Introducing Mindfulness and Mindfulness in Early Buddhism

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Next year Windhorse will publish two books by Anālayo: Introducing Mindfulness and Mindfulness in Early Buddhism (both scheduled for June). They can be sponsored here: Sponsor a book - Windhorse Publications.

Buddhist meditator and scholar Bhikkhu Anālayo introduces the Buddhist backgrounds to mindfulness, ranging from mindful eating to its formal cultivation as satipatthana (the foundations of mindfulness). He also offers a historical survey of the development of mindfulness in different Buddhist traditions. Providing an accessible guide, he offers practical exercises on how to develop mindfulness.

Introducing Mindfulness: Buddhist Background and Practical Exercises

Mindfulness in Early Buddhism is a timely and thoroughgoing examination of the significance, meaning and development of mindfulness in early Buddhism. Buddhist meditator and scholar Bhikkhu Anālayo here provides answers to questions such as: To what extent is mindfulness an originally Buddhist concept? Is there a place for bare awareness and what are its results? What is the significance of mindfulness of the body and what are its benefits? How does mindfulness relate to memory and to the practice of recollection? What are the different benefits associated with mindfulness in the early discourses? and How does mindfulness relate to other aspects of the early Buddhist path of practice?

Mindfulness in Early Buddhism: Characteristics and Functions


Mindfulness in Early Buddhism: Characteristics and Functions
This should throw light on the intended role of mindfulness for laypeople governed by mundane right view (MN 117). I suspect many western Buddhists unknowingly fall partly into this category.


Mindfulness in Early Buddhism will certainly touch upon mindfulness in a variety of contexts relevant for lay practitioners such as yours truly. You mentioned the Mahācattārīsaka-sutta; you might be interested to know that Anālayo wrote an article about this sutta: The Mahācattārīsaka-sutta in the Light of its Parallels — Tracing the Beginnings of Abhidharmic Thought (PDF).


Continuing from my post above, like all dynamic organic structures right view has two states, that which has been consolidated, and that which has yet to be assimilated. The former provides a foundation for the latter in the acquisition of new right view. This explains the (at first) enigmatic statement in MN 117:

“Thus these three qualities — right view, right effort, & right mindfulness — run & circle around right view.”

This also answers the comment of ERose under the ‘Hierarchies’ thread:

“I don’t think it’s always helpful to think via dualities. If there are two Right Views, I think they both must spring from Right View of the 4 Noble Truths.”

This illustrates the difficulties beginners have with accepting the simultaneous existence of two realities which is a definitive characteristic of Theravada thought.


What are the “two kinds of right view” you consider as a definitive characteristic of “Theravada thought”?


The view of samsara and nibbana as separate.


I think this is not entirely “Theravada thought”. The view of the two kinds is also found in SA 785. See Choong Mun-keat, The Fundamental Teachings of Early Buddhism, p. 210.


Continuing from my post above:

Western Buddhist belief tends to take right view as meaning the four noble truths. Here Analayo shows that at the least, an understanding of the action of kamma, mundane right view, is for several reasons a necessary foundation:

" This much is even needed for a proper appreciation of the cardinal doctrine of the four noble truths. The second truth proposes that craving forms the condition for dukkha , explicitly qualified to be craving that leads to “renewed becoming”, taṇhā ponobbhavikā . Without acknowledging the idea of rebirth forming the background of this teaching, such a proposition becomes difficult to understand."


And what is right view? Knowing about suffering, the origin of suffering, the cessation of suffering, and the practice that leads to the cessation of suffering. This is called right view.
MN141 SuttaCentral

Paul, if you must keep quoting me from another thread, it seems right to provide a link so that context is also presented. But I am not going to engage again with you, so it might be better to just stop quoting me.


I did originally mention by PM this quote. My computer skills are limited, I did not now how to make the @ERose link. Now I know. On this site readers are likely to encounter people who spend a lot of their time in the forest. Something noticed in Buddhist countries is the ‘jhana accomodation effect’, where there are allowances in the culture for people who might be in jhana, such as slower life style, more tolerance.
Jhana may be the most pressing need as the West moves into the future, and this may account for the rise of Thanissaro and Ajahn Brahm who are oriented towards that.