7. Right Mindfulness: Refining Attention
Geoffrey Hunt [+]
University of Surrey
He has taught meditation in schools, in a prison, a village for the elderly, and an alcohol rehabilitation centre. He has served the Dhamma in hospices, funerals and interfaith events. He has worked in Japan, Nigeria and Lesotho and is a writer and international speaker on ethical issues of health, science and advanced technology. He has published several books in the field of professional ethics. He is married to Rev. Beverley Hunt, an Anglican minister.
This chapter reveals the full meaning of ‘mindfulness’, from its origins in the Sanskrit word for memory or recognition. The Buddha’s teachings show that mindfulness is an extension of paying inner attention, and is always associated with awareness or comprehension. Attention is at the heart of mindfulness, and mindfulness is at the heart of meditation, and meditation is the principal means for breaking the chain of conditions that emerge as worldly attachment, acquisitiveness and possessiveness. Dissolving the links in that chain liberates a deep peace and compassion for your needless suffering and that of humanity. The ‘satellite dish’ exercise here helps the reader to develop keen attention by non-judgmentally picking up all sounds arising in one’s vicinity. In this chapter we also begin to clarify investigate the connection between ‘concentration’ and ‘mindfulness’.