Mindfulness is often exclusively seen as an aid to cope with anxiety. Even though meditation is efficient for this purpose, this depiction doesn’t show the full scope of meditation in the EBT. In fact, I can’t remember any sutta where mindfulness is said to help with anxiety (pls correct me if you know some).
I’m creating this post to gather the benefits of mindfulness in the EBT. These are the ones that I can remember:
- Mindfulness helps to attain jhana
- By developing mindfulness, it’s easier to be restrain oneself from bad actions
- It leads to awakening
Do you remember other benefits?
Here are a whole bunch of references for mindfulness that may or may not be helpful:
awakening factor of mindfulness (satisambojjhaṅga)
mindfulness and clear comprehension (satisampajañña)
The Buddha-to-be overcame anxiety before progressing to awakening:
"Before my Awakening, when I was still an unawakened Bodhisatta, the thought occurred to me as well: ‘It’s not easy to endure isolated forest or wilderness dwellings. It’s not easy to maintain seclusion, not easy to enjoy being alone. The forests, as it were, plunder the mind of a monk who has not attained concentration.’—Majhima Nikaya 4
So in applying mindfulness to anxiety, secular Buddhism is following the Buddha’s own progression, and the situation of an individual overcoming fear of physical wilderness is likened to the western lay practitioner experiencing anxiety confronted by the psychological abyss which lies outside limited mainstream materialist beliefs.
Overcoming this is achieved through practising mindfulness of the body:
 “He conquers fear & dread, and fear & dread do not conquer him. He remains victorious over any fear & dread that have arisen.”—Majhima Nikaya 119
Apart from personal practice, Buddhism has societal impacts which are more important in the current Age:
“A parallel though different situation may be developing in the West, where intensive practice is done by a minority of committed Buddhists (lay and monastic, religious or secular), and the wider society learns more basic mindfulness practices in various secular contexts. The overall level of practice across society would be similar, and this could have a much more significant impact on the problems of our age than just a few people doing hard-core Dharma practice.”— Jenny Wilks . “I am a UK Chartered Clinical Psychologist and have specialised in health psychology for many years. I now work freelance as a mindfulness teacher …”