Meditation and Mindfulness

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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one_awakening
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Meditation and Mindfulness

Post by one_awakening » Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:46 am

I've been meditating and performing vipassana meditation for several years and come to realise there's no real difference between meditation and mindfulness.

Both have a concentration aspect that keeps the mind on a particular object. Both involve being aware of the present moment, and that awareness involves being aware of the object and knowing fhe object,

What do people think?
“You only lose what you cling to”

santa100
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Re: Meditation and Mindfulness

Post by santa100 » Sun Aug 20, 2017 5:09 pm

They indeed work together, as Ven. Thanissaro's decribed in "Path of Concentration & Mindfulness"

paul
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Re: Meditation and Mindfulness

Post by paul » Sun Aug 20, 2017 9:06 pm

“Both involve being aware of the present moment,”

I doubt if your understanding of mindfulness is comprehensive. As well as being aware of present events, mindfulness involves putting that awareness into a remembered Dhamma context. That is the way the raw material of the present, which is itself driven by ignorance, becomes transformed into profitable progress along the path :

“ …it remembers lessons drawn from right view in the past- both lessons from reading and listening to the Dhamma, as well as lessons from reading the results of your own actions- that can be used to shape this activity in a more skilful direction…This means that right mindfulness doesn’t simply observe fabrications, nor is it disinterested. It’s motivated by the aim of right view: to put an end to suffering.”—“Right Mindfulness”, Thanissaro Bikkhu.

You may not be aware also that right view and right intention form the wisdom section of the path and right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration form the samadhi section, and that right effort is a working aspect of right mindfulness.
Last edited by paul on Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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one_awakening
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Re: Meditation and Mindfulness

Post by one_awakening » Mon Aug 21, 2017 5:36 am

paul wrote:“Both involve being aware of the present moment,”

I doubt if your understanding of mindfulness is comprehensive. As well as being aware of present events, mindfulness involves putting that awareness into a remembered Dhamma context.
I am aware of that. Both meditation and mindfulness involve awareness of the object and knowing the object which leads to wisdom. So I refer back to my original query, what is the difference between meditation and mindfulness?

paul wrote:“Both involve being aware of the present moment,”

You may not be aware also that right mindfulness and right intention form the wisdom section of the path and right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration form the samadhi section, and that right effort is a working aspect of right mindfulness.
Right mindfulness is not part of the wisdom section.
“You only lose what you cling to”

paul
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Re: Meditation and Mindfulness

Post by paul » Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:33 am

Thank you for the correction.
As the central factor of the concentration group, right mindfulness has connections with both concentration and right effort. In itself, right concentration does not have a connection with right effort except through right mindfulness.

"Both meditation and mindfulness involve awareness of the object and knowing the object which leads to wisdom."

This is wrong. Right concentration does not involve putting present events into a remembered Dhamma context to shape an activity in a more skilful direction.
To extend from right mindfulness into right concentration is only possible when mindfulness is broad:
"...there are times when the dictates of mindfulness can require an intensely focussed and narrow state of attention, blocking all distractions. At other times, mindfulness can be broad and relaxed, especially when the mind is free from unskillful thinking. When the mind tires even of skilful thinking, this broadened mindfulness prepares the mind to enter into the jhanas: the stages of right concentration.---"Right Mindfulness", Thanissaro Bikkhu.

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one_awakening
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Re: Meditation and Mindfulness

Post by one_awakening » Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:25 am

paul wrote:As the central factor of the concentration group, right mindfulness has connections with both concentration and right effort. In itself, right concentration does not have a connection with right effort except through right mindfulness.
I agree with this. But in my own experience, the above occurs in both meditation and mindfulness practice.
“You only lose what you cling to”

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Re: Meditation and Mindfulness

Post by TreeSleeper » Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:20 pm

The difference between mindfulness and meditation is that in meditation you are being mindful, ie, continually remembering, the same object. It's single pointed. If you are mindful of different things through out the day, that diversity of things won't turn into the deep concentration of having only one object.

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Re: Meditation and Mindfulness

Post by TreeSleeper » Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:25 pm

paul wrote:“Both involve being aware of the present moment,”

I doubt if your understanding of mindfulness is comprehensive. As well as being aware of present events, mindfulness involves putting that awareness into a remembered Dhamma context. That is the way the raw material of the present, which is itself driven by ignorance, becomes transformed into profitable progress along the path :

“ …it remembers lessons drawn from right view in the past- both lessons from reading and listening to the Dhamma, as well as lessons from reading the results of your own actions- that can be used to shape this activity in a more skilful direction…This means that right mindfulness doesn’t simply observe fabrications, nor is it disinterested. It’s motivated by the aim of right view: to put an end to suffering.”—“Right Mindfulness”, Thanissaro Bikkhu.

You may not be aware also that right view and right intention form the wisdom section of the path and right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration form the samadhi section, and that right effort is a working aspect of right mindfulness.
With all thinking about Dhamma context you won't be able to calm the mind at all or achieve single pointedness. The Buddha is simply saying that by remembering the Dhamma you can act better in certain situations. I.e., when doing things, you should pay attention to what you are doing by being mindful. Or when interacting with people, remembering to use right speech.

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one_awakening
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Re: Meditation and Mindfulness

Post by one_awakening » Fri Aug 25, 2017 1:08 pm

TreeSleeper wrote:The difference between mindfulness and meditation is that in meditation you are being mindful, ie, continually remembering, the same object. It's single pointed. If you are mindful of different things through out the day, that diversity of things won't turn into the deep concentration of having only one object.
See when I'm practicing Vipassana during the day, I do reach deep concentration at times. A concentration that is one-pointed. That's what has led me to query what the difference is between the two.
“You only lose what you cling to”

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TreeSleeper
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Re: Meditation and Mindfulness

Post by TreeSleeper » Sat Aug 26, 2017 9:57 am

one_awakening wrote:
TreeSleeper wrote:The difference between mindfulness and meditation is that in meditation you are being mindful, ie, continually remembering, the same object. It's single pointed. If you are mindful of different things through out the day, that diversity of things won't turn into the deep concentration of having only one object.
See when I'm practicing Vipassana during the day, I do reach deep concentration at times. A concentration that is one-pointed. That's what has led me to query what the difference is between the two.
Yes you can get concentration/samadhi from doing multiple things like doing the dishes. It's mindfulness that leads to concentration no matter what you're doing. So really I guess the answer to your question in your context is that there is no difference. I just think of meditation as something formal like sitting or lying without doing anything active. I think when you're enlightened you're always in that state of openness and clarity so it's good to develop that in any situation to align yourself to that state. So it won't be like you have to keep trying to be mindful all the time once you're fully enlightened. I wonder though, can you get Jhanas through doing multiple activities? I don't know, I never head of that. It seems to me the only way to get into the Jhanas would have to be something more single pointed.

Garrib
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Re: Meditation and Mindfulness

Post by Garrib » Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:26 pm

I don't think they are "the same thing" (sati and samadhi, if that is what we are talking about) - but they are certainly intertwined. After all, they are sitting right next to each other as culminating factors of the Noble Eightfold Path. If there was no distinction to be made between them, the Buddha would not have distinguished them. But the other extreme (that each is totally alien to the other) doesn't make sense either. There must be some middle way here...

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one_awakening
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Re: Meditation and Mindfulness

Post by one_awakening » Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:28 pm

Garrib wrote:If there was no distinction to be made between them, the Buddha would not have distinguished them
Fair point, but I wonder if The Buddha made the distinction to highlight the importance of minfulness as part of meditation and minfulness practice.
“You only lose what you cling to”

form
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Re: Meditation and Mindfulness

Post by form » Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:25 am

These are said to help dementia and Alzheimer's disease? Why some famous monks suffer from the two brain degeneration when they were older?

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Re: Meditation and Mindfulness

Post by SarathW » Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:43 am

I've been meditating and performing vipassana meditation for several years and come to realise there's no real difference between meditation and mindfulness.
In Noble Eightfold Path; right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration come under Samadhi group.
So your observation is right. The only difference is Samma Sati progress to Samma Samadhi.
in that case, you can say Samma Sati is a mini Samadhi. (or access concentration)
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Meditation and Mindfulness

Post by one_awakening » Sun Aug 27, 2017 11:10 am

I should probably clarify that when I refer to "Mindfulness" I mean Minfulness practice, not just the seventh step in The Noble Eightfold Path.
“You only lose what you cling to”

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