Mindfulness means a quality of present-centred and open attention. To be present in a non-elaborative, non-judgmental and global experience of the sensuous. It is a natural, hence universal experience.
Mindfulness training is not a religious practice because it does not suppose any specific belief or the adhesion to a dogma of any kind. Its philosophical background could be qualified as “agnostic” in the sense of non-theistic and non-atheistic. Being free from any confession it can be said a “secular practice”.
The English term “Mindfulness” has been translated in French by “pleine conscience” and also by “pleine presence”. Those terms are translating roughly the originals words, rooted in the contemplatives Buddhist tradition as “sati” in Pâli language, “smirti” in Sanskrit, “drenpa” in Tibetan. Those expressions indicate a quality of open presence and attention; there are connected to various levels of experiences of “Shamatha” (mindfulness, mental calm and stability) and “Vipashyanâ” (awareness, insight and deep understanding).
Generation of practitioners, and today science have confirmed the positives effect of mindfulness on body and mind; the qualities enhance by its training are all conditions of a good education process: attention, lucidity, sensitivity, receptiveness, perseverance and openness, etc. Mindfulness training is naturally associated to an ethic of non-violence and harmony and to the development of compassion and empathy.
The practice spreading in the West nowadays, known as “Mindfulness” is an essential yet limited part of the very rich corpus of the traditional contemplative sciences. It is part of a wide scale of different levels of deep experiences revealing to the yogi or yogini, the nature of mind, cognition modes and the different modalities of consciousness.
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