Well here’s another word we don’t hear very often. Probably because most of us are not in fact heedful.
Let’s start with a definition of the word heedful:
taking heed; attentive; mindful; thoughtful; careful: She was always heedful of others’ needs.
Now let’s look at the Pali Buddhist version which is called Appamada:
Heedfulness; diligence; zeal. The cornerstone of all skillful mental states, and one of such fundamental import that the Buddha’s stressed it in his parting words to his disciples: “All fabrications are subject to decay. Bring about completion by being heedful!”
Appamada was actually the last teaching, final words, of the Buddha.
It seems to me, that if this was the last thing Buddha shared with us, it held an extremely powerful meaning.
I actually am just learning about this today, as I have been doing more reading and research. (Research is another thing the Buddha said we should do, but I’ll make that a post for another time)
But one thing I find is consistently coming to the forefront of my studies is mindfulness.
And I am starting to see that being skillful and diligent are critical to proper mindfulness.
In other words, just because I eat more slowly does not mean I am being mindful. If instead, when I eat, I am mindful of how it nourishes my body, the farmers who worked hard to produce this food, the love that my Wife put into preparing it for me, the people who suffer without food, etc. This is being mindful in a heedful way!
I am now starting to see that this heed-fullness is something I need to develop in everything I do. I must wake myself from this fast paced technology driven fantasy that I live in. I must develop this skill, and develop true mindfulness.
I believe this is why we focus on the breath in meditation. If we can start with being mindful of each breath we take, perhaps we can learn to be mindful in all things.
I am so thankful to Bhante Sujatha, Bhante Sanyatha, and Bhante Samita for sharing their love with me. They teach me so much, and they teach me not with words but by example. Also, I am thankful to the Sangha for their love and support. Most of all, I am thankful to the Buddha for giving all of us these teachings.
Namo Buddhaya and Budu Saranai.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.