How mindful are you?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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lionking
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How mindful are you?

Post by lionking » Sun Dec 20, 2015 10:43 pm

- What is being "mindful"?
- Its same thing as giving something attention.
- You do this even without referring to it as "mindfulness".
- For example you schedule things in a diary.
- Things tend to happen as planned when properly scheduled .

How does this work? - It works because you gave the tasks more attention. You became "mindful".
More importantly you had a strong feeling it would work. That is why you scheduled it in the first place.
Is this system repeatable in other areas of your life? - most certainly!

- I am well and happy.
- I am not an angry person.
- My brother is happy and well.
- My neighbors are happy and well.

Schedule the above thinking to your attention. Visualize, believe and feel its real. Repeat it in your mind often - at least once every minute for an hour or two a day.

Just like scheduled tasks this will also become real as time goes on. Yourself, your family, your immediate community and the world will become happy and well as a result.

This is how I do it. Are there any other ways to become more mindful? Share your experiences please!
grr ..

SarathW
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Re: How mindful are you?

Post by SarathW » Mon Dec 21, 2015 12:32 am

To me mindfulness means Satipatthana.
Sorry I can't give you a short answer.
Please listen to Joseph Goldstein's Satipatthana series.



http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/96/talk/6162/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Based on above I am not very mindful at all.
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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lionking
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Re: How mindful are you?

Post by lionking » Mon Dec 21, 2015 1:11 am

Satti-Pattana ->

Presence of mind
Quality of wakefulness,
The opposite of absentmindedness.
Non-interfering awareness.

I was thinking the same thing.
grr ..

SarathW
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Re: How mindful are you?

Post by SarathW » Mon Dec 21, 2015 1:15 am

There are two major parts people overlook very often.
That is knowing and training.
You are referring only to the first part "knowing".
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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khlawng
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Re: How mindful are you?

Post by khlawng » Mon Dec 21, 2015 1:31 am

there must be some distinction between "being mindful" and "having right mindfulness".
which one are we talking about?

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lionking
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Re: How mindful are you?

Post by lionking » Mon Dec 21, 2015 2:29 am

khlawng wrote:there must be some distinction between "being mindful" and "having right mindfulness".
which one are we talking about?
There is a good example in Sattipattana Suta of the cattle heard. It means keeping the mind constrained within allowable boundaries.

Simplicity of Dhamma is lost trying to make things overly complicated.
grr ..

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khlawng
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Re: How mindful are you?

Post by khlawng » Mon Dec 21, 2015 9:39 am

lionking wrote: There is a good example in Sattipattana Suta of the cattle heard. It means keeping the mind constrained within allowable boundaries.

Simplicity of Dhamma is lost trying to make things overly complicated.
Simply being mindful in the conventional sense is what you have covered quite well in your OP.

"Having right mindfulness" in the framework of the dhamma is anything but simple.
I am unable to find any reference to a cattle herding simile in the MahaSatipatthana Sutta (DN22).
Especially not one with regards to keeping the mind constrained within allowable boundaries.
The only reference to any sort of cow in DN22 is one where the butcher divides up with reference to being mindful of the 4 elements.

Samma-Sati is rightfully difficult to over-simplify because of how it is use as a foundation to develop many aspects of the buddhist practice.
It is a lot more than just mundane focus and concentration on a particular daily task.
And it is definitely not the McMindfulness trend that is being hawked by modern-day new-age teachers as a ancient-buddhist way to relief stress and improve one's well being.

Thanissaro Bikkhu had a book called "Right Mindfulness" which addresses mindfulness in the buddhist context.
I suggest you pick it up to read it.

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Aloka
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Re: How mindful are you?

Post by Aloka » Mon Dec 21, 2015 9:59 am

.

Ajahn Sumedho's little booklet "Mindfulness" might be helpful:

http://cdn.amaravati.org/wp-content/upl ... umedho.pdf




:anjali:

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katavedi
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Re: How mindful are you?

Post by katavedi » Mon Dec 21, 2015 10:44 am

I am unable to find any reference to a cattle herding simile in the MahaSatipatthana Sutta (DN22).
Especially not one with regards to keeping the mind constrained within allowable boundaries.
The only reference to any sort of cow in DN22 is one where the butcher divides up with reference to being mindful of the 4 elements.
I believe lionking is thinking of MN 19, "Two Kinds of Thoughts":
Just as in the last month of the rainy season, in the autumn, when the crops thicken, a cowherd would guard his cows by constantly tapping and poking them on this side and that with a stick to check and curb them. Why is that? Because he sees that he could be flogged, imprisoned, fined, or blamed if he let them stray into the crops. So too I saw in unwholesome states danger, degradation, and defilement, and in wholesome states the blessing of renunciation, the aspect of cleansing.
Be well,
katavedi
“But, Gotamī, when you know of certain things: ‘These things lead to dispassion, not to passion; to detachment, not to attachment; to diminution, not to accumulation; to having few wishes, not to having many wishes; to contentment, not to discontent; to seclusion, not to socializing; to the arousing of energy, not to indolence; to simple living, not to luxurious living’ – of such things you can be certain: ‘This is the Dhamma; this is the Discipline; this is the Master’s Teaching.’”

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Cittasanto
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Re: How mindful are you?

Post by Cittasanto » Mon Dec 21, 2015 6:08 pm

Hi All,
Sati (mindfulness) is no more or less than keeping what should be kept in mind, in one's mind. This is why ananda directly claimed the the Buddha said the vinaya rules are for the cultivation of the four Satipatthana's in SN47.21. Be it in any posture our mind's should be full of what should be done.

Kind Regards
Cittasanto
Blog, Suttas, Aj Chah, Facebook.

He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.
John Stuart Mill

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lionking
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Re: How mindful are you?

Post by lionking » Tue Dec 22, 2015 2:25 am

khlawng wrote:
lionking wrote: There is a good example in Sattipattana Suta of the cattle heard. It means keeping the mind constrained within allowable boundaries.

Simplicity of Dhamma is lost trying to make things overly complicated.
Thanissaro Bikkhu had a book called "Right Mindfulness" which addresses mindfulness in the buddhist context.
It appears you have developed an idea "treasure trove" exists yet to be discovered. What is also apparent is you have't actually seen it.

Thanissaro Bikkhu has perhaps written book as has many others.

How do you discern "mindfulness" ? Why don't you read and report back what you learn?
grr ..

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ihrjordan
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Re: How mindful are you?

Post by ihrjordan » Tue Dec 22, 2015 5:10 am

And what is right mindfulness? There is the case where a monk 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. This is called right mindfulness...--DN 22
Right Mindfulness is the application of appropriate attention.
"And what are the ideas unfit for attention that he attends to? Whatever ideas such that, when he attends to them, the unarisen fermentation of sensuality arises in him, and the arisen fermentation of sensuality increases; the unarisen fermentation of becoming arises in him, and arisen fermentation of becoming increases; the unarisen fermentation of ignorance arises in him, and the arisen fermentation of ignorance increases. These are the ideas unfit for attention that he attends to.-- Inappropriate attention / Wrong mindfulness

"And what are the ideas fit for attention that he does not attend to? Whatever ideas such that, when he attends to them, the unarisen fermentation of sensuality does not arise in him, and the arisen fermentation of sensuality is abandoned; the unarisen fermentation of becoming does not arise in him, and arisen fermentation of becoming is abandoned; the unarisen fermentation of ignorance does not arise in him, and the arisen fermentation of ignorance is abandoned. These are the ideas fit for attention that he does not attend to. Through his attending to ideas unfit for attention and through his not attending to ideas fit for attention, both unarisen fermentations arise in him, and arisen fermentations increase."-- Appropriate attention / Right mindfulness -- MN 2
The two are seen as seperate qualities but are really two sides of the same coin; similar to the relationship between insight and concentration.

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khlawng
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Re: How mindful are you?

Post by khlawng » Tue Dec 22, 2015 5:55 am

lionking wrote:
It appears you have developed an idea "treasure trove" exists yet to be discovered. What is also apparent is you have't actually seen it.

Thanissaro Bikkhu has perhaps written book as has many others.

How do you discern "mindfulness" ? Why don't you read and report back what you learn?
one realises aspects of the dhamma in various stages.
initally the overwhelming joy and confidence in one's progress may result in zealous proclaimation.
that much is understandable.
but as one progress, the same text which brought realization previously now brings a deeper understanding esp. in how it fits into the overall framework of the buddha's teaching.
that much I have seen.

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bodom
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Re: How mindful are you?

Post by bodom » Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:02 pm

I use the mantra Buddho the mindful recollection of the Buddha or Buddhanusati to keep mindful attention during formal and informal meditation. I follow the teachings of Ajahn's Anan and Chah as my main source of meditation instruction on and off the cushion:
We must all be determined from this point onwards to make our minds peaceful. We focus our awareness upon knowing the in-breath and the out-breath together with the mantra 'Buddho'. Developing these basic meditation themes of Buddhanussati (the recollection of the qualities of the Buddha) and anapanasati (mindfulness of breathing) are a way of cultivating sati, that is, 'mindful recollection'. We practise Dhamma in order to train ourselves, to further the development of our hearts and minds. We practise meditation for the purpose of elevating our hearts to loftier, nobler heights, making it more excellent and sublime.
We sit in meditation clearly knowing the in-breath and the out-breath along with the mantra 'Buddho' watching over our heart until eventually, this internal recitation fades away and tranquillity arises. Sometimes there is a feeling that mindfulness has gathered at one point within the body, such as the tip of the nose for example. At this point, the heart is peaceful and firm in samadhi.

Samadhi means 'concentration' or 'concentrated awareness'. The method of practice that results in right concentration is called samatha kammaghana. This refers to those skilful techniques by which the heart is brought to total tranquillity. The recitation of a mantra such as 'Buddho', 'Dhammo' or 'Sangho', practising mindfulness of breathing or the contemplation of death and so forth, are all forms of samatha meditation. When the mind has been trained in samatha meditation, then whether standing, walking, seated or reclining, there will be the excellent peace of samadhi.
We meditate knowing the in-breath and the out-breath, focusing on the mantra 'Buddho'. Eventually the breathing becomes more refined and the mantra vanishes. The mind then converges firmly in samadhi. There is no internal recitation of a mantra; the mind is serene, happy, blissful and one-pointed. The mind has converged to the basic level of samadhi.
Mindfulness can also be developed through walking meditation. We should walk with composure, the hands clasped lightly in front, right over left. The head should be neither raised too high nor hung too low. The eyes should be focused forward to an even distance and stray neither left nor right, neither behind nor too far ahead. While walking back and forth, we coordinate the movement of our feet with the mantra, 'Buddho'. As we step forward, leading with the right foot, we internally recite 'Bud -' and with the left foot, '- dho'. Luang Pu Chah taught that while walking in meditation, we must be aware of the beginning, middle and end of the path. While reciting 'Bud -' with the right foot and '- dho' with the left, we should also fix our mindfulness on knowing our movements in relation to these three points along the path, that is, as we begin, as we pass the middle and a we reach the end. Upon reaching the end of the path, we stop and establish mindfulness anew before turning around and walking back reciting, 'Bud - dho', 'Bud - dho', 'Bud - dho' as before.
At this time, however, we can make an effort to train our hearts; trying to cultivate mindfulness whether standing, walking, sitting or lying down. Whatever our activity, be it drinking, thinking or talking, we have mindfulness, that is, clear recollection. Alternatively, we can establish the recitation of a mantra - 'Buddho', 'Dhammo' or 'Sangho' - to govern and guide our mind. Whether standing, walking, seated or reclining, we establish this internal recitation of 'Buddho' to govern the minds tendency towards distraction and diversity as it wanders about in the past and the future, continually proliferating.

If we don't have a basic meditation object to govern and guide our mind, then it will be very difficult to make it calm and still. The heart will inevitably just follow its usual variety of moods and preoccupations. However, when we put forth effort to train mindfulness, and focus it on looking after the heart through the recitation of a mantra, then it will gradually become more peaceful. The mind that used to be lost in proliferation, unable to settle in meditation for even five minutes, will become more peaceful, patient and resolute. We will then see that not training the heart results only in suffering because our outlook will always be wrong.
Whatever our activity, be it drinking, thinking or talking, we have mindfulness, that is, clear recollection. Alternatively, we can establish the recitation of a mantra - 'Buddho', 'Dhammo' or 'Sangho' - to govern and guide our mind. Whether standing, walking, seated or reclining, we establish this internal recitation of 'Buddho' to govern the minds tendency towards distraction and diversity as it wanders about in the past and the future, continually proliferating.

Laypeople should firmly establish their lives in virtue and goodness, and try to cultivate mindfulness, samadhi, wisdom and samma-ajiva - ­Right Livelihood. Whatever our work or duties, we should endeavour to perform them with mindfulness using a mantra, Buddho - Dhammo - Sangho, to hold our attention. We have come together to practise Dhamma and so whatever bodily movement or wholesome activity we engage in, we can meditate at the same time by focusing upon the mantra 'Buddho' continuously.
We must focus on the mantra 'Buddho', establishing continuous awareness, whether standing, walking, sitting, reclining, working, talking, drinking or thinking. Right now, while listening to the Dhamma, we can direct our minds to peace and not allow our attention to wander to other things.

We can recite 'Buddho' continuously whatever our posture or activity, be it eating, coming or going, chanting or meditating. If we can keep this up, then our mindfulness will be firm and focused. Buddho and peace will become firmly and inseparably rooted in the heart.
When listening to others, we can also focus on reciting 'Buddho' in our heart while mindfully noting that we are listening. We should strive to be mindful whatever our activity, be it sitting, talking or listening. Luang Pu Chah greatly stressed the practice of mindfulness.
It is said that to see the value in Buddho - the Knower, the Awakened One, the Enlightened One - we have to take up the internal recitation of the mantra 'Buddho' and make the heart peaceful. When the heart is tranquil and at peace, then it is awakened within. In what way is it awakened within? The heart is awakened in that it is peaceful, and greed, hatred and delusion cannot enter. In this peaceful state the heart is completely satisfied and is no longer interested in external sense objects. We can recite 'Buddho' continuously whatever our posture or activity, be it eating, coming or going, chanting or meditating. If we can keep this up, then our mindfulness will be firm and focused. Buddho and peace will become firmly and inseparably rooted in the heart.
http://www.dhammatalks.net/Books5/Ajahn ... Buddho.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

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bodom
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Re: How mindful are you?

Post by bodom » Tue Dec 22, 2015 4:01 pm

I also would like to share this short explanation from Ajahn Jayasaro on mindfulness in which he addresses the moral implications of mindfulness which seems to be understated in most of the teachings today on mindfulness practice:
What is mindfulness?

Most simply, mindfulness is not-forgetting. Mindfulness (sati) is the mental faculty that brings to mind and bears in mind. If you bring to mind all you need to remember in a given situation and don’t become distracted from it, then you have sati. Crucially, this includes bearing in mind the moral dimension of one’s actions: a safe-cracker might know how to focus on his task in the present moment but he would not possess sati. In meditation, sati manifests as awareness of the object. Sati must be accompanied by alertness and appropriate effort. Those adept at the practice of sati are aware of their body, feelings, thoughts, emotions and senses in the present moment as simply that: body, feelings, thoughts, emotions and senses, without identifying with them. They know how to protect their mind from toxic states, and how to deal with toxic states that have already arisen. They know how to create nourishing mental states and how to nurture those that have already arisen.
http://www.amaravati.org/dhamma-books/w ... nd-within/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:anjali:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

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