In these blog posts, I will share key points from books I’m reading. Today I am sharing from “Mindfulness in Plan English” by Bhante Bhante Gunaratana, so that together we can benefit from these noble truths and transform our lives. I’d love to hear from you in the comments section!

  1. New meditators sometimes say they have trouble remaining mindful when pain is present. This difficulty seems from a misunderstanding. These students are conceiving mindfulness as something different from the experience of pain. It’s not. Mindfulness never exists by itself. It always has some object, and one object is as good as another. Pain is a mental state. You can be mindful of pain just as you are mindful of breathing.
  2. Once you have learned mindfulness with physical pain, you can generalize it to the rest of your life. You can use it on any unpleasant sensation. What works in pain will work on anxiety or chronic depression as well. This technique is one of life’s most useful and applicable skills. It is patience.
  3. Large amounts of previously blocked sensory data can pour through, giving rise to all kinds of unique sensations. It does not signify anything in particular. It is just sensation. So simply employ the normal technique. Watch it come up and watch it pass away. Don’t get involved.
  4. Take care of your body’s physical needs. Then meditate. Do not give in to sleepiness. Stay awake and mindful, for sleep and meditative concentration are diametrically opposed experiences.
  5. Mental images are powerful entities. They can remain in the mind for long periods. If you have been to the best movie of the year, the meditation that follows is going to be full of those images. If you are halfway through the scariest horror novel you ever read, your media is going to get full of monsters. So switch the order of events. Do your meditation first. Then read or go to the movies.