Psychology & Psychiatry

Exploring the neural underpinnings of mind wandering

Mind wandering occurs when a person's attention shifts from things that are happening in her present environment to internal thought processes. For instance, while cooking or attending a lesson, one might start thinking about ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Practicing mindfulness can help us through the coronavirus pandemic

We seem to have mastered the perfect recipe for chaos: a global ecological emergency, humanitarian crises and to top it off, a pandemic of epic proportions. Where do we begin to make sense of the current times? Or more importantly, ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

How mindfulness can help amid the COVID-19 pandemic

To say that COVID-19 has been an emotional roller coaster is an understatement. While you're busy juggling working at home, homeschooling your children, and disinfecting your groceries, your mind may be playing a constant ...

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Mindfulness

Mindfulness (Pali: sati, Sanskrit: smṛti / स्मृति) in Buddhist meditation.; also translated as awareness) is a spiritual faculty (indriya) that is considered to be of great importance in the path to enlightenment according to the teaching of the Buddha. It is one of the seven factors of enlightenment. "Correct" or "right" mindfulness (Pali: sammā-sati, Sanskrit samyak-smṛti) is the seventh element of the noble eightfold path.

Enlightenment (bodhi) is a state of being in which greed, hatred and delusion (Pali: moha) have been overcome, abandoned and are absent from the mind. Mindfulness, which, among other things, is an attentive awareness of the reality of things (especially of the present moment) is an antidote to delusion and is considered as such a 'power' (Pali: bala). This faculty becomes a power in particular when it is coupled with clear comprehension of whatever is taking place.

The Buddha advocated that one should establish mindfulness (satipatthana) in one's day-to-day life maintaining as much as possible a calm awareness of one's bodily functions, sensations (feelings), objects of consciousness (thoughts and perceptions), and consciousness itself. The practice of mindfulness supports analysis resulting in the arising of wisdom (Pali: paññā, Sanskrit: prajñā). A key innovative teaching of the Buddha was that meditative stabilisation must be combined with liberating discernment.

The Satipatthana Sutta (Sanskrit: Smṛtyupasthāna Sūtra) is an early text dealing with mindfulness.

Mindfulness practice, inherited from the Buddhist tradition, is increasingly being employed in Western psychology to alleviate a variety of mental and physical conditions, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and in the prevention of relapse in depression and drug addiction. See also Mindfulness (psychology).

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