, mind, and mind objects.

  • vinlynvinlyn Veteran Colorado...for now Veteran

    Really.

  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran

    @vinlyn said:
    Really.

    Yup :)

  • namarupanamarupa Veteran Veteran
    edited April 2015

    The basis of mindfulness is knowing that there are consequences to actions. If you are well grounded in that belief, then practicing it is just normal. When we feel that it's too complicated to understand, is when we shy away from practice. The further we are from practice is when we may get into this feeling of being wronged by something, not knowing that our own actions may have played a part in it.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran
    edited April 2015

    @vinlyn said:
    Very well stated Dakini!

    Indeed.
    Attention, remembrance and correction without attachment. It is very easy to tighten around ego or learned behavours. So there is an element of being volitionally mindful. If for example bringing the attention back to the breath, we are also letting go of tense attentions that may be constricting or drawing us into useless, conflicted or patterned 'full minded' indulgence. <3

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    "What does mindfulness really mean anyway?"

    Taken from the "DEDICATION AND ASPIRATION PRAYER" of Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche

    May I clearly perceive all experiences to be as insubstantial as the dream fabric of the night and instantly awaken to perceive the pure wisdom display in the arising of every phenomenon.

    To familiarise oneself with the above aspiration...

  • EarthninjaEarthninja Wanderer West Australia Veteran
    For me when I practice mindfulness it's focussing of remaining as awareness. Non biased, just simply being. Seeing thoughts, feelings, emotions as objects in awareness. All are equal.
    The only practice is bringing yourself back from thoughts and remaining as awareness.
  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited April 2015

    @Dakini said:> Mindfulness isn't always about acceptance; mindfulness has a corrective function as well.

    Indeed, it's not just being mindful, it's acting mindfully. A safe-cracker or a sniper would be very mindful in that first limited sense.

    lobster
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @vinlyn said: I don't think so. I have a mind that, for good or bad, is often multi-tasking. I can walk in the kitchen and forget what I went in for. Not because my memory is bad, but because while I'm walking into the kitchen, there are 2 or 3 other things occupying my thought. Thus, I am not being mindful to any of them. At least to me, being mindful begins with focusing.

    In a study, conducted at Notre Dame University, Indiana, on Amnesia and forgetfulness, it was discovered that the one thing guaranteed to trigger forgetting something temporarily, (as @vinlyn suggests in his post) was actually crossing the threshold into another room.

    It's the actual action of crossing the threshold of the room.
    It switches your mind from one place to another, without taking the important information with you...

    Apparently, the secret of avoiding forgetting 'what you went in for' is to begin repeating the word, while approaching the room, and keep on repeating it until you're in there. Not out loud, but in your mind... and that, focuses your attention on the present intention.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran
    edited April 2015

    It's interesting to consider the role of memory in mindfulness. Remembering to be mindful can be a real challenge at times. I think "sati" does have the meaning of recollection and remembrance.

    lobsterZenshin
  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran
    edited April 2015

    I wonder what kind of difference is the mindfulness enlightenment factor compared to regular mindfulness that anyone has access to in any moment, those two types of mindfulness can't be the same right? Does an ariya have a higher quality of mindfulness that a worldling doesn't have? These are some of the things that I wonder about when it comes to the 37 factors of enlightenment.

  • howhow Veteran Veteran

    @SpinyNorman said:
    It's interesting to consider the role of memory in mindfulness. Remembering to be mindful can be a real challenge at times. I think "sati" does have the meaning of recollection and remembrance.

    Ohh.... to
    remember to be mindful
    as easily as being
    mindful of remembrance.

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    @bookworm said:
    Does an ariya have a higher quality of mindfulness that a worldling doesn't have?

    Yes they do. :)

    Some of us experience this in retreat or during periods of rapid opening. This can be very seductive, 'look at me Ma Tara, I iz Ariya'. O.o

    However all good things pass, even Buddhas die.

    bookwormhowDakini
  • pegembarapegembara Veteran Veteran
    edited April 2015

    @Dakini said:
    I think there are two kinds of mindfullness: observing while in meditation (and anything can be a meditation, like dishwashing, for ex. Focussing your awareness on what you're doing, whatever it is), vs. being mindful of one's motives for choices and action, and checking for egoic elements influencing us.

    The first type one could call "passive" mindfulness--observing and accepting, but also bringing the awareness back to the object of focus when it wanders. The other, we might call "active" mindfulness, where the goal isn't acceptance of what is, it's the practice of non-attachment as a goal. It's about discerning whether our choices and actions are grounded in compassion and "virtue" as the Buddha defined it, or whether ego-clinging is creeping into our motives.

    Mindfulness isn't always about acceptance; mindfulness has a corrective function as well.

    That is why sati is always used with the term sampajanna by the Buddha. Sometimes being a passive observer doesn't cut it.

    Sati (mindfulness, reflective awareness, recollection) is the quick awareness and recall of the things which must be recalled. It must be as quick as an arrow.

    Sampajanna is wisdom as it meets up with and immediately confronts a problem, as it deals with and wipes out that problem -- this is wisdom-in-action. It is only that wisdom specifically related and applied to a particular situation or event.

    Bhikkhu Buddhadasa

    "And how, bhikkhus, does a bhikkhu have clear comprehension? When he remains fully aware of his (actions) coming and going, his looking forward and his looking away, his bending and stretching, his wearing of his robe and carrying of his bowl, his eating and drinking, masticating and savoring, his defecating and urinating, his walking, standing, sitting, lying down, going to sleep or keeping awake, his speaking or being silent, then is he said to have clear comprehension.

    "Mindful **should you dwell, bhikkhus, **clearly comprehending; thus I exhort you."

    Dakini
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    I'm under the impression most seasoned meditators are 'aware' of (ultimately) how fragmented awareness is, moment to moment, and the event/s that are happening/unfolding in a given moment...

    With normal awareness (conventional) we tend to see things happening unfragmented, like when the film reels are rolling and we see the fragmented individual images in quick session coming together in a continuous flow ie creating the illusion or dream-like state of awareness that one normally experiences (so called reality)...

    So in a nutshell sense, I would say 'mindfulness' means different things to different people but the overall end results are the same ie, a more balanced approach to life , as one continues living in the conventional world by adopting ultimate understanding/means-( Wei Wu Wei action without action )...

    This is how I personally see mindfulness (at this moment in time), but others may see/experience it differently...

    It's (I am) still a work in progress

    "Different strokes for different folks!"

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    @bookworm said:> I wonder what kind of difference is the mindfulness enlightenment factor compared to regular mindfulness that anyone has access to in any moment, those two types of mindfulness can't be the same right?

    Yes, it's all sati, though in the 7 factors of enlightenment mindfulness is the basis for investigation, developing insight.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    According to my sister who has no interest in religion, 'mindfulness is all the rage' in popular media.

    Glory be to Buddha (said in my best Father Murphy voice)

    Any recognition that people are running around like headless chickens, until they calm mind, body and emotional turmoil is to the benefit of everyone.

    I find spiritual practice such as yoga, mindfulness, meditation and practice emerging in society and global consciousness. People become satiated with the emptiness of chasing 'happy fantasies'. Cool.

  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran Veteran

    I think that list is from Milarepa @lobster. Do you know if that is right?

  • bookwormbookworm U.S.A. Veteran

    Only way to know is to first have 6 factors of the path then one will know what mindfulness is, and from right mindfulness there will be right concentration, then right knowledge and right liberation.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran Veteran

    @Jeffrey said:
    I think that list is from Milarepa lobster. Do you know if that is right?

    I don't know but that would seem the sort of thing Milarepa would say. What a guy.
    http://quotes.justdharma.com/category/milarepa/page/2/

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Yes,
    He also said this....

    lobster
  • mockeymindmockeymind Veteran Veteran

    I read that mindfulness is a quality of mind. The only door is your body and mind, the awareness, the breathing etc. It's knowing what is happening while it happen at the present moment. Some says its a self reflective capacity of the mind. - Just my two cents.

    pegembara
  • MumonkanmanMumonkanman Explorer Explorer

    The revelation, gift and 'fruit' of practice (as the Buddha had it) is that our minds are naturally quite uncomplicated, we just add on a lot of extraneous junk that alienates ourselves from our true self. When we drop off the artificial head we impose on top of our natural head life becomes a lot more straightforward and simple. When hungry eat a little, when tired sleep a little.

    Shoshin
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran Veteran
    edited April 2015

    We know sweet as sweet. We know that experience before someone says 'that is sugar.. it is sweet' when we are learning language. We already know before we develop language. So the mindfulness knows that sugar is sweet.

    Trying to develop mindfulness is like looking for your glasses and finding them on your nose. The mindfulness is already the nature of mind. But we have to realize that and link in and see.

    Shoshin
  • MumonkanmanMumonkanman Explorer Explorer

    Yes. Be natural. Let a short breath be short and a long breath be long and see that as it is.

    Jeffrey
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Jeffrey said:
    Trying to develop mindfulness is like looking for your glasses and finding them on your nose.

    I'm guilty of this...on more than one occasion :D

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I'll second ^^that^^...

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