Mindfulness Meditation

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Great Sage EofH
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Mindfulness Meditation

Post by Great Sage EofH » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:39 pm

Quick vote, if you have tried “Mindfulness Meditation” or “Mindfulness Practices”

Vote AYE or NAY, thumbs up or thumbs down

Going to float this at both DW sites as well
"We are magical animals that roam" ~~ Roam

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Dan74
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Re: Mindfulness Meditation

Post by Dan74 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:51 pm

Well yes, mindfulness of the breath, sensation at the nostrils, movement and counting it.

I have to confess that I never became very good at it. But eventually the monkey mind would settle somehow.

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Re: Mindfulness Meditation

Post by Wayfarer » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:45 pm

Yes. In terms of the meditation practice I employ, that's about the only one.

"Mindfulness' is the term used to translate 'sati', which is the subject of the Satipatthana Sutta. And that Sutta is the foundational text for meditation in Pali Buddhism. So in some ways, anyone who practices Buddhist meditation is 'practicing mindfulness' as one of the bases of the practice.

I think the reason for the popularity of the term 'mindfulness' is because of a number of influential Buddhist texts and teachers, such as The Miracle of Mindfulness, among others. Also the obvious fact that it's something anyone might be capable of.
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Re: Mindfulness Meditation

Post by jundocohen » Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:59 pm

Do you mean "Mindfulness" in the South Asian meaning directed at attaining Nirvana and ending the cycle of Rebirth, or do you mean the watered down, deBuddhaized versions now popular in the west? Two excellent books on how the former became the latter ...

The Birth of Insight
MEDITATION, MODERN BUDDHISM, AND THE BURMESE MONK LEDI SAYADAW
In the first book to examine how this practice came to play such a dominant—and relatively recent—role in Buddhism, Erik Braun takes readers to Burma, revealing that Burmese Buddhists in the colonial period were pioneers in making insight meditation indispensable to modern Buddhism.

Braun focuses on the Burmese monk Ledi Sayadaw, a pivotal architect of modern insight meditation, and explores Ledi’s popularization of the study of crucial Buddhist philosophical texts in the early twentieth century. By promoting the study of such abstruse texts, Braun shows, Ledi was able to standardize and simplify meditation methods and make them widely accessible—in part to protect Buddhism in Burma after the British takeover in 1885. Braun also addresses the question of what really constitutes the “modern” in colonial and postcolonial forms of Buddhism, arguing that the emergence of this type of meditation was caused by precolonial factors in Burmese culture as well as the disruptive forces of the colonial era. Offering a readable narrative of the life and legacy of one of modern Buddhism’s most important figures, The Birth of Insight provides an original account of the development of mass meditation
http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/boo ... 44419.html

Mindful America
The Mutual Transformation of Buddhist Meditation and American Culture
Thirty years ago, "mindfulness" was a Buddhist principle mostly obscure to the west. Today, it is a popular cure-all for Americans' daily problems. A massive and lucrative industry promotes mindfulness in every aspect of life, however mundane or unlikely: Americans of various faiths (or none at all) practice mindful eating, mindful sex, mindful parenting, mindfulness in the office, mindful sports, mindfulness-based stress relief and addiction recovery, and hire mindful divorce lawyers. Mindfulness is touted by members of Congress, CEOs, and Silicon Valley tech gurus, and is even being taught in public schools, hospitals, and the military.

Focusing on such processes as the marketing, medicalization, and professionalization of meditation, Jeff Wilson reveals how Buddhism shed its countercultural image and was assimilated into mainstream American culture. The rise of mindfulness in America, Wilson argues, is a perfect example of how Buddhism enters new cultures and is domesticated: in each case, the new cultures take from Buddhism what they believe will relieve their specific distresses and concerns, and in the process create new forms of Buddhism adapted to their needs. Wilson also tackles the economics of the mindfulness movement, examining commercial programs, therapeutic services, and products such as books, films, CDs, and even smartphone applications.

Mindful America is the first in-depth study of this phenomenon--invaluable for understanding how mindfulness came to be applied to such a vast array of non-religious concerns and how it can be reconciled with traditional Buddhism in America.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LNE8Q6C/re ... TF8&btkr=1

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Re: Mindfulness Meditation

Post by fuki » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:09 am

Wow thanks for that Jundo.

Eric I've become a bit allergic to the term mindfulness, for mindfullness training is very popular here for ppl to work on their stress and seeking "happiness" but that version has nothing to do with Buddhist practise.

We even have a commercial Zen school here which has nothing to do with Buddhism sadly. So please describe the practise of mindfullness first so I can vote yes or no.
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Re: Mindfulness Meditation

Post by Great Sage EofH » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:35 am

Okay i’m Interpreting those as NAYS. I’m familiar with the Ledi Sayadaw story. But I think trying to pin MM (Mindfulness Meditation) on the Hinayana sects isn’t real good history. Kabat Zinn had a fully formed secular program developed before the Insight bunch even got their traveling papers from Burma- and both his mentors were Mahāyāna.

My one and only beef with MM is that it is based on a promise of certain results. And that just misses the mark, some people are only going to focus on the results and not practice for the sake of the Three Jewels. So it falls into the self-help paradigm, when we’re really meant to practice together. It’s not what’s intended.
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Re: Mindfulness Meditation

Post by fuki » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:04 am

SunWuKong wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:35 am
Okay i’m Interpreting those as NAYS.
It's still not clear to me what you're asking or the motive.

In my practise (zazen/silent illumination/studying the dharma or just daily life non-dwelling etc) which I wouldnt even call "meditation" insights or results occur spontaneously, if I would read up on all buddhist methods/no-methods I will always find common ground but thats different from ever having picked a practise and say "I practise this or that"

For instance I know Buddhist who describe their mindfullness practise as " when Im doing the dishes, I'm aware of doing the dishes, I am mindfull of the sensation of cold/warm water" well if you call that mindfullness then I would have to vote "Nay"

Insights into dependend arising, the voidness of own being are fruits of practise, they occur and deepen as time passes perhaps some will say its due to mindfullness or vipassana or whatever, but asking me if I have tried something it would be handy to paste an actual description of the practise (instructions) you speak of.

Mindfullness is to wide (and vague) term to just vote no or yes on. Mindfullness as "alertness" sure but I dont call alertness or attention a practise, mindfullness then occurs to me more as a prerequisite practise instead of it actually being something practiseable or a "doing"
Just like "non-dwelling" is not something you "do" hence Im not clear about what you ask when you say "have you tried mindfullness"

Sorry Im no expert in all Buddhist methods around anyway. Ive never chanted Nembetsu if you would ask that I wouldnt ask for clarification, that is straight forward, "mindfullness" is not for me.
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Re: Mindfulness Meditation

Post by KeithA » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:35 am

I find the hand-wringing by so called "real buddhists" over the whole topic of mindfulness to be pretty comical. To me, mindfulness just means pay attention. So yeah, I like to think I practice mindfulness often. It's a work in progress. :100:

I am actually a big fan of simply following the breath. For whatever reason, the practice resonates.

_/|\_
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Re: Mindfulness Meditation

Post by Great Sage EofH » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:38 am

answers are coming in off all three forums:

1. some answer AYE, others NAY

2. others don't know what it is

3. and others understand mindfulness is an aspect of our practice, but don't see it as a Brand Name in the marketplace. It could be geographic.

4. others understand it but disagree with the practice but haven't experienced/tried it

Mindfulness Meditation is related to the Vipassana Movement, in some cases the paths merge, in other cases they are separate. In the marketplace its taught by Theravada, Mahayana, and Vajrayana teachers, its very popular in the magazines. Typically the objection to it is that it is secular, it is not taught as part of the Buddhist practices, but in some openly Buddhist locations it is added to the curriculum. Normally its breathing in and out mindfully, experiencing the breath in the body, in thought, feeling, and in the Dhamma/Dharma. it might incorporate vipassana in which case whatever arises, falls, is impermanent, not self, is dukkha, and upon ceasing is the cessation of dukkha. It might involve guided meditation, silent sitting meditation, lying down, and walking meditation. I'm not casting my ballot until others have had the chance to without my input.
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Re: Mindfulness Meditation

Post by Great Sage EofH » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:46 am

fuki wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:04 am
SunWuKong wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:35 am
Okay i’m Interpreting those as NAYS.
It's still not clear to me what you're asking or the motive.

In my practise (zazen/silent illumination/studying the dharma or just daily life non-dwelling etc) which I wouldnt even call "meditation" insights or results occur spontaneously, if I would read up on all buddhist methods/no-methods I will always find common ground but thats different from ever having picked a practise and say "I practise this or that"

For instance I know Buddhist who describe their mindfullness practise as " when Im doing the dishes, I'm aware of doing the dishes, I am mindfull of the sensation of cold/warm water" well if you call that mindfullness then I would have to vote "Nay"

Insights into dependend arising, the voidness of own being are fruits of practise, they occur and deepen as time passes perhaps some will say its due to mindfullness or vipassana or whatever, but asking me if I have tried something it would be handy to paste an actual description of the practise (instructions) you speak of.

Mindfullness is to wide (and vague) term to just vote no or yes on. Mindfullness as "alertness" sure but I dont call alertness or attention a practise, mindfullness then occurs to me more as a prerequisite practise instead of it actually being something practiseable or a "doing"
Just like "non-dwelling" is not something you "do" hence Im not clear about what you ask when you say "have you tried mindfullness"

Sorry Im no expert in all Buddhist methods around anyway. Ive never chanted Nembetsu if you would ask that I wouldnt ask for clarification, that is straight forward, "mindfullness" is not for me.
I'm asking if you vote LIKE or DISLIKE to Mindfulness Meditation; see the quotes Jundo supplied, they are very descriptive
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Re: Mindfulness Meditation

Post by fuki » Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:10 am

SunWuKong wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:46 am
I'm asking if you vote LIKE or DISLIKE to Mindfulness Meditation; see the quotes Jundo supplied, they are very descriptive
I then do not vote if you don't mind, I dont lock up practise in a mental picture as in yes or no, like or dislike.
And thanks for the description, yes ofcourse I'm familiar with that practise, as in vipassana.
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Re: Mindfulness Meditation

Post by narhwal90 » Thu Feb 08, 2018 3:40 am

I have. A friend of mine at work runs a 30 minute lunchtime meditation session in a conference room w/ dimmed lights; 5 minutes guided the rest silent. He practices Theravadan, but brings no "official" buddhism to his sessions, he focusses solely on non-judgemental awareness of the body, mind, environment. He usually draws between 5 and 10 people some regulars and a trickle of newcomers, some of whom stay. Some are curious about meditation and his non-doctrinal method makes his session approachable. Since he uses a chair, everyone else is free to do so. I prefer seiza on the floor, another guy contorts himself into a lotus on a chair... stark raving madness but he does it lol. Occasionally people are curious about Buddhism so those conversations become technical.

I have 2 guys waiting for me to bring them to the session, it was helpful to relay the simple non-doctrinal method he uses since they were both at once curious and concerned about what happens; skeptical about mantras, candles and related stuff.

My friend never has a sales pitch either for the benefits of meditation or his school, and the session is always free, not even a donation basket. That might be one distinction to be drawn in the mindfullness racket; profit vs rent for a fancy space vs just keeping the lights on.

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Re: Mindfulness Meditation

Post by bukowski » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:03 am

I try to mindfuly practice shikantaza, and then utilise the seeds of that practice in daily life. Im with kieth on this, in that i have never paid any attention to who is more, or less buddhist. I was taught that mindfullness is moment to moment awareness, without a specific long term goal in mind. Metta, bukowski. :namaste:

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Re: Mindfulness Meditation

Post by lobster » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:54 am

KeithA wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:35 am
I find the hand-wringing by so called "real buddhists" over the whole topic of mindfulness to be pretty comical. To me, mindfulness just means pay attention. So yeah, I like to think I practice mindfulness often. It's a work in progress. :100:

I am actually a big fan of simply following the breath. For whatever reason, the practice resonates.

_/|\_
Keith
:105:
One more for the yay for attentive awareness/attention/mindfulness formal and seated, walking, being or just fadish, faded or unreal ... :hatsoff:

Personally I feel formal sitting too often permits snoozing after the posturing. :hide:

Perhaps the meditative or attentive Buddha nurture is in our Nature when we are less Buddhist and more awake ... :111:

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Re: Mindfulness Meditation

Post by jundocohen » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:26 am

KeithA wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:35 am
I find the hand-wringing by so called "real buddhists" over the whole topic of mindfulness to be pretty comical. To me, mindfulness just means pay attention. So yeah, I like to think I practice mindfulness often. It's a work in progress. :100:

I am actually a big fan of simply following the breath. For whatever reason, the practice resonates.

_/|\_
Keith
Actually, the big deal about Mindfulness Meditation, according to the book I cited (Mindful America) is the divorce from traditional Buddhist Teachings among which, most especially, are the teachings on Karma and Rebirth in favor of a "this worldly, be free now" perspective (for example, page 55 here) ...

https://books.google.co.jp/books?id=ueq ... th&f=false

That means that someone like me (literal rebirth agnostic and skeptic) should be more comfortable with such developments. (In fact, I think that much of the modern "mindfulness movement" is tossing out "the Baby Buddha with the bathwater," and goes too far in abandoning many vital Buddhist teachings. Literal mechanical Karma and Rebirth, however, is not among them).

Gassho, J
Teacher at Treeleaf Zendo, a Soto Zen Sangha, an online practice place for folks who cannot commute to a Zen Center due to health, living in remote areas, work or family needs. The focus is Shikantaza 'Just Sitting' Zazen http://www.treeleaf.org

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Re: Mindfulness Meditation

Post by KeithA » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:45 pm

jundocohen wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:26 am
KeithA wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:35 am
I find the hand-wringing by so called "real buddhists" over the whole topic of mindfulness to be pretty comical. To me, mindfulness just means pay attention. So yeah, I like to think I practice mindfulness often. It's a work in progress. :100:

I am actually a big fan of simply following the breath. For whatever reason, the practice resonates.

_/|\_
Keith
Actually, the big deal about Mindfulness Meditation, according to the book I cited (Mindful America) is the divorce from traditional Buddhist Teachings among which, most especially, are the teachings on Karma and Rebirth in favor of a "this worldly, be free now" perspective (for example, page 55 here) ...

https://books.google.co.jp/books?id=ueq ... th&f=false

That means that someone like me (literal rebirth agnostic and skeptic) should be more comfortable with such developments. (In fact, I think that much of the modern "mindfulness movement" is tossing out "the Baby Buddha with the bathwater," and goes too far in abandoning many vital Buddhist teachings. Literal mechanical Karma and Rebirth, however, is not among them).

Gassho, J
Thanks for the concise post and clear explanation of a position. I appreciate that the ironic jusxtaposition of picking and choosing versus picking and choosing too much, has been noted.

As another tradition loves to say: "The Good Lord works in mysterious ways." The same could be said for the Dharma, imho. There are some really great programs, such as mindfulness training in schools, that have the potential to spring board people to more in-depth study of what they are doing. Or they will just help in some way on their own.

I remember one argument that someone raised when this topic came around again (as it is wont to do). The person was very upset about using mindfulness training in military. Being a former soldier myself, I couldn't help but realize this person had no idea how helpful that could be for someone serving in the military.

We Buddhists don't hold the patent on the connection to this very moment. Just ask Merton, Rumi, etc...

Just now, as I glance out my window, the sun is shining and the neighbors lawn is glittering in the most beautiful way.

Last night's rain and snow
Frozen on the neighbors grass
Jewel Mirror appeared


The Dharma will be just fine, Buddha's and bathwater included. :)

_/|\_
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fuki
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Re: Mindfulness Meditation

Post by fuki » Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:45 pm

KeithA wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:45 pm

We Buddhists don't hold the patent on the connection to this very moment. Just ask Merton, Rumi, etc...
Have you tried saying that on DW :lol:
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:109:
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Re: Mindfulness Meditation

Post by KeithA » Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:58 pm

Fuki asked:
Have you tried saying that on DW :lol:
.
I think there would be some well-reasoned objections, but for sure, I wouldn't do that outside of the Zen forum! lol! :116:

It gets a little sticky, when trotting out the "all mountains lead to the top" rhetoric, but I really have no issue with it. I tend to look for commonalities and shy away from the differences. We are all in this together, even when it's seems as though we aren't. :110:
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fuki
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Re: Mindfulness Meditation

Post by fuki » Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:44 pm

KeithA wrote:
Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:58 pm
.
I think there would be some well-reasoned objections, but for sure, I wouldn't do that outside of the Zen forum! lol! :116:
One of the things I appreciate from the Kwan Um days is understanding the function of speech, of that which appears, for instance someone says "all is one" (or a variation on it) there will always pop up ppl who will from a philosophical standpoint say "thats not what the Buddha taught" or something similair. But what is the function of the speech which ofcourse depend on a specific situation and circumstance? I really appreciate learning that way back from SS
We are all in this together, even when it's seems as though we aren't. :110:
Amen. :)
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Re: Mindfulness Meditation

Post by Great Sage EofH » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:40 am

Dhammawheel Forum is giving me 100% thumbs up, which is a bit surprising since both on here and Dharmawheel its viewed as a secular practice. I thought the Theravadans would be the most fussy about removing a Buddhist practice from it's context?
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