The faculty of wisdom—that aware & awakened knowing of the very fabric of existence—is the root quality, the quintessence of mindfulness.
dhamma (Skt. dharma): (1) event, phenomenon; (2) mental quality; (3) teaching; (4) nibbana
The word mindfulness, for instance: anyone who’s naive to hearing it is going to think, ‘Oh yeah, that’s some sort of cognitive manipulation.’ So I like to point out that in all Asian languages (at least I’ve been told this—I don’t know all Asian languages), the word for mind and the word for heart are the same. So when you hear the word mindfulness, if you’re not in some sense automatically hearing the word heartfulness you’re missing the meaning of the word. And mindfulness in any event is not a concept, it’s a way of being. And it’s a way of being awake. It’s not a big deal it’s just that we’re never taught that this is part of the human repertoire. So, what does wakefulness mean? It means resting in a kind of awareness that is so stable that it’s not thrown off by the comings and goings within the field of awareness.
The way of mindfulness is, however, always appropriate to the time and the place, to the way things are in their good and bad aspects. Then suffering isn’t dependent on the world being good or bad, but on how willing we are to use wisdom in this present moment. The way out of suffering is now, in being able to see things as they are.
To me, mindfulness meditation is basically working to transform the mind. Meditation is about cultivating wholesome states of mind, nurturing a Dhamma mind, and bringing out the good qualities in the mind.
And the capacity to be present with your own pain, that’s not self-compassion—that’s mindfulness. That’s what mindfulness is—just that. I tend to feel—and this may be a bit harsh on my side—you know, it wouldn’t be the first time—that these concepts such as self-love, self-compassion, self-forgiveness are often covert or not so covert ways of protecting a very explicit sense of self that does not want to meet the actual state of affairs.
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