RIGHT MINDFULNESS (Samma Sati) - by Mithra Wettimuny

Living in right mindfulness is the bedrock of one's welfare and thefoundation for one's mental development. It is a great blessing. It is one'sgreatest protection. Human beings generally have a certain level of mindfulness. However, it is somewhat diffused. Therefore, it cannot berightfully termed right mindfulness. Right mindfulness is not acquired soeasily; but then, good things never comes easy. To develop and acquire rightmindfulness, requires great effort and commitment. It requires sacrifice.

Right mindfulness means keeping the mind in the present. This means that whenone performs a certain task, one should be mindful and totally aware of thatact at the time of performance. For example, when one brushes his/her teeth,he/she should be mindful of this process by paying attention to it and notallow any other thoughts to intrude. When you are eating, eat in silence,mindful of eating. But, if you are engaged in conversation whilst eating,that would be wrong mindfulness. From those two simple examples, you canrealise that living in right mindfulness is not such an easy task. if oneperforms two or three acts simultaneously, it is not a skill but a weakness.Doing one thing at a time is the real skill, the real achievement.

One must resolve to develop right mindfulness. One must diligently train forit by practising simple exercises and gradually progress. In particular, onemust direct one's mindfulness to the internal. Most pay attention to theexternal, but rather you should look inward for your own welfare. This means:

(a) being mindful of body.
(b) being mindful of feeling.
(c) being mindful of mental states.
(d) being mindful of mental contents.

These are the four foundations of mindfulness. These are the four fields ofresort of the one who lives in mindfulness.

When you keep developing this faculty diligently, it will be a great sourceof protection. When right mindfulness is developed and made much of, onerealises what one should do and should not do. Whether one should speak ornot speak. When one speaks, what should be spoken and not spoken. Right mindfulness is the basis for the development of the right path thatculminates in knowledge, wisdom, contentment and the highest happiness.

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