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Mindfulness is meditation?

Those of us involved in formal practice
often engage in an extension into mindfulness during everyday being.

My teacher only meditated once formally when I knew him. Seeing him trying to cross his legs in front of yogis being superior in half and full lotuses was hysterical. He was mindfully make a hash of it. They were heedlessly unaware. Top lesson right there ...

Mindfulness is for me attentive awareness, so it is meditational being. Awareness made manifest. Once you recognise it and practice it in yourself, then you begin to recognise it in others and may even come across a Pratyekabuddha being laughed at ... despite displaying perfect awareness ...

A good way to practice mindfulness for me, is slowing action, thoughts and the reactive mind being distracted by fish tails, monkey gibbering and mindless activity.

What is your experience?



  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran Veteran

    My main practice these days is mindfulness, and I find a daily session of seated meditation to be a useful support.

    The Dairy Lama sometimes meditates in the freezer cabinets at Tescos, but that is apparently an advanced practice. :p

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    Mindfulness is several things, it is an attitude, it is a kind of meditation that can be used in many situations to bring relaxed awareness to activities, it can provide an insight into how the mind functions. It's something I return to again and again.

    The main focus of my practice is daily meditation at the moment, and I find that meditations are more devices rather than an attitude. A meditation is often a specific set of steps.

  • Developing the ability to pay attention ultimately reveals a world few are aware of. I have met a few people who seemed to be born with the faculty of awareness. So if you want mindfulness learn to pay attention. More easily said than done.

  • My family and friends often come to me for advice, and i have a reputation of imparting "wisdom" (whatever that is! :smile: ) upon them -- but for me being mindful is being present, completely there. mindfulness is leaving our reputations at the door mat in our relationships and interactions with others.

    its a struggle sometimes when listening to someone, for me, of not trying to come up with a response while they're talking. sometimes i struggle with trying to come up with that perfect response that will make everything alright.

    instead i can just BE there, listening and present, fully devoted to my loved one and their well being.

  • JaySonJaySon Florida Veteran

    My 2 cents...

    Mindfulness is also about memory.

    Let's say I'm practicing breath meditation.

    I go, "Focus only on the breath. Focus only on the breath. Focus only on the breath."

    Then I begin the meditation while trusting my mindfulness to remember.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited January 2017

    I feel you are on the right track @wojciech <3

    Most of us are so noisy, quick to impart and completely inattentive/mindless. The quiet mindfulness allows the correct unfolding to be present.

    The perfect response is as far as I know:

    • a still pool
    • a reflective response
    • and hardest of all, requiring insight, wisdom and ideally realisation, the distortion that registers and provides resolution ...
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    "Tis the mind itself that leads the mind astray
    So of the mind be mindful, every moment of the day!"

    When my butt gets off the cushion, the mind continues sitting....

  • techietechie India Veteran

    Sooner or later in our mindfulness journey we ask the question, 'Who's being mindful?'

    That's when the problem starts.

  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited January 2017

    Mindfulness is not meditation! The Buddha used the word sati instead. Eg. remembering to keep watching the breath, body sensations or feelings/emotions etc.

    But even though the word “mindful” was probably drawn from a Christian context, the Buddha himself defined sati as the ability to remember, illustrating its function in meditation practice with the four satipatthanas, or establishings of mindfulness.

    “And what is the faculty of sati? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, is mindful, highly meticulous, remembering & able to call to mind even things that were done & said long ago. (And here begins the satipatthana formula:) He remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. He remains focused on feelings in & of themselves... the mind in & of itself... mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.”

    — SN 48.10

    One quality that's always appropriate in establishing mindfulness is being watchful or alert. The Pali word for alertness, sampajañña, is another term that's often misunderstood. It doesn't mean being choicelessly aware of the present, or comprehending the present. Examples in the Canon shows that sampajañña means being aware of what you're doing in the movements of the body, the movements in the mind.

    The Buddha encourages his students to hear the Dhamma. Then listen in such a way that they remember it. Then go and dwell on the Dhamma they learned in a calm contemplative fashion.

    With the arising of trust, he visits him and grows close to him. Growing close to him, he lends ear. Lending ear, he hears the Dhamma. Hearing the Dhamma, he remembers it [lit. “carries the Dhamma, ie. remember it]. Remembering it, he reflects upon the meaning of those dhammas.

    In the same way, o monks, a noble disciple is remembering, is equipped with the highest carefulness and remembers things done a long time ago, spoken a long time ago, remembers in accordance. With memory as the doorkeeper, o monks, the noble disciple rejects the unwholesome and cultivates the wholesome. He rejects that which is with blemish and cultivates what is free of blemish, he always keeps himself pure.

    This is why sati or memory plays such an important part in Buddhist practice. When I think wisely I nourish the doorkeeper, I create a doorkeeper that way. Because, after all, the doorkeeper as to be aware of people passing by (sampajaññā, as in “knowing what is going on right at this moment”) but he also has to remember who these people are to make a sound judgement, whether he should let them in or not (sati)!

  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited January 2017

    Excellent post @pegembara <3

    Many thanks.
    Personally I came to meditation from mindfulness/remberance from a Sufi path. So this resonates very effectively with my understanding and experience.

    "People do not like being called machines. And yet most people are not even machines in lacking faculties for evaluating the qualitative nature of experience. Instead of being able to perceive the spectrum of influences in a single experience, they feel it transcendental if it moves them. Unlike a machine, too the human being has no switching gear to turn experience on and off. And man has no means of engendering experience except by the most hazardous trial and errors such as throwing himself into random situations or ingesting drugs.
    One of the purposes of a real esoteric training is first to acquire lower control, control such as a machine might have, before higher control can be attained."

    Idries Shah. 'Knowing How to Know'

    The idea of sati/remembrance is fundamental and ideally continual in Sufism. It is different to Sufi focus and meditation techniques which are probably most similar to mantra. I would suggest that though different, mindfulness, meditation and also sila (ethical behaviour) all have this component of control ...

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