A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Taking off the rose colored glasses

Right mindfulness, is not about listening to your parents more attentively, even though that might be a good idea anyways. Right mindfulness is about seeing things as they are, without delusion, or without our own preconceptions or filters.  Buddha described this when he told us about the four foundations of mindfulness:  1. Contemplation of the body.  2. Contemplation of the feeling (repulsive, attractive, or neutral), 3. Contemplation of our state of mind.  4. Contemplation of the phenomena itself. Contemplation of the body, includes knowing what senses are providing us with the input, is it our smell, sight and tactile senses, or perhaps it is the sense of thought only, as in regards to a thought object. Contemplation of the feeling it causes to arise, is it repulsion, as never will I eat that, or attractive as the beauty of a beautiful sunset, or neutral as in the unscarred pavement we walk along. Contemplation of our state of mind as we receive this input helps us to understand the frame of reference in which we look at the input. If we are feeling grumpy and unappreciated in general and our boss informs us we got a 3% raise, we may fell “What only 3% when I did all this extra work, brought in 10% more business, grumble, and more grumble. Where as if we are in a good mood, we hear the news of a 3% pay raise and are planning how to have a small celebration, mindful that it is only 3%, but still happy. Also fully aware of the phenomena or object, its reality, its meaning, and how it is connected to everything around it. Right mindfulness is seeing everything in context and connected with all that surrounds it or is connected in any way to. We are in control of our mind as it makes these connections, develop the concepts, and combine these concepts into constructs that then are combined into reality. This in contrast to our usual half aware state, or as I say being going along on autopilot though life.


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