More on Mindfulness

Posted: 29/09/2013 in Insight
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Clearly I have to consider my own role in this “mindful ignorance”. To briefly recap I became angry because instead of listening I thought someone was using mindfulness techniques to remain calm when what was being discussed referred to Thailand. And in the mind of the Thai person I was equated with one of the expat perma-complainers.

Based on the above assessment I was disturbing this Thai person, how do I now assess this Thai disturbance? I was trying to develop a process of enquiry into what I had observed as Thai racism. Why? Because it was the truth, and people should know the truth. What should this person do with the truth? I have a vague notion of “pass-it-on” when appropriate. But this person appeared not to want to see the truth otherwise why invoke the mindful ignorance technique. I had thought this person wanted to learn as this was often said, but maybe they do not want to learn about Thailand and its racism. That clearly seems to be threatening. Based on this awareness that has to be the end of enquiry into Thailand racism with the person concerned, I have no desire to disturb them.

But that leads to a clear observation about education here. The dream that is Thailand’s racism is very strong, there are clear examples of it in schools and the above example of “someone who has a certain element of enquiry but becomes disturbed when the example of Thailand’s racism is threatened” adds to the recognition of the power of this dream. Let me also be clear about this racism. It exists, it is a problem for non-Thais, but overall it need not affect being here unless you let it. And in truth when I see the behaviour of many of the western expats I could understand if that racism exhibited itself far more forcefully.

But there are things more important than social racism here. For the person concerned there is the question of their own mindfulness. For mindfulness to have any meaning with regards to the Buddha’s teaching then it is not a therapy technique to be used to support chauvinism and to enforce a personal dream that includes chauvinism. L P Munindo used the description “100% judgement-free awareness” (to me in person). Let us examine that. TOTAL awareness. That means awareness of the inner and our relationship to the outer. And no judgement – no self just awareness. In this case that leads to letting go of enquiry because I now observe disturbance.

For the person concerned there is a genuine need to come to terms with the meaning of mindfulness. But that is their journey. Their process of enquiry used to include listening to me, now that has changed and I must change with it; it is necessary for me to assess that change. To begin with I need to step back from discussing enquiry unless I see enquiry on their part again.

But the real issue is what is a meaningful understanding of mindfulness? In meditation I decided it was mindfulness from the inside out, and then it improved to mindfulness from the insight out. 100% judgement-free awareness comes from an inner journey that brings with it insight, and therefore free from judgement, and awareness follows naturally. In this mindfulness there is a gatekeeper function, and this function helps us deal with emotion.

Yesterday I got angry. There is a scrounger on the beach, and it is time he moved on. Because he is affable some people give him time, and I was speaking with one such yesterday. “He has not done me any harm,” was his approach. And then he mistakenly compared my position concerning the scrounger with a dogfight – the dogs had just been fighting. I got angry quickly, and said I can see his position but that of compassion is the highest. To explain the scrounger is quite affable but takes advantage of many people including the local Thais who feed him. I feel he is taking advantage of other people’s compassion, and compassion is in such short supply I don’t like it. Reflecting I was amazed at what I said when I angered – compassion is the highest. Well it is, but I said it in anger – amazing. My friend tried to ameliorate calling it a playground squabble between me and the scrounger, that didn’t help. We eventually agreed he should be more careful with his words. My gatekeeper worked well as I didn’t retain the anger nor internalise it. I see that as mindfulness and as it is not an argument – compassion is the highest – that I have reflected on it came from insight. All this now makes me feel good – I should let that go – possible arrogance.

But it illustrates – at least for me – mindfulness from the insight out, and how that mindfulness can function well as a gatekeeper. But this is not mindful ignorance, this accepts emotions, expresses and deals with them, and does not ignore any form of awareness. So what happens if we try to build mindfulness without insight? That is the issue of the mindful ignorance, and it is quite scary. What if mindfulness is sought without meditation? I believe but I am not sure that that is something that some monks teach – maybe even this guy – Phra Pramote.

What about populist mindfulness? I remember Brad having a pop at mindfulness, at the time I wasn’t enamoured by that – some people translate one of the 8-fold Path as Right Mindfulness. No, I’m not going to investigate the populism, there is too much of it. Mindfulness and meditation are words that are often interchanged – messy.

Books:- Treatise, Wai Zandtao Scifi, Matriellez Education.

Other blogs:- Ginsukapaapdee, Mandtao, Matriellez.

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Comments
  1. zandtao says:

    Scrounger is still there 26/2/16

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