Saturday, January 9, 2016

Miracle of Mindfulness (1)

The followings are excerpts from Thay's book titled "The Miracle of Mindfulness".

You might well ask: Then how are we to practice mindfulness?
My answer is: 
(1) keep your attention focused on the work, 
(2) be alert and ready to handle ably and intelligently any situation
     which may arise 
- this is mindfulness.

(Taking hold of one's breath)
Thus mindfulness is at the same time a means and an end, the seed and the fruit. When we practice mindfulness in order to build up concentration, mindfulness is a seed. But mindfulness itself is the life of awareness: the presence of mindfulness means the presence of life, and therefore mindfulness is also the fruit. Mindfulness frees us of forgetfulness and dispersion and makes it possible to live fully each minute of life. Mindfulness enables us to live.

You should know how to breathe to maintain mindfulness, as breathing is a natural and extremely effective tool which can prevent dispersion. Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts. Whenever your mind becomes scattered, use your breath as the means to take hold of your mind again.

(My commentary)
I understand that breathing and walking are very effective for mindfulness because they are intransitive verbs (actions) which don't require object. So, we don't have to think in order to carry out such actions (breathing, walking, sitting and so on). If we don't think, our brain can rest without working. That's why awareness (true self) can revive and we (awareness) are mindful. However, this state doesn't last forever because ego (separate self) will be back upon starting to think. So, this temporary mindful state is called the part-time Buddha. If we want to keep mindfulness 24-hour a day and become the full-time Buddha, the extinction of all notions is necessary. For that, we need to attain full enlightenment by touching true nature of reality, or the ultimate truth.


Thích Nhất Hạnh