As our fixed ideas about experience change, we see that up to now we have scarcely appreciated our immediate experience. This lack of attention has reinforced our tendency to live in the past or to seek new experience in the future. We can change this around [ through practice ] … As our experience opens to wider perspectives, our senses, our body, and our consciousness become vibrantly alive. Patterns of craving and frustration give way to the flowing interaction with the process of living. All imbalances drop away, and whatever satisfaction or healing we need is provided naturally. This protection, this balance, this genuine self-sufficiency allows us to open to the endless possibility of each moment and to discover the richness and depth of all experience.
~Tarthang Tulku Rinpoche
“All that we are looking for in life -all the happiness, contentment, and peace of mind -is right here in the present moment.”
Bringing Mindfulness Back to it’s Buddhist Roots
Mindfulness has its origins in the Buddhist tradition and was passed on from teacher to student since over 2500 years when the North Indian man Siddhartha left his father’s palace and walked as a homeless monk for about 50 years. The practice we today know as mindfulness is described in the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta of the Theravada tradition. It was also part of his first teachings on the Four Noble Truths in which the Buddha explained how one follows the Eightfold Noble Path to reach nirvana, which emphasizes the cultivation of right mindfulness. In the old sources mindfulness is described as the cultivation of four foundations which a monk or nun should practice during meditation, contemplating the body, the feelings, the mind and any phenomena arising in this human existence. When the monk is sitting, eating, walking, lying down, moving, working, in all aspects of life, the monk should be mindful and make conscious wholesome choices instead of unwholesome choices. The monk should not only bring awareness to these four foundations for mindfulness, he should transcend them by letting go of any attachment to a worldly life and thereby reach the ultimate stage called nirvana. Siddhartha reached the state of realization, which is the meaning of his name Buddha.
Levekunst art of life by Erik Pema Kunsang & Tara Trinley Wangmo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at http://levekunst.com.