Over the last several weeks I have been diligently watching, reading, writing and taking part in the Mindfulness course offered by Leiden University through MOOC on De-Mystifying Mindfulness. This is an area which has always fascinated me over the last few years and since then I have been looking to explore further. Fortunately, this course has come up in the right time and presented to me what I have been looking for. This course is a kick start for me to research and learn more about the meditation and the mindfulness practice.
There are so many different methods being deployed in the efficacy of mindfulness Practice, I am fascinated to learn and discover this new interest. It has been an eye-opener for me in many ways learning and finding out about the mindfulness practice, particularly the evolution and adoption of it in the west and how this ancient eastern concept has been seen as the revolution in the clinical therapy treatments. Two most notable were mentioned during the course which are MBSR (mindfulness based stress reduction) and MBCT (mindfulness-based cognitive therapy). I have no doubt these techniques are born out of this popular eastern Buddhist teachings and philosophies; embedded into the western secular and commercially minded cultures.
Furthermore, this has given me the opportunity to rekindle my birthright beliefs which have remained dormant all these years. For me, the Buddhist teachings and my root where I come from has always been an integral part of my upbringing which has molded me into the person that I am today. I believe a mindfulness practice is a choice everyone should make whatever your religious conviction to develop the mental awareness and the clarity; so essential to the well-being of self and that of our modern contemporary societies.
I love this teaching on the wisdom, one of the six paramitas which can be and should be included in all mindfulness practices to cultivate and realize its transcendent value. Here is the extract from a book The Heart of Compassion by a renowned Buddhist teacher and a scholar Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche where he writes “In the absence of wisdom, perfect enlightenment cannot be attained through the other five perfections alone. Therefore, to cultivate wisdom combined with skillful means and free from the three concepts is the practice of a bodhisattva. The paramita of generosity, discipline, patience, endeavor and concentration can help you to accumulate merit, but they are still associated with concepts. Only wisdom can perfect the accumulation which leads you to realize primordial awareness free of all concepts. Generosity, discipline, patience, diligence and concentration could be likened to five blind men who, without the eyes of wisdom, would never be able to find their way to the citadel of liberation. Indeed, only when accompanied by wisdom do they deserve the name paramita, transcendent, literally “gone to the other shore”-the shore across the ocean of suffering and ignorance, beyond the concepts of samsara and nirvana.”
Finally, I want to say this again that how much I have loved this course and it has made me more aware of our human incarnation, what we go through and how mindfulness can help. I am inspired to explore further and will continue to try and practice mindfulness when I can. It has reminded me, through this practice it is possible to learn to live in the present moment.
All the best with your practice.