[Buddha-l] mindfulness

Dharmachari Mahabodhi dhmahabodhi at hotmail.com
Wed Nov 6 11:40:05 MST 2013

My own take on this is that there is a common factor in the use of the word mindfulness in a secular context and in Buddhism. That is, in both contexts it helps overcome suffering. The difference between the contexts is in the scope of suffering addressed.
'Secular mindfulness' has limited scope. It mainly addresses the kind of suffering that comes from the way we approach our experience. It has nothing to say about the negative effects of our actions on others: that suffering goes unaddressed. Buddhism on the other hand addresses all our own suffering and he suffering of others (to the extent that we influence it.) 

So using the one term 'mindfulness' in different contexts is not very satisfactory.It would be better to specify the context along with the term.
But a 'common' definition might be:
'Bringing awareness to the conditions of experience in a way that overcomes suffering and produces happiness.'
That would apply equally to the four foundations of mindfulness and to 'being aware in the present moment non-judgmentally.'

Triratna Buddhist 
07973 699750


> From: franz at mind2mind.net
> Date: Wed, 6 Nov 2013 10:07:45 -0800
> To: buddha-l at mailman.swcp.com
> Subject: Re: [Buddha-l] mindfulness
> Dear Denizens,
> Dan wrote, of mindfulness,
> > So there is no exact single definition, though there are numerous exact definitions. Numerous exact definitions adds up to a vague term.
> I'd add that the term's vagueness has been useful in facilitating its appropriation and commodification by the spiritual-industrial complex. _Mindfulness in the Marketplace_, edited by Allen Badiner back in 2002, began to explore this. But with with with Buddhists and scientists still strangely in bed together, and mindfulness programs invading K-12 education (I should know; I'm part of the problem/solution), the whole mindfulness industry needs serious critical inquiry.
> Franz
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