Formal mindfulness practices usually refer to a period of time set aside exclusively for mindfulness meditation. Informal mindfulness practices are any activity that brings us into awareness of the present moment. The revered teacher Thich Nhat Hahn refers to these as a mindfulness bell. An example would be to place your awareness on a single [...]
Yes and no. The quality of mindfulness changes with the development of one’s practice. At first we summon energy to be mindful. Later we find it occurs naturally, as a natural experience within our system, as just the way we respond to things.
Wow, great question. Being mindful assists us to experience things based on the present moment rather than the past or projections into the future. Being mindful opens us to a more clear and accurate experience. It makes us more spacious and enables us to have a greater capacity to respond rather than react.
Yes. It is a natural state of mind. There are many exercises and practices to cultivate mindfulness. However, if you hold the intention to develop mindfulness, meditation is the primary method used.
There is a qualitative difference between them. Mindfulness is a necessary condition for insight. When we practice mindfulness meditation we create a momentary refuge from the ordinary consciousness of craving and aversion. In this state, first we gain insight into our personality, and later we gain insight into how we adhere to the appearance of [...]
Mindfulness is based on a non-personalized awareness. If we personally identify with an object of awareness it becomes me or mine. We then have a positive or negative reaction to it. Our awareness needs to be properly developed to support the cultivation of mindfulness.
No. Mindfulness is a natural state. It did not originate from a teaching or a teacher. In his teachings, the Buddha offered us a practical method for developing mindfulness in his primary discourse, the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, the Satipatthana Sutta.
No. Meditation is one of the widely used practices for developing mindfulness.
Mindfulness is often defined as nonjudgmental moment-to-moment awareness. While this is essentially true, it is a tad misleading. We would define mindfulness as having neither a positive nor negative reaction to our experience. It is superficially about judgment and more fundamentally about how our body-mind system (namarupa) responds to internal and external experience.