In this episode of the Insight Hour Podcast, Joseph examines what real mindfulness practice looks like.
What is Mindfulness? (Opening) – In the most basic terms, mindfulness is the fundamental method of inquiry in Buddhist practice. Joseph explores the origins of mindfulness practice in the Buddha’s teaching and discusses the quality of mind necessary in order to practice mindfulness.
“It is pretty remarkable that a discourse the Buddha gave over 2600 years ago has such relevance, power and appropriateness for our lives 2600 years later. Clearly, there is something very essential about these teachings.”
The Observing Mind (5:50) – When we are practicing mindfulness we must not only be present, but we must engage the observing aspect of the mind. Joseph teaches how to recognize the difference between simple present awareness and the observing power of the mind. We can explore things in a whole new way when we are in the moment and engaged in observation like this. With this new perspective, Joseph asks us to examine our thoughts and discusses an important truth about their nature.
“When we add the observing power to living in the present, it is connecting in the present and we know that we are knowing. This is another dimension to our awareness that begins to clarify the meaning of mindfulness.”
Through the Filter (20:05) – Even when we are present and engaged with the observing power of the mind we still have the problem of all the filters that we apply to what is being observed. Joseph shares teachings from the Buddha that help us recognize the filters that we see the world through, which helps us to truly practice mindfulness.
“We need to be very watchful of our interpretations of experience and the language we use to describe what is happening.”
Mindfulness and Equanimity (35:15) – Joseph talks about meeting difficulty with mindfulness and equanimity. He looks at the way in which mindfulness breaks down our conditioning to avoid things what we don’t want to accept.
“Mindfulness is saying that there is a whole other way of being with some of the most challenging part of our lives – including the dying process.”