dc misc. index
Zen and Mindfulness and DC in St. Louis
10-25-07 - Sittin' here in Manchester waiting for a flight and reading what some folks have writ about mindfulness. Below are some revelations by a few Zen friends. But first a few idle comments by DC.
10-15-07 - In eleven days I'm giving a talk in St. Louis at Washington University on Zen and Mindfulness. What should I say? What can be said about... what are we talking about? oh yes - mindfulness. What do you think? I've misplaced my notes and am dizzy from just having banged my head on a low beam and aching from having tripped over my own feet which led to a nasty tumble. Mindfulness? Huh? Help. Write me now at <email@example.com>, share your thoughts and save me from the humiliation of staring at the eager assembly, mouth agape, occasionally mumbling "Duh." - DC
1 Brookings Drive
Saint Louis , MO 63130-4899
Zen and Mindfulness. The talk will take place at Washington University, in Brown Hall, Room 100. This event is co-sponsored by the Buddhist Council of Greater St. Louis and the Department of Religious Studies, Washington University in St. Louis.
10-25-07 - Sittin' here in Manchester waiting for a flight to Chicago then to St. Louis as is explained above this post and reading what some folks have writ about mindfulness, spurred on by my request also found above. Meanwhile, below are some revelations by a few Zen friends. But first a few idle comments.
Looking more into this mindfulness thing. Here are four emails on Mindfulness I got from old Zen buddies as a result of my plea as seen way up top.
thank you for throwing this out to those of us in the choir. because it inspired a pervasive contemplation on this subject for me. i'm probably too late to weigh in, and i'm still not clear on which way to go.
it's interesting that mindfulness is next to the last in the order of the 8 fold path, just before right meditation. so i feel that unless one is clear on one's view being on the mark, the subsequent truths will be baseless---not less true but without foundation. yes, it's important to be consciously aware of where i put my keys, be aware of the hole in front of me, and remember a name. this is basic mindfulness.
for buddha, right view is the understanding of transciency/emptiness, the 4 noble truths, leading to the 8-fold path. to me, the right view is clarity of intention, wanting to be Free more than anything else. if i'm clear about this and freedom is my numero uno, then i'm inspired to do what it takes. and mindfulness is the cultivation of awareness, to face everything and avoid nothing. because the big obstacle to freedom, to big mind, to buddha nature is narcissism, ie, big ego. the mindfulness necessary to face everything and avoid nothing will undercut ego's wily ways to see oneself as separate and special.
another aspect to mindfulness is the fact that we all need to be nicer and kinder to each other. we can learn a lot from the japanese about being mindful of not wreaking havoc upon those around us with our inner problems. our outer demeanor can be polite and dignified no matter how we may feel inside at the time. this requires a willingness to accept feedback if we want to grow up in this important stage of mindfulness and awareness. we all have the ability to turn a situation around or not return aggression with further aggression. we can make another's day for them.
perhaps you could post your talk on cuke.com, along with some of the significant posts you received. it's a great topic.
Mindfulness, in practice, is about remembering to be conscious in an impartial way or in Buddhist terms, in a non-attached way.
Mindfulness is about being conscious of consciousness itself, awareness of doing, thinking and being.
Mindfulness as a cognitive process uses the cerebral cortex area of the brain.
In theory, mindfulness pre-supposes that un-consciousness is the default state of mind.
It can be beneficial in many ways to be mindful of ones thoughts and ones behavior.
There is a circular relationship between one's thoughts and behavior and vice versa. Mindfulness of a behavior can lead to uncovering the unconscious thought processes behind the action.
I talk with my women friends about this all the time. Mindfulness is a key technique in maintaining an embodied spirituality.
Sorry, I'm in the middle of leading sesshin myself, and I can't remember what mindfulness is. - tdl
John Steiner suggests:
Make it fun...make it ordinary...say whatever you say when
you're there...Ask questions first...who's there...who knows anything...ask
they what they know. Who meditates? ..... Let them just ask you any
questions they have...maybe the whole thing...a few minutes to warm them up
and Q&A...Stand up there and don't say anything for awhile and see if anyone
will say something...
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