What is the connection between Buddhism and mindfulness?

mindfulness it is based on improving the brain’s ability to become aware of itself and fully experience the present moment.

Already at the dawn of psychology, William James left us the reflection that our ability to regulate our attentional concentration is the basis of will and good judgment. However, James has already warned us that it’s easier to define total attention than to embody.

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

    The origins of mindfulness

    To speak of mindfulness as a Western discovery, the product of the evolution of our modern society, is to sin at least with naivety and a pride clearly misunderstood.

    Mindfulness, as we know it in the West, he clearly drinks from oriental sources, especially Buddhism, And more precisely of Zen Buddhism, a school integrated into what is called Mahayana or Great Vehicle Buddhism.

    Already in the eighth century, Master Linji, founder of a Zen school in northern China, Encouraged to pay attention to experiences as they appear, in the present. And without going any further, the Vietnamese master and Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh, well known today in the West, already spoke of mindfulness in the 1970s by referring to mindfulness as the energy of being focused in the present.

    That is to say, since the beginnings of psychology, the capacity of the human mind to reflect on itself, to concentrate on its own activity and thus to be able to tune in with emotional states and thoughts that run in our interior has been at the center of the debate and has been the key to 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 Buddhism, both Hinayana and Mahayana, the development of this capacity for self-awareness in human beings has been the cornerstone of your knowledge.

    It therefore seems clear that today, no one questions this principle. And that the concept of mindfulness or mindfulness he already enjoys a difficult situation in all areas of psychology and health sciences.

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

      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 been through the same difficulties. And although we have never experienced what other people are going through, we can put ourselves in their shoes and feel how terrible it must be. As we imagine how much we would like to free ourselves from them, we yearn with great force that others can also be free.

      This is why in Vitalitza we say that there is nothing smarter to get out of my suffering than welcome, bring together, embrace and restore the suffering of the other. And we thank all who walk with us in the retreats and gatherings we have celebrated under the title of “Mindful Sharing” for your efforts and dedication in creating spaces of embrace and fellowship, where spirits rest. , hearts they open and souls connect smiling in unison.

      The editions of our “Compatiendo en Consciencia Plena” meetings scheduled for 2019 will take place in Artzentales (Biscay) from April 4 to 9, June 20 to 23 and August 29 / September 1. For more information, you can check Vitalitza’s website, agenda section or contact using this information.

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