Mindfulness is everywhere nowadays. From the farm to the table, the classroom to the boardroom, the therapist’s office to the yoga studio, we’re told there is no activity that we cannot engage with mindfulness—that is, with awareness and acceptance. And although there’s no question that mindfulness is a powerful tool whose benefits are now well known and documented, what is less known is that this teaching, which is taken directly from the core practices of Buddhism, is only one tiny part of the vast treasure trove that this ancient tradition has given us. To put it in secular terms, it is only one aspect of the revolutionary mind science that the Buddha developed 2,500 years ago.Read more
Mindfulness is an ubiquitous term these days, so its easy to forget that behind it is a long history dating back to the birth of Buddhism. Anapanasati, “mindfulness of breathing,” was the meditation practice of the Buddha, and as such it is at the heart of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness: mindfulness of the body (especially the breath), feelings, mind, and thoughts.
Traditionally, the term sati translates as the ability to remember or to keep an object in mind. More generally, it is the ability to see the object we are concentrating on during our meditation—the breath, a thought, a feeling, our pure awareness. In order to be mindful, we must also have alertness and resolve. These two in turn rest on appropriate attention—awareness that matches the object of our meditation. This is important because it’s possible to be concentrated yet mindless. It’s possible to be very focused and not see the object we’re focusing on at all.Read more