Author Topic: What is Mindfullness?  (Read 8700 times)

sonamdhargey

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What is Mindfullness?
« on: March 08, 2013, 06:32:06 PM »
The Pali word for "mindfulness" is sati (in Sanskrit, smriti). Sati can also mean "retention," "recollection," or "alertness." Mindfulness is a whole-body-and-mind awareness of the present moment. To be mindful is to be fully present, not lost in daydreams, anticipation, indulgences, or worry.

Mindfulness also means observing and releasing habits of mind that maintain the illusion of a separate self. This includes dropping the mental habit of judging everything according to whether we like it or not. Being fully mindful means being fully attentive to everything as-it-is, not filtering everything through our subjective opinions.

It's important to understand Buddhism as a discipline or process rather than as a belief system. The Buddha did not teach doctrines about enlightenment, but rather taught people how to realize enlightenment themselves. And the way we realize enlightenment is through direct experience. It is through mindfulness that we experience directly, with no mental filters or psychological barriers between us and what is experienced.

Changing the mental habits and conditioning of a lifetime is not easy. And this training is not something that only happens during meditation, but throughout the day.

If you have a daily chanting practice, chanting in a focused, fully attentive way is mindfulness training. It can also be helpful to choose a particular activity such as preparing a meal, cleaning the floors, or taking a walk, and make an effort to be fully mindful of the task as you perform it. In time you will find yourself paying more attention to everything.

Zen teachers say that if you miss the moment, you miss your life. How much of our lives have we missed? Be mindful!

Read more here:http://buddhism.about.com/od/theeightfoldpath/a/right-mindfulness.htm

Jessie Fong

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Re: What is Mindfullness?
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2013, 09:33:07 AM »

We must each lead a way of life with self-awareness and compassion, to do as much as we can. Then, whatever happens we will have no regrets.

--- Dalai Lama



Extracted from : http://www.mindfulnet.org/


According to Professor Mark Williams (2011), Oxford University "Mindfulness is a translation of a word that simply means awareness. It's a direct, intuitive knowing of what you are doing while you are doing it. It's knowing what's going on inside your mind and body, and what's going on in the outside world as well.

Most of the time our attention is not where we intended it to be. Our attention is hijacked by our thoughts and emotions, by our concerns, by our worries for the future, and our regrets and memories of the past. Mindful awareness is about learning to pay attention, in the present moment, and without judgement. It's like training a muscle - training attention to be where you want it to be. This reduces our tendency to work on autopilot, allowing us to us choose how we respond & react."
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Most of the time our attention is not where we intended it to be.

It is not easy to tame our monkey minds. We must learn to control it, to appreciate the present moments. And a lot of the time, we spend time worrying - about what has been and what will happen, when we should really be concentrating on the "now".

RedLantern

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Re: What is Mindfullness?
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2013, 12:46:51 PM »
Being mindful is concentrating on what ever is that you are trying to be mindful about.
Mindfulness in Buddhism is a must practice,every waking hour,the Buddhist should train their mind to only focus on the task at hand. Most people do not realize in this subject is that being mindful,does not mean that you know what you are doing and can tell someone what you are doing step by step.It isn't that you know how to paint a very beautiful picture.it maybe true that act alone is not mindfulness. However if while you are doing these things as well as other things in your daily life,you are focusing only on those things and while doing them,you are not thinking of anything else,then yes,that is mindfulness.
1. Being mindful builds patience and concentration.
2. Being mindful of the present helps in keeping accidents down at work and while driving.
3.Being mindful of what you are doing develops self control
4.Being mindful of every action you do will build wisdom.
5.Being mindful of the moment will slow your pace down and make you feel better
6.Being mindful will slow your mind so that anxiety and hyperactivity does not invade your mind.

dondrup

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Re: What is Mindfullness?
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2013, 05:25:43 PM »
Mindfulness is about being fully aware of how our six sense doors react to their stimulants i.e. sight, sound, smell, taste, touch and thoughts.  The objective is to reach the level of non-attachment of objects that we like, non-aversion to objects that we dislike and indifference to objects that we neither like nor dislike.  We want to achieve equanimity in our mind to abandon the Eight Worldly Concerns.

We also practise mindfulness of keeping our vows and commitments pure and intact.  We want to accomplish the perfection of moral discipline.

The purpose of mindfulness is that we are aware and act in accordance with the Law of Cause and Effect.

buddhalovely

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Re: What is Mindfullness?
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2013, 10:01:58 AM »
Mindfulness involves a conscious direction of our awareness. We sometimes (me included) talk about “mindfulness” and “awareness” as if they were interchangeable terms, but that’s not a good habit to get into. I may be aware I’m irritable, but that wouldn’t mean I was being mindful of my irritability. In order to be mindful I have to be purposefully aware of myself, not just vaguely and habitually aware. Knowing that you are eating is not the same as eating mindfully.

brian

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Re: What is Mindfullness?
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2013, 12:41:15 PM »
Mindfulness for me is being alert of oneself in terms of discipline so that whatever actions he/she takes will not have repercussion of karma or another words all his/her actions will not hurt another being. Being constantly on alert or always mindful requires focused and clear mind. Without this, one can easily forget their good nature and hurt others either by body or speech. This is especially relevant when one is being disturbed by another person. We have 'instant natural' reaction when we were scolded or accused of things and the result for that someone who is not mindful will be that person will instantly got angry and fight back

Tenzin K

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Re: What is Mindfullness?
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2013, 03:05:40 PM »
I like Jon Kabat-Zinn’s definition of mindfulness.
“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way;
On purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.”

Kabat-Zinn, if you haven’t heard of him, is a famous teacher of mindfulness meditation and the founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.

Paying attention “on purpose”
First of all, mindfulness involves paying attention “on purpose”. Mindfulness involves a conscious direction of our awareness. We sometimes (me included) talk about “mindfulness” and “awareness” as if they were interchangeable terms, but that’s not a good habit to get into. I may be aware I’m irritable, but that wouldn’t mean I was being mindful of my irritability. In order to be mindful I have to be purposefully aware of myself, not just vaguely and habitually aware. Knowing that you are eating is not the same as eating mindfully.
Let’s take that example of eating and look at it a bit further. When we are purposefully aware of eating, we are consciously being aware of the process of eating. We’re deliberately noticing the sensations and our responses to those sensations. We’re noticing the mind wandering, and when it does wander we purposefully bring our attention back.

When we’re eating unmindfully we may in theory be aware of what we’re doing, but we’re probably thinking about a hundred and one other things at the same time, and we may also be watching TV, talking, or reading — or even all three! So a very small part of our awareness is absorbed with eating, and we may be only barely aware of the physical sensations and even less aware of our thoughts and emotions.

Because we’re only dimly aware of our thoughts, they wander in an unrestricted way. There’s no conscious attempt to bring our attention back to our eating. There’s no purposefulness.
This purposefulness is a very important part of mindfulness. Having the purpose of staying with our experience, whether that’s the breath, or a particular emotion, or something as simple as eating, means that we are actively shaping the mind.


Paying attention “in the present moment”
Guided Mindfulness Meditation: A Complete Guided Mindfulness Meditation Program from Jon Kabat-Zinn
Left to itself the mind wanders through all kinds of thoughts — including thoughts expressing anger, craving, depression, revenge, self-pity, etc. As we indulge in these kinds of thoughts we reinforce those emotions in our hearts and cause ourselves to suffer. Mostly these thoughts are about the past or future. The past no longer exists. The future is just a fantasy until it happens. The one moment we actually can experience — the present moment — is the one we seem most to avoid.

So in mindfulness we’re concerned with noticing what’s going on right now. That doesn’t mean we can no longer think about the past or future, but when we do so we do so mindfully, so that we’re aware that right now we’re thinking about the past or future.

However in meditation, we are concerned with what’s arising in the present moment. When thoughts about the past or future take us away from our present moment experience and we “space out” we try to notice this and just come back to now.

By purposefully directing our awareness away from such thoughts and towards the “anchor” or our present moment experience, we decrease their effect on our lives and we create instead a space of freedom where calmness and contentment can grow.


Paying attention “non-judgmentally”
Mindfulness is an emotionally non-reactive state. We don’t judge that this experience is good and that one is bad. Or if we do make those judgements we simply notice them and let go of them. We don’t get upset because we’re experiencing something we don’t want to be experiencing or because we’re not experiencing what we would rather be experiencing. We simply accept whatever arises. We observe it mindfully. We notice it arising, passing through us, and ceasing to exist.

Whether it’s a pleasant experience or a painful experience we treat it the same way.
Cognitively, mindfulness is aware that certain experiences are pleasant and some are unpleasant, but on an emotional level we simply don’t react. We call this “equanimity” — stillness and balance of mind.

Midakpa

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Re: What is Mindfullness?
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2013, 03:48:03 PM »
Mindfulness is a mental factor that functions not to forget the object realized by the primary mind. In our daily practice, mindfulness of our actions of body, speech and mind is very important. We are creating karma every moment of our lives, be it good, bad or neutral. So we need to be mindful not to create bad karma through our actions, speech and thoughts. Karma, whether good or bad can multiply. If we have committed some negative action, it is better to purify it immediately by applying the four opponent powers.

Thus, mindfulness is important because it helps us to remember our vows and be alert so as not to transgress  them. In fact, the practice of Buddhism is about being mindful of our thoughts, feelings and intentions in order to deal effectively with our negative emotions and eventually to eliminate them altogether.

Here is a quote from Gil Fronsdal's book "The Issue at hand" on Buddhist mindfulness practice:

"In the teachings of the Buddha, mindfulness is what brings us to the point of contact. Mindfulness entails knowing what is happening in the present moment while it is happening. It is a training in how not to be lost in thoughts, opinions, and reactivity. It is also a training in how to see things as they really are, as opposed to seeing them through the often distorted lens of preconceived ideas and interpretations." (pp. viii-ix)

Dondrup Shugden

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Re: What is Mindfullness?
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2015, 01:00:21 PM »
Mindfulness means being in the know or aware of whatever is going on within and around us. 

We live in 3 time zones. The Past, the Present and the Future.

Besides the attitude of being mindful we need to consciously be in the present moment of now.  A wise person told me that if we live the present with the experiences of the past there is not future, because being in the Past while in the Present, we are creating the Past and therefore no future, nothing new and no growth of the mind.

What else do you think is mindfulness?

Matibhadra

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Re: What is Mindfullness?
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2015, 11:57:59 PM »
Quote
Mindfulness means being in the know or aware of whatever is going on within and around us.

This sounds rather like the pseudo-Buddhist garbage propagandized by Jewish pseudo-Buddhist proselytizers such as Jon Kabat-Zinn.

The traditional Buddhist definition of mindfulness (Sanskrit smriti) has already been given above by Midakpa: “a mental factor that functions not to forget the object realized by the primary mind.”

Therefore, mindfulness is that which brings the past realization into the present, so that it is not forgotten. The trendy propaganda about not keeping the past in mind has nothing to do with Buddhism.

In the same way, scruple or conscientiousness (Sanskrit apramada) is that which protects us from mental afflictions and unskillful actions, through considering their unfortunate results in the future.

Therefore, again, the fashionable deception advanced by the aforementioned Jewish pseudo-Buddhist proselityzers, encouraging people not to think about the future is thoroughly non-Buddhist.

Of course one should be watchful of the present as well, which is done through the power of alertness, or watchfulness, or vigilance, or detection (Sanskrit samprajanya), always checking what is going on right now within our mind.

Geshe Kelsang Gyatso in his book Understanding the Mind teaches that mindfulness (which brings past realizations to the present), alertness (which always watches the present), and conscientiousness (which considers the future results of afflicted minds and unskillful actions), should always be practiced in conjunction.

For no other reason, Je Tsongkhapa in his condensed Lamrim text The Foundation o All Good Qualities says:

Led by this pure thought,
Mindfulness, alertness and great caution (conscientiousness) arise.
The root of the teachings is keeping the pratimoksha vows;
Please bless me to accomplish this essential practice.


Therefore, having received the precious treasury of pure Buddhist teachings coming from the lineage of Je Tsongkhapa, one should cherish this unmatched heirloom, and not allow oneself to be deceived by charlatans and impostors lacking any Buddhist lineage.

pinecone

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Re: What is Mindfullness?
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2015, 12:27:33 PM »
Mindfulness means maintaining awareness of our thoughts each and every second. Mindfulness has allowed me to become more aware of my thoughts and in control of my preconception mind.  As my awareness has increased, so has the peace and joy in my life. The more familiar I have become with the inner workings of my mind, the better I have started to feel.