What Is Mindfulness? “Part 3, Mindfulness: The Path, Part 1”
By Frank Simons
The Meditation Center presents the Tricycle retreat series What Is Mindfulness? “Part 3, Mindfulness: The Path, Part 1,” by Shinzen Young, at 5:30pm, Thursday, October 29, at the Center, Callejón Blanco 4.
What Is Mindfulness?
Thu, Oct 29, 5:30pm
By Shinzen Young
Callejón Blanco 4
Free, donations accepted
415 111 0644
This response to a question by a retreat participant shows Shinzen’s thoughtfulness:
“First of all, thank you and congratulations for being the kind of person who’s not afraid to confront or pointedly query a teacher. This is precisely the attitude that I think is needed.
Because I converged to a personally satisfying paradigm of mindfulness several years ago, there’s bound to be some repetition of material. However, the large-scale conceptual organizing principle that I’ll be presenting in this program is new. By large-scale organizing principle, I mean:
“Explaining in detail why different authorities choose to define mindfulness differently.
Pointing out that the word mindfulness can be ambiguous and that for the purpose of rigorous discussion, it is useful to distinguish mindfulness in the sense of a form of awareness from mindfulness in the sense of techniques which elevate the base-level of that awareness, and to further distinguish those two from the application of that awareness.
“Pointing out the importance of systematically applying mindful awareness not only to sensory experience but also to improving objective behavior and nurturing a spirit of love and service. That makes it possible to seamlessly include sila and metta as an integral and inseparable part of mindfulness per se.
“This, in turn, makes possible the revolutionary notion of a psycho-spiritual growth process that covers all dimensions of human happiness (conditional + unconditional x for yourself + for others), does so in a radical (i.e., to the very root) way.
“Is based entirely on the acquisition and application of a quantifiable attention skill set (as opposed to faith-based approaches) and is therefore ideally positioned both to partner with science and be universally acceptable to people from any cultural background or belief system.
To sum it up, although some of the details have appeared elsewhere, there is some significant new material: sensitizing people to think of “mindfulness” in terms of awareness, techniques, and applications, and the relationship between them, and thereby clearing up some of the prevalent confusion both in the Buddhist world and the psychotherapy world regarding what mindfulness is or isn’t. That’s why I named the series What is Mindfulness.”
Shinzen is known for his innovative, interactive, and algorithmic approach to mindfulness, a system specifically designed for use in pain management and recovery support and as an adjunct to psychotherapy.
He leads meditation retreats throughout North America and has hel