Thursday, January 30, 2014

establishing mindfulness

"...properly undertaking satipaṭṭhāna does seem to require that mindfulness is established with continuity, corresponding to the quality of being "diligent" or more literally "ardent." Such mindfulness needs to be combined with an element of "clear knowing" or  "clear comprehension" that understands what is being held present in the mind through mindfulness. Such a combination should lead to a balanced mental attitude that is not shaken by desires, worries, or dejection in regard to the world."
Anālayo (2013) p. 15
Anālayo makes a very clear statement in his new book, Perspectives on Satipaṭṭhāna, about how to develop one's mind. This new book offers not only succinct information on how to practice skillfully, but brings these suggestions forward from the earliest buddhist teachings -- thought and practice before major transformations into socio-cultural applications. These early teachings, simple and direct, lie at the roots of all Buddhist traditions.

He also makes clear the convergence of all practice is not mindfulness but wisdom. This is not a small point. We easily will be side-tracked and miss the most important benefits of meditation practice by thinking mindfulness is the ultimate goal.