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Unread January 20th, 2005, 06:18 PM
Lindsay Smith
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Default Re: Isn't mindfulness meditation exposure therapy

Cesar says, "The problem with mindfulness meditation in America is that the practice is so foreign to what we're used to."

'Mindfulness' is about being aware of what you are doing while you are doing whatever it is you are doing. Buddha in the Pali instructions told his listeners to be aware of the breath, the coming & going of the breath, the flow at the nostrils, the movement of the chest & abdomen & so on. We all breathe so that is somewhere to start & there is nothing 'foreign' about about breathing.

Paying attention, being 'mindful' about other everyday things such as walking can be an exercise in 'mindfulness.' An old Chinese friend, now gone told me that a Buddhist monk staying at his house took 3/4 hour to very slowly & mindfully to walk the length of his lounge & when he told me that I recalled reading a report of a British soldier who after WW2 did some Buddhist training in Burma. The abbott took him to a small hut where he was to practise walking up & down, slower & slower paying close attention to what he was doing. Food & water was placed at the door of the hut once a day to sustain him.

I went to a Taiji workshop years ago where the instructor, Wee Kee Gin took us through the form increasingly slower & slower. It was very demanding mentally & physically. The purpose, to build up mental focus, balance & strength.
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