The Great Sutra on “the Foundations of Mindfulness”, or “the Frames of Reference”, teaches a simple and profound method. Attend to the body, sensations, mind, and Dhamma. Whether walking, standing, sitting or lying down, remain observant.
It is an important teaching.
373. Bhikkhus, this is the one and only way for the purification of beings, for overcoming sorrow and lamentation, for the complete destruction of pain and distress, for attainment of the Noble Path, and for the realization of Nibbāna. That is the practice of the four methods of Steadfast Mindfulness.
Here, we have a pretty bold assertion:
“This is the one and only way…”
What is the way? It is the practice of:
“the Four Methods of Steadfast Mindfulness.”
What are the four? Bhikkhus, the bhikkhu following my Teaching keeps his mind steadfastly on the body with diligence, comprehension and mindfulness, thus keeping away covetousness and distress.
The bhikkhu keeps his mind steadfastly on sensation, with diligence, comprehension and mindfulness, thus keeping away covetousness and distress.
The bhikkhu concentrates steadfastly on the mind, with diligence, comprehension and mindfulness, thus keeping away covetousness and distress.
The bhikkhu keeps his mind steadfastly on the dhamma with diligence, comprehension and mindfulness, thus keeping away covetousness and distress.
We have these four frames of reference:
As we develop each of the four, we display these characteristics:
In order to develop a frame of reference, we must be prepared to work. Not lazy. As we diligently work toward our goal, we will eventually come to comprehension. We will know the nature of the frame of reference. With diligence and discernment, we attend to the frame of reference and the miracle of mindfulness heals.
How does it heal?
By constantly practicing mindfulness, developing the four frames of reference, we come to abandon these unskillful characteristics:
We train our minds. This is self-conditioning. We tame our minds. We control our minds, and lead our minds to happier lands.
Some new-age teachings will encourage you to wallow in weakness, confusion and suffering– the path of the Buddhas require that you strive on with diligence because all things that come together will fall apart. The trouble you expect will come. Practice meditation now, remove delusion now, remove suffering now.
By the time the trouble has come, if you have not prepared your mind, it will be too late.
Check it out for yourself.