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  • Zen Thoughts 48 – The Four Types of Mindfulness
    Culture > Values > Buddhism > Point To Moon – Sutras & teachings > Zen thoughts from Live Zen Center Workshops
    According to [The Greater Discourse on the Foundation of Mindfulness], Buddha provided us with four basic and crucial ways to practice our insight power, in order to see through the “secret” behind the phenomena. Mindfulness means always remind ourselves to keep clear awareness on the happening in body and mind. Because we recognize, feel and understand this world based on body and mind. So, it’s impossible to find “secret” without the body and mind. In other words, the body and mind themselves contain the “secret”.

    As narrated in the beginning of this Discourse, “Which four? Here, monks, a monk/practitioner lives intensely with awareness and constantly thorough understanding of impermanence, observing body in body, having removed craving and aversion towards the world (of mind and matter); he lives intensely with awareness and constantly thorough understanding of impermanence, observing sensations in sensations, having removed craving and aversion towards the world (of mind and matter); he lives intensely with awareness and constantly thorough understanding of impermanence, observing mind in mind, having removed craving and aversion towards the world (of mind and matter); he lives intensely with awareness and constantly thorough understanding of impermanence, observing mental contents in mental contents, having removed craving and aversion towards the world (of mind and matter).”

    Almost at the end of each section, Buddha will repeat the same sentence:” Thus he develops his awareness to such an extent that there is mere understanding along with mere awareness. In this way he dwells detached, without clinging towards anything in the world (of mind and matter).” Here the “mere awareness” means to keep a clear and objective mind to observe, and “without clinging” implies neither attaching to nor resisting against anything. If we cling to anything, we will loose the objectiveness and miss the moment of real happening. The missing of real happening means the catching of illusion, which all kinds of sufferings and afflictions are derived from.

    Through countless practices of “mere understanding along with mere awareness”, we’ll understand the characteristic of suffering, the arising of suffering, the way to cease the suffering and the cessation of suffering. When the illusion is cleaned up, we’ll not only understand but also experience the “impermanence and no inherent nature” directly – the real freedom emerges.

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