By Joan Duncan Oliver (2007)
This is one of the “Coffee with…” series book. It is a bit confusing, and I think it gives only a very superficial introduction of buddhism.
Nevertheless, I like the part about mindfulness and meditation.
Practically speaking, the Buddha’s teachings are about training the mind. A well-trained mind is calm, clear and aware. It isn’t pulled this way and that by desires, disturbances, or delusion. Mindfulness – attentiveness – makes every experience richer and more rewarding. When you’re paying attention, you live in the here and now, not in the past or future.
Meditation sharpens your focus, giving you insight into your motivations and behavior. A mind that’s calm and focused can support insight meditation. This practice is the basis for mental mastery. Insight leads to release of the five hindrances to awakening – desire, ill-will, laziness, restlessness and doubt – and to “clear knowing”, or seeing things as they really are.
If your mind is constantly chasing after distant phantoms to avoid feelings of boredom or dislike, how will you ever learn to deal with the reality of displeasing mind states – or discover that acknowing them is the first step to reducing your discomfort? When you stay in the moment mindfully, any number of things can happen. For one, you’re less likely to break a dish or trip over your rake – harm yourself or others. For another, you’ll finish your task faster with better results. Above all, you’ll see your habitual responses clearly, giving you an opportunity to change your attitudes and behavior.