Right Mindfulness

Nursery FlowersRight mindfulness is practicing the four applications of mindfulness (satipatthana) – alert, mindful observation of the qualities and changing nature of:

(1) Body (including breathing)

(2) Feeling

(3) States of mind

(4) Dhammas – basic patterns in the flow of experience, such as: the five khandhas, the five hindrances, the four True Realities, and the seven factors of awakening.

Source: Excerpted and adapted from Peter Harvey, An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices, 2nd ed, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), page 83.


Right Mindfulness (or Right Attention)

Right Mindfulness or Right Attention means being attentive, mindful, and aware of our bodily actions, sensations and feelings, and the activity of our mind. Right Mindfulness means giving our full attention to that which is positive, life affirming, and beneficial to other beings. We are also mindful of that which is negative, harmful, or destructive. In addition, we are to cultivate those states of mind conducive to our spiritual progress.

In accord with Right Mindfulness, our awareness is where it should be, completely attentive to what is happening within us and around us in the present moment. We see things as they are, without distortion. When our attention is scattered, deluded, or placed on too many things at once, our thoughts, speech, or actions may become careless, which causes harm to ourselves or others. In these situations, we can practice Right Mindfulness by embracing the painful consequences of our actions with full awareness. As we practice Right Mindfulness, we are steady, open, aware, present, insightful, and serene in attitude; we think, speak, and act with loving-kindness, compassion, and wisdom. Through Right Mindfulness we cultivate mental discipline/concentration (samadhi), an essential aspect of the Path.

Source: SourcePoint Global Outreach, The Heart of Dharma Collection (Mount Shasta, CA: Naljor Prison Dharma Service, n.d.) http://sourcepointglobaloutreach.org/what-we-offer/