What is Mindfulness Meditation?
Mindfulness meditation is the practice of sitting, standing, walking or lying down and becoming aware of, moment by moment, one at a time, the arising and passing away of the seemingly infinite material and mental points of contact which form our experience of reality, our sense of self and how our attachment to them leads to our suffering.
Start with the breath. As concentration on the breath deepens and becomes more stable, expand awareness to the body. And so on with feelings, mind and dharmas (phenomena).
As the awareness of the arising and passing away of these five foundations of mindfulness develops, insight into their impermanent nature is developed. With the understanding of impermanence comes the understanding that the matter and phenomena we identify as self are also impermanent and lack intrinsic nature and understanding of the empty nature of self is developed.
With an understanding of impermanence and the empty nature of self, understanding of the cause of suffering — clinging to permanence and craving for self — is developed.
With the awareness of the cause of suffering, the end of suffering can be realized.
These are the 5 foundations of mindfulness: breathe, body, feeling, mind and dharma. And these are the three characteristics of reality: impermanence, not self and suffering.
Full awareness of this process leads to insight into the four noble truths: there is suffering; there is a cause of suffering; there is an end to suffering; there is path that leads to the end of suffering.
Meditation is the beating heart of Buddhism.
Daily practice brings the dharma alive and frees it up to land in our body and permeate our householder life.