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Buddhism for Everyone with JoAnn Fox

Nov 8, 2021

In this episode we explore Right Mindfulness, one of the Noble Eightfold Path. In general, mindfulness means awareness, presence of mind, or attentiveness. What sets Right Mindfulness apart from secular mindfulness is that it is taught as a skill that supports the Buddhist path to enlightenment. Mindfulness in this context is part of the eightfold path that leads to the realization of the four noble truths and the end suffering. In Pali, the phrase referring to Buddhist mindfulness is samma sati, which translates as “wise mindfulness.”Mindfulness as a factor of concentration helps us stay on our objects of concentration and penetrate the wisdom of reality, emptiness.

Mindfulness also helps us to notice and maintain our daily life intentions to be kind, compassionate, and avoid harming others. Mindfulness helps us notice when we stray from Right Speech, Right Action, or Right Livelihood. Wise mindfulness has these particular goals and therefore helps us progress along the spiritual path. 

Wisdom arises from [spiritual] practice; 

Without practice it decays. 

Knowing this two-way path for gain and loss, 

Conduct yourself so that wisdom grows. (282)

-Buddha, The Dhammapada 

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References and Links

Buddha.The Dhammapada. Translated by Gil Fronsdale. (Kindle). Shambala, Boston and London, 2011, pp. 72 (Link)

Bodhi, Bhikku. The Noble Eightfold Path. Buddhist Publication Society, 1999, pp 70-85. BuddhaNet.