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The Interplay of Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness and meditation happen in the same place-mind. In the first, there is a sense of clarity of the here, in the now. With this awareness, a simultaneously experience (inmo) occurs-the fullness of the mind as "One." Zazen is configuration of body and mind conjuring non-thinking allowing mindfulness.

Mindfulness is that place in the middle, where we are neither consumed by nor reject what is going on. We have the ability to be fully present such that we’re interested in what’s going on, but we’re not forming judgments or dashing off into proliferation of thoughts. By being with what is, we can create a space where creativity arises, where other options arise. Maybe you think, I hit someone in the mouth last week. That didn’t work out well. Let me try something else. You’re not being passive. Rather, when you’re not driven by old habits, a world of possibility opens up. Mindfulness creates this sense of space based on the balanced —not indifferent and not inert, but balanced—relationship we develop with all kinds of experiences.

In the oldest texts of Buddhism, dhyāna (Sanskrit) or jhāna (Pāḷi) is the training of the mind, commonly translated as meditation, to withdraw the mind from the automatic responses to sense-impressions, and leading to a "state of perfect equanimity and awareness (upekkhā-sati-parisuddhi)."[1]

Epilogue This completes our survey of the Noble Eightfold Path, the way to deliverance from suffering taught by the Buddha. The higher reaches of the path may seem remote from us in our present position, the demands of practice may appear difficult to fulfill. But even if the heights of realization are now distant, all that we need to reach them lies just beneath our feet. The eight factors of the path are always accessible to us; they are mental components which can be established in the mind simply through determination and effort. We have to begin by straightening out our views and clarifying our intentions. Then we have to purify our conduct — our speech, action, and livelihood. Taking these measures as our foundation, we have to apply ourselves with energy and mindfulness to the cultivation of concentration and insight. The rest is a matter of gradual practice and gradual progress, without expecting quick results. For some progress may be rapid, for others it may be slow, but the rate at which progress occurs should not cause elation or discouragement. Liberation is the inevitable fruit of the path and is bound to blossom forth when there is steady and persistent practice. The only requirements for reaching the final goal are two: to start and to continue. If these requirements are met there is no doubt the goal will be attained. This is the Dhamma, the undeviating law.

Now what?

The interplay among and between Noble Eightfold Steps, in each moment,

uncovers prajna parameter or the ability to see deeply into Buddhadharma. Living in this awareness we reverse the order of the eight steps: Right Meditation-Right Mindfulness-Right Effort-Right Livelihood-Right Action-right Speech-Right View.

But wait, there is more!

The interplay of steps ( in all combinations ) is none other than living at the speed of life, wherein there is no discrimination rather a middle way of non attachment. Sometimes the metaphor of dance is used. This dance calls the steps when the tune of variables and conditions change.

If in sitting one minute zazen we are one minute Buddha, then taking this off the cushion one is actualizing the Buddha Way...



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