This point is often called Right Recollectedness or Right Attention. Actually it means keeping one’s mind on what one is doing. As an example of how important it is to have this Right Mindfulness, or Right Attention, let us imagine a boy is riding his bicycle down a busy city-street. He is not paying attention to what he is doing and absent-mindedly goes through a stop-light. Another vehicle strikes his bike and the boy gets badly hurt. All this happens as a result of not using this important point seven of the Noble Path.
Right Mindfulness is a very great help to us in every good thing we do. Any job we are doing is a job that is done better if we use Right Mindfulness. If we fail to centre our attention on what we are doing, then it is very likely that the finished job will not be satisfactory.
The most successful students are those who have trained themselves to give complete attention to whatever subject they may be studying. If the subject is mathematics, then it is not a good use of point seven if the student’s attention wanders away and he begins to worry over whether or not he will pass his history examination. He would have a far better chance to pass all his examinations if he gave his undivided attention to each subject in its turn. Have you ever noticed that when we are trying to do three or four things at the same time, we usually get them only partly finished or, at most, imperfectly done. That is because there is divided attention. Divided attention is never Right Attention.
Right Mindfulness is a form of concentration and concentration always means fixing the attention on one point. In fact, Right Mindfulness is something referred to as one-pointedness. It is almost impossible for anyone to be successful in life and find real happiness if he cannot concentrate his attention on whatever he may have to do from day to day. Not be able to do this is not to have Right Mindfulness.
Ah Choo was helping her mother to prepare dinner. Her friend Ah Lan was in the kitchen for a chatty little neighbourly visit. They were devoting all their attention to Ah Choo’s account of the movie she had seen the previous afternoon. Absent-mindedly Ah Choo went on chopping meat as she talked to Ah Lan, and as her story increased in excitement, she chopped more and more vigorously. When she came close to the climax of the movie, she chopped so strongly that some of the small pieces of meat were flying all over the kitchen. Then came the climax of the movie and the heaviest chop of all; of went the tip of one of Ah Choo’s fingers! If she had kept her attention on her work she would still have her finger undamaged.
Keep thou thy mind as a garden,
Let not thy diligence cease,
Weeding out evil and error,
Striving the good to increase.
Sow thou by Highest Attention
Thoughts that are holy and pure;
Constant and earnest endeavour
Vigour and growth will assure.
Seek with the Light of the Doctrine
Daily thy thoughts to illume,
Truth by its power shall quicken,
Bring them in virtue to bloom.
Then shall thy thoughts find fruition,
Yielding in word and in deed
Cheer, inspiration and blessing,
Help unto others in need.
-A. R. Zorn.
Does Right Mindfulness mean thinking about several things at one time, or concentrating on one thought?
What is another name for Right Mindfulness?
Is it helpful to us in all we do if we have Right Mindfulness?
What often happens when we are trying to do two or three things at one time?
Is “one-pointedness” a good way to describe Right Mindfulness?
What caused Ah Choo to cut off her finger tip?
If we do not have Right Mindfulness, are we more likely to have happiness or unhappiness?
When we grow up and are working, will Right Mindfulness help us to succeed?
If we do not use Right Mindfulness in our school work, are we likely to pass the examinations?
Try to do some simple addition while you are saying the ABC and see what happens.
Typing for Quang Duc Homepage in Melbourne, Australia:
There are three fundamental modes of training in Buddhist practice: morality, mental culture, and wisdom. The English word morality is used to translate the Pali term sila, although the Buddhist term contains its own particular connotations. The word sila denotes a state of normalcy, a condition which is basically unqualified and unadulterated.
According to the Buddhist monastic code, monks and nuns are not allowed to accept money or even to engage in barter or trade with lay people. They live entirely in an economy of gifts. Lay supporters provide gifts of material requisites for the monastics, while the monastics provide their supporters with the gift of the teaching.
This year, at the summer retreat, Vien Tu and Minh Hanh, the two novice monks, took turns to prepare the congee offering each evening. Many Buddhists were curious to know why the congee was offered but not the cooked rice or others. This article is writing about the congee services to the spirits.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary the word ‘chant’ is both a noun and a verb, also (now Scottish) chaunt, compared with the late 17th Century, old and modern French verb, ‘with chant’ which is derived from the Latin, ‘cantum’.
My dear friends, suppose someone is holding a pebble and throws it in the air and the pebble begins to fall down into a river. After the pebble touches the surface of the water, it allows itself to sink slowly into the river. It will reach the bed of the river without any effort. Once the pebble is at the bottom of the river, it continues to rest. It allows the water to pass by.
We all know what happens when a fire goes out. The flames die down and the fire is gone for good. So when we first learn that the name for the goal of Buddhist practice, nibbana (nirvana), literally means the extinguishing of a fire, it's hard to imagine a deadlier image for a spiritual goal: utter annihilation.
This script was written and edited by: John D. Hughes, Arrisha Burling, Frank Carter, Leanne Eames, Jocelyn Hughes, Lisa Nelson, Julie O’Donnell, Nick Prescott, Pennie White and Lenore Hamilton. Consider a water tank as a model of understanding. When the water in the tank gets too low, you get sick and eventually die. For you to stay alive, the tank must be consistently replenished with water.
When we do walking meditation, the point is not to get somewhere, but rather to practice, using walking as the object of our attention. Even when we do have to get somewhere and must drive to do so, there is an opportunity for practice. Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Zen master and poet, has written a number of gathas, or brief verses, for enhancing our mindfulness during everyday activities, even driving a car.
The word Buddhism is derived from Buddha, meaning the Enlightened One or the Awakened One. Buddha is not a proper name, but a generic term or appellative, referring to a founder of a religion, one who has attained supreme enlightenment and who is regarded as superior to all other beings, human or divine, by virtue of his knowledge of the Truth (Dhamma).
Lama Thubten Yeshe gave this teaching during a five-day meditation course he conducted at Dromana, near Melbourne, Australia, in March, 1975. Edited by Nicholas Ribush. This teaching appears in the November/December 1997 issue of Mandala Magazine.