What is Mindfulness?

Article By Ajahn Sucitto

The term ‘mindfulness’ has become a buzz-word in recent years. We hear of mindfulness being used in many ways to increase calm, to rectify attention disorders and to offer emotional stability. It is employed in a number of ways: Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, Mindfulness-Based Childbirth, Mindfulness for Sports people, Mindfulness for Businessmen, and Mindfulness in the Military. A calm collected emotional state and a clear present-moment attention can have many applications to improve how a human being functions, and mindfulness is commonly understood to provide just that. In terms of its popularity (in the West at least) it has outgrown, and often doesn’t even acknowledge, its ancient Buddhist parent with all her religious views. Understandably so: recent accounts of Buddhist fundamentalist attacks on Muslims in Burma and Sri Lanka offer a deeply disappointing view of how even Buddhism can get swamped by views.

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