Mindfulness & Majjhima Nikaya
Primarily the reading from the Majjhima Nikaya, Sutta 10, discusses the purpose of mindfulness in a context of rightful meditation strategy and thinking.The first part deals with the importance of the body.It is shown through the breathing activity which somehow established mindfulness through awareness of the existence of the body.
The person shall himself attach from his body as he observed its breathing in and out through meditation. The second thing that one will observe through mindful meditation is the body’s posture. Accordingly, one will realize if the body is standing, sitting or lying.
According to the reading, this helps one realize the external and internal activities of the body. Through giving full attention a person could observe the activities of the body more closely and completely. The person shall then reflect about the body and all of its components in such a manner that the person will know the body in a more intimate level. Through repulsiveness of the body, the person will be able to identify one part from the other and what the purpose of each part is. Further reflection would be gathered when the person learned about the elements that makes up the body.
Through observing the death of other human body, the person shall have an understanding that the same things can happen to him self upon death. The person understands that life has end and like any other body that dies, the person’s body is also subjected to death. That death is something that is inescapable. Aside from the body, the person shall also be able to understand his feelings through mindfulness. In this part of the reading, there was a distinction between worldly feeling and spiritual feelings. The person is either experiencing a good feeling or a bad feeling.
Through meditation, the person shall be able to administer a mindful observation of the origination and dissolution factors of the feeling which he has. The person could observe internally or externally, through himself or through other’s experience. The person shall also be able to understand the mind by familiarizing oneself with how the mind works. In the discussion of the mind, there is a comparison between the being and the mind such that when the body has lust, the mind also has lust, if the body hates so as the mind. The fourth thing that a person in a mindful state observes is mindful things.
The person shall also be able to apprehend mindful objects. The mental objects are also the five hindrances. The first of the five hindrances is the sense-desire. The person in a mindful state is a person who knows when a sense desire is coming from him or is affecting him in any way. This way, the person is able to observe sense-desire. The other hindrances are anger, torpor and languor, restlessness and worry and doubt. The mindful person shall be able to observe these five hindrances as mental objects. The person would be able to observe the five aggregates which helps dismiss the five hindrances.
The five aggregates is composed of contemplation of the arising and disappearance of a material form, feelings, perceptions, mental formations and consciousness in a way or in another. The person shall be able to contemplate through the use of the six internal and external senses. For instance were the eye and the visual form that it captures the nose and the sense of smell, the ears and the sounds, the tongue and the taste, the body and the tangible things and the mind with the mental objects. Lastly the person shall be able to learn to observe the seven factors of enlightenment.
The first enlightenment factor being the act of mindfulness. The second is the investigation of the mental object. This is when the person is aware that he is investigating a mental object or is not and how such investigation proceeded. Energy, joy, equanimity and concentration is the third enlightenment factor that shall be present. This through knowing that there is or if there is no energy, joy, equanimity and concentration present or involve. Finally, the person shall live under the Four Noble Truth which includes understanding Dukka or suffering.
One should learn that there are experiences and paths that may lead to one’s suffering, thus suffering shall be understood as something that exist externally, internally, may cease to exist or may come to existence in reality . The practice of the Four Noble Truth may lead to either the Highest Knowledge or the state of not returning. The Falun Gong also has teachings that discussed what could be found in Sutta 10 or the teachings of Buddha. The instruction of Budha which also includes the four Noble Truths and the eight fold paths can basically be reflected upon the meditation techniques mentioned in the article.
With the acknowledgement of Buddha’s basic teachings such as nothing is lost in the universe, things undergone constant change and the basic law of cause and effect, the reading have illustrates that a Buddhist meditation must be done in accordance to the basic teachings. Mindfulness as a state that can only be attain through an understanding of the natural process of life which always has a beginning and an end. The meditation somehow reflects a cyclic process that undermines careful understanding, realization and possibility of changes.
Understanding the four noble truths and advocating them is also practiced in the meditation. The observation and acknowledgement of the body reminds one that the body is a material thing that experiences pain. Observing that pain could be understood internally and externally provides an understatement regarding the way by which pain is observed to be possessed by and can be experience by anyone. By undergoing an internal observation of seeing pain and suffering, one is able to identify that through proper meditation a person is the cause of his own pain and sufferings.
A realization that suffering has its roots and its end determines that suffering could be stop or ended. Lastly, through meditation and proper understanding of how things works and how suffering produces the pain that are felt, one should help others become unlightened. The act of mindfulness is tantamount to having a clear awareness of the things and events as it pass observation of the person. Current practices of Buddhist meditation often neglect the goal of meditation. According to the primary source the only way of overcoming “sorrow and lamentation” is through purification or through the right path.
Most often the modern practices focus on correcting bad behaviors. Sometimes the main focus was on finding truthfulness, displaying forbearance and benevolence. While the focus should be on extending enlightenment to other people. Most of the time, people enlighten themselves and stay stagnant without the purpose of expanding the enlightenment to other people. There are current meditations that only focus on the physical well being or fitness; while the real intention must include spiritual and mental fitness as well.
There are also types of modern meditation that is tied up with supernatural goals that needs increase of concentration like those that are required in yoga. Works Cited Buddhism: A Brief Introduction. Developing Virtue Secondary School. Burlingame, California: Buddhist Translation Society, 1996. Buddhist Studies. Curriculum Development Institute of Singapore. Singapore: Pan Pacific Publications Pte Ltd, 1984. Cohen, Joan Lebold. Buddha. New York: Delacore Press, 1969. Following the Buddha’s Footsteps. http://online. sfsu. edu/~rone/Buddhism/footsteps. htm Lecture Notes. Person. 2008.