Mindfulness is one of the recent buzzwords as an effective remedy for the quality of life. We can easily recall various advocates for this practice like Thich Nhat Hanh and Jon Kabat-Zinn, etc.
Thich Nhat Han’s book Peace is Every Step is well-known. This title tells us what mindfulness means. His recent book Peace is Every Breath also delivers the same message.
Peace is not a goal we pursue. It rests on every step and breath we gently observe.
Traditionally, it is from Buddha’s primary teaching that he realized after seven-week meditation and fasting under the Bodhi tree, called the Noble Eightfold Path. This path consists of eight practices, and one of them is mindfulness.
- Right view
- Right resolve
- Right speech
- Right conduct
- Right livelihood
- Right effort
- Right mindfulness
- Right concentration
These imply that in everyday life we need to do everything with our right mindset, behavior, and focus. One time Buddha advised one of his students saying:
Observe three things only – your mindsets, words, and actions, then everything goes well.
Too simple to be true. But true. When we gently observe them, such observance is mindfulness.
The opposite of mindfulness is a monkey mind. When you see a piece of banana, you quickly grab it. When you see a bunch of peanuts, you rush to pick it up. If someone else tries to get yours, you scream and shout at this person by jumping around.
Our busy life is just like this monkey mind.
We are too busy to observe anything. In Chinese character, busy consists of two components – losing mind.
Losing mind, we act like a monkey. Chasing after peace, ironically we never get peaceful. Peace is just right here. It rests on every step and breath we gently observe.
Photo by Adrianna Calvo