When did "mindfulness" become "mindfulness"?

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Re: When did "mindfulness" become "mindfulness"?

Postby rob h » Sun May 04, 2014 12:39 am

Zhen Li wrote:Sati/smṛti means remember, rather than being aware.


Sorry, drifted off elsewhere and forgot to check back here.

To be honest they're the same thing actually when I think of them. Memory is being aware and being aware is remembering. If I'd have been mindful/aware enough at the time I probably wouldn't have even posted, because it just seems like I was playing semantics when looking at it now. At the same time though, some of us have perceptions of these words and concepts that suit us slightly more for meditation, so it might just come down to our conditioning as well as anything else. For instance, I associate memory more with a mental aspect, but awareness has no boundaries. Maybe it's the other way around for some, or both are equal to others, and so on.
"A 'position', Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with." - MN 72
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Re: When did "mindfulness" become "mindfulness"?

Postby Wayfarer » Sun May 04, 2014 1:08 am

It is interesting that the Sanskrit form, smṛti, has another rather more esoteric dimension. In some contexts it means recollection in the sense of 'recollection of the scriptures' - of being able to recall scriptures from memory (which obviously was extremely important in the ancient aurally-transmitted cultural forms.) But in others it is more a sense of 'recollecting' or 'remembering' a forgotten truth. In that sense it is reminiscent of the Platonist 'anamnesis' which literally means 'un-forgetting', the idea being that before the 'fall' into worldly existence, there was a form of higher knowledge which the being has 'forgotten' due to the the shock of being born. So in that usage, 'smṛti' is more than either mindfulness or memory, but a recollection of the 'true nature'.
Learn to do good, refrain from evil, purify the mind ~ this is the teaching of the Buddhas
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Re: When did "mindfulness" become "mindfulness"?

Postby rob h » Sun May 04, 2014 9:01 am

Wayfarer wrote:It is interesting that the Sanskrit form, smṛti, has another rather more esoteric dimension. In some contexts it means recollection in the sense of 'recollection of the scriptures' - of being able to recall scriptures from memory (which obviously was extremely important in the ancient aurally-transmitted cultural forms.) But in others it is more a sense of 'recollecting' or 'remembering' a forgotten truth. In that sense it is reminiscent of the Platonist 'anamnesis' which literally means 'un-forgetting', the idea being that before the 'fall' into worldly existence, there was a form of higher knowledge which the being has 'forgotten' due to the the shock of being born. So in that usage, 'smṛti' is more than either mindfulness or memory, but a recollection of the 'true nature'.


That's great to know, and thanks for posting. Kind of backs up the way I think of it too, because awareness to me ranges from being aware of a simple meditation object like the breath, body, feelings, and so on, right to what could be seen as the primordial awareness. That's also why I don't think of it as having any boundaries; the range is just down to the ability of the person using it and how they're applying it at the time.
"A 'position', Vaccha, is something that a Tathagata has done away with." - MN 72
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