A Water Buffalo on Mindfulness: Chan Master Guishan

Venerable Yuande Shih

Abstract


Mindfulness, which is operationally interpreted from Pali term “sati”, has become popular especially after its adaptation by the modern psychotherapy and increasingly popular meditation-retreat across the world. The Buddha, standing at the point of practice, defines mindfulness as the only way leading to Nibbana, or awakening (though there is still disagreement to equate Nibbana with awakening).  Corresponding to this, Guisha, persuasively encourages the ordinary monks who could not build their mindfulness as the high-ranking category of spiritual virtuosi do, to practice with much more effort under the guidelines of scriptures laid out by the Buddha. This is probably compatible with the spirt of practice proclaimed by the Buddha himself in this teaching of mindfulness in which the Buddha implicates to contemplate the foundations in daily practice.

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