Buddhist Mindfulness Meditation Part 1

imageThere is a lot written and spoken about Mindfulness. It is one of the hot topics of the year and gets bandied about as a cure-all for everything.

Mindfulness is a process that was developed by Buddhists and if followed can lead to a life that is simple and fearless. As novices, we probably won’t reach the same level of peace as the Dali Lama but we can certainly improve our perception of reality in our own lives.

Buddhists observe the cycle of suffering: birth, aging, sickness and death. The Buddhist way is that of listening, reading, contemplation and practicing to see the truth.

Human beings spend much of their life trying to alleviate suffering and believing that attachment to objects and creatures of various species will bring relief.  Fear is attached to not getting what we want or believing we need to acquire something external to be happy.

When we gain insight into our attachment to suffering it can disappear. Again, as beginners, this may not be completely possible but we can alleviate a lot of suffering by letting go of attachment.

The Three Characteristics of Buddhist Mindfulness:

MORALITY – Right Speech, Right Actions, Right Livelihood

WISDOM – Right Understanding, Right Thought

SAMADHI (concentration) – Right Effort, Right Mindfulness, Right Concentration

Through Vipassana, Meditation the goal is to become an unbiased observer of the mind and body.

It is through our sense organs that we experience the outside world that is impermanent.  Once again we probably have a perception that we can hold on to something permanently.  This can include a human being, a peaceful day or a car.
(From: The Buddhist Way to Peace of Mind” by Venerable Pramote Pamojjo)

In the next posting, we will continue to gain an understanding of Vipassana in order to understand the Three Characteristics of body and mind.

Ita Dowler, Psy.D., LCSW 

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