The Pali word for mindfulness is Sati, which actually means activity and is also translated as awareness.
While reading many explanations of mindfulness, I came to realize that a better understanding of mindfulness requires a tremendous amount of reading and comprehension. Even some of the most scholarly Monks that have written essays on this subject often say that much of the understanding is beyond words.
So where does that leave the average person, like you and I, in terms of gaining a better understanding?
Anapana Sati, the meditation on in-and-out breathing, is the first subject of meditation expounded by the Buddha. Mindfulness of the breath.
I think this is highly relevant that it was Buddha’s first teaching on meditation, because all things begin and end with the breath. What better way to begin mindfulness, than with the breath!
Think about it. If you have no breath, then there is no thought, no feeling, no sensation, no desire, no clinging, no attachment.
And while I do think that complete comprehension of mindfulness goes far beyond mere words, I feel confident that the breath can lead us to that deeper understanding.
If we can train our minds to be constantly aware of this breath, we become more and more mindful of thoughts and feelings (physical and emotional) that arise and fall away.
This is my best attempt at writing a “Mindfulness for Dummies”. Being aware of the breath, and always returning to the breath.
We all know that we are constantly breathing, now all we have to do is pay attention to this.
Don’t try to breathe, don’t focus on inhaling or exhaling. Just be aware. Just breathe.
And may you always be well, happy and peaceful.