Education, study and knowledge

What is the link between Buddhism and Mindfulness?

Mindfulness or mindfulness It is based on enhancing the brain's ability to be aware of itself and to live the present moment fully.

Already at the dawn of psychology William James He left us the reflection that our ability to regulate our attention focus is the basis of will and good judgment. However, James already warned us that it is easier to define mindfulness than to embody it.

In any case, this notion of mindfulness or directed attention it is much earlier in time than psychology as a science and even to other tools of human thought such as philosophy.

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The origins of Mindfulness

To speak of mindfulness as a western discovery, a product of the evolution of our modern society, is to err at least as naive and clearly misunderstood pride.

Mindfulness or mindfulness practice, as we know it in the West, clearly drinks from eastern sources, especially Buddhism, and more specifically Zen Buddhism, a school integrated into what is known as Mahayana Buddhism or great vehicle.

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As early as the 8th century, Master Linji, founder of a Zen school in northern China, encouraged paying attention to experiences as they appear, in the present. And without going any further, the Vietnamese Zen teacher and monk Thich Nhat Hanh, well known today in the West, already spoke of mindfulness in the 70s he referred to mindfulness as the energy of being focused on the Present.

That is, since the dawn of psychology the ability of the human mind to reflect on itself, to focus on his own activity and thus Being able to tune in with the emotional states and thoughts that run within us has been at the center of the debate and has been the key in all models of psychotherapeutic approach and personal growth.

On the other hand, from worlds as far removed from psychological reflection as many schools of Eastern meditation can be, especially within the Buddhism, both Hinayana and Mahayana, the development of this capacity for self-awareness in man has been the cornerstone of his knowledge.

It seems clear, therefore, that nowadays, no one doubts this principle. And that the concept of mindfulness or mindfulness already enjoys a wide standing in all areas of psychology and health sciences.

However, this mindfulness would be lame if we forget another Buddhist key, which is at the root of the Mahayana Buddhist concept of meditation, specifically compassion.

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The Buddhist perspective

In Buddhism, compassion, in the sense of the figure of the Tibetan bodhisattva (also Mahayana Buddhism) is the desire for others to be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.

It is based on valuing the feelings of others, especially when we have gone through the same difficulties. And even if we've never been through what others are going through, we can put ourselves in their shoes and feel how terrible it must be. As we imagine how much we would want to be free of that, we yearn very strongly that others could be free as well.

That is why in Vitaliza we affirm that there is nothing more intelligent to get out of my suffering than welcome, gather, embrace and restore the suffering of the other. And we thank all of you who walk by our side in the retreats and meetings that we have been celebrating under the heading of "Sharing in Full Consciousness" your effort and dedication to create spaces of embrace and communion, where minds rest, hearts open and souls connect smiling to the unison.

The editions of our meetings "Compatiendo en Consciencia Plena" scheduled for 2019 will take place in Artzentales (Bizkaia) on April 4-9, June 20-23 and August 29 / September. For more information you can go to the Vitaliza website, agenda section, or contact through these dates.

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