Mindfulness is but One Piece of the Puzzle
This site is primarily about mindfulness. I chose that topic because it’s one of the most interesting aspects of the meditative experience to me. I love the idea of witnessing the monkey mind in action and practicing ways to stop it from ruling over thought and action.
While practicing mindfulness gives me clear understanding of how my perception dictates, to a large extent, my reality through thought patterns, it’s not the only part of the puzzle of unraveling reality. Discipline, wisdom, and mindfulness all encompas the teaching. I’ll not get too deep into the different schools of Buddhism at all here, but talk about what helps me most.
Mindfulness is often referred to as Right Mindfulness. It’s pretty much the practice of being or becoming aware of our thoughts, words, and actions. This part of the Noble Eightfold Path is pretty advanced stuff, but very cool in nature.
The Noble Eightfold Path
The Noble Eightfold path consists of eight steps labeled as such:
1. Right View – Seeing the world through a lens of wisdom, and later, compassion.
2. Right Thought – Negative thought leads to negative life experience. Think good things. Stay positive.
3. Right Speech – Only speak truth, and seek to not harm people with language.
4. Right Conduct – Do unto others and you’d have done onto you. Be excellent to each other.
5. Right Livelihood – Choose a good profession that doesn’t hurt the planet. No Once-ler’s here.
6. Right Effort – Spend your time constructively, and in service to others.
7. Right Mindfulness – Understanding our thoughts, words, and actions.
8. Right Concentration – No multitasking unless you can concentrate on each task independently.
The Junk In The Trunk
The “Rights” leading up to Mindfulness and ultimately Concentration (Samadhi) help to rid yourself of garbage and make “cleaning the garage” through mindfulness easier. If you are still living life in opposition to these, it just makes mindfulness and ultimately, concentration, more difficult, as you keep adding junk to your garage.
A great little book that speaks about this is “The Dharma of Star Wars“. It’s hokey, I know, but it puts this stuff through a “pop culture” lens of something most of us are familiar with. Just a thought.