Right Mindfulness

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Right Mindfulness (samma sati), sometimes also called awareness (appamàda), is the seventh step on the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Middle Path. Mindfulness is a quality of mind which clearly apprehends experience and observes it in a non-interfering, non-judgmental manner. Normally each experience we have triggers desires, thoughts and memories and these prevent us from seeing the experience as it actually is. The purpose of mindfulness meditation is to strengthen the ability to be mindful and then use it to observe the body, feelings, mind and the contents of the mind. In time these things come to be seen as non-substantial, fleeting, impersonal phenomena and a calm detachment towards them arises. Even from a mundane point of view this has numerous benefits. If this mindful detachment can be maintained in daily life, one can remain unruffled in the face of provocation and of course can develop more contentment and peace of mind. Thus the Buddha said, ‘Mindfulness is helpful everywhere’ (S.V,156). Mindfulness also has a crucial role to play in the enhancement of wisdom.

To be diligently aware, mindful and attentive with regard to activities of the body, sensations or feelings, activities of the mind, ideas, thoughts, conceptions, and emotions.

The opposite of mindfulness would be something like forgetfulness or absent mindedness. To acquire more mindfulness in our daily activities we need to do the practice, which is insight meditation. This trains the body and the mind so that mindfulness can become more like second nature and be present in every moment.