When we stop and pay attention, we realize how little we pay attention. When we practice Right Mindfulness, we are training our minds to be present and aware so that we can choose to fully engage this moment.

 

By Daniel Scharpenburg

“Mindfulness is helpful everywhere” ~ the Buddha

When we say mindfulness, we’re really just talking about being here, experiencing this moment, rather than being somewhere else mentally.

It’s a mind that experiences and observes what’s happening, but also doesn’t get dragged out of the moment by judgments or reflections. The word that’s translated as mindfulness is sati, and it has connotations with memory, i.e., remembering to be here now. It involves being able to be fully present and also having an awareness of what’s going on around us.

How often are we really in this moment? We spend an incredible amount of time dwelling on the past, obsessing about the future, or checking our phones. When we stop and pay attention, we realize how little we pay attention. When we practice Right Mindfulness, we are training our minds to be present and aware so that we can choose to fully engage this moment. So often the experiences we have trigger thoughts that take us away from the experience we are having. So, we want to train to be more mindful so that we can face reality as it is.

That’s what we’re talking about when we talk about training in mindfulness: when we’re able to be fully present, we tend to notice more about the world and our place in it.

The book Basics of Buddhism defines Right Mindfulness this way:

“Right Mindfulness (or Right Attention) means being attentive, mindful, and aware of our bodily actions, sensations and feelings, and the activity of our mind. It means giving our full attention to that which is positive, life-affirming, and beneficial to other beings. In accord with Right Mindfulness, our awareness is where it should be, completely attentive to what is happening within us and around us at the present moment.”

That’s what Right Mindfulness is about. Being here.

 

Photo: Pixabay

Editor: John Lee Pendall

 

Did you like this article? You might also like:

 

 

Are We Compassionate Helpers & Self-Centered Troublemakers?

  By Guy Newland Long ago, a Chinese philosopher said: All human beings have a heart that cannot bear to see the sufferings of others. Even now days, if someone suddenly sees a child about to fall into a well, they will without exception experience a feeling of alarm...

What’s the Deal with Meditation Beads (Malas)?

By Daniel Scharpenburg A lot of Buddhists wear these beads. They look kind of like rosaries, I guess. They're used in several different Buddhist traditions, but not in all of them. A lot of Hindus and Yogis wear them too. There are long ones that you can wear as a...

The Desire to Feel One With Everything.

  By Sherrin Fitzer A Buddhist walks up to a hot dog stand and says, "Make me one with everything.” When I was 15 and working at Dunkin’ Donuts I remember a customer who had a Herman Hesse book with him; I believe it was The Glass Bead Game. I cannot say that I...

Apathy & Non-Attachment are Not the Same…Don’t be a Jerk

  By Lee Glazier "Shit happens," is a very un-Dude thing to say. Ya know, it might seem Zen on the surface, but it's really a little kernel of apathy and cynicism wrapped up in---I don't know, some kind of wrapping paper analogy. When somebody tells me, "Yeah, well,...

Comments

comments

Daniel Scharpenburg

Daniel lives in Kansas City. He's a Teacher in the Dharma Winds Zen Tradition. He regularly teaches at the Open Heart Project and he leads public meditations. His focus is on the mindfulness practices rooted in the earliest Zen teachings. He believes that these teachings can be shared with a little more simplicity and humility than we often see. He has been called "A great everyman teacher" and "Really down-to-earth"

Find out more about Daniel here and connect with him on Facebook

Latest posts by Daniel Scharpenburg (see all)

(Visited 73 times, 1 visits today)