Buddhism and the Five Mindfulness Techniques

Buddhism and the Five Mindfulness Techniques

Buddhism is an eastern faith. The four primary teachings are:
1: All life is suffering
2: All suffering comes from Desire
3:Cessation from desire
4:8-fold path

In order for these to be followed most Buddhists engage in mindfulness techniques. These techniques allow the members of this faith to try and achieve the Cessation from desire that is the central theme of Buddhism. There are many mindfulness techniques that come from around the world. Mindfulness techniques are simply techniques that allow us to become more aware of our surroundings. The Plum Village has five different techniques that they use and teach in order to follow the ethical teachings of Buddhism.

The first teaching is Reverence For Life. According to the Plum Village this teaching states:
“Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I am committed to cultivating the insight of inter being and compassion and learning ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to support any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, or in my way of life.”

In many ways this is how the “Witches Rede” is interpreted. The Rede is “An it harm none do what ye will” To many this means that you don;t harm anyone or anything. This means no killing. It might be desirable to live your life according to this in that it gives you peace. For many people there is no reason for people to kill animals as we have plenty of other ways of getting these nutrients. Life is sacred and everything does deserve a chance to live.

There would be a lot of changes in my life in order to follow the teaching as exactly outlined in the Plum Village. First off I would have to give up meat and become a vegetarian or vegan. This is simply not appealing to me at all. I also wouldn’t be able to defend myself as some of the techniques I know could be deadly.

The second teaching is True Happiness. True happiness is that which does not come at the cost of some one else. True happiness is being content with that which you have and that which you receive. It is not about stealing things from others and the like. This is an ideal I feel every one could accept. It is a simple thing to help others and be happy with what you have.

There aren’t many changes that need to be made in my life. I already strive to be happy with what I have. I strive to make sure that anything I have I don’t get at the expense of any one else. To me it is wrong to have my achievements in life come from the loss of other people. I try to do what I can to help others be happy and keep myself happy at the same time.

True Love is the third teaching of Plum Village. In this teaching you divide sexual desire from that of deep love and attraction. This is something I would say is desirable. The idea here is that you can focus your sexual desires on your wife or husband so you don’t misdirect the desires on inappropriate people such as children.

Once again this is not a teachings that would require a lot of changes for me. I am true to my heart and my emotions. My sexual desires are full of as much lust as they are love for my fiance’. I would never act sexually inappropriate to children or other adults as that is wrong. There is no reason why any one should ever feel forced to do any sexual act they want.

Loving Speech and Deep Listening is another way that Buddhists can work on mindfulness. It is often not uncommon for people today to have people say what the first thing to come out of the mind is. Learning to be careful and mindful of what we all say and do is an important skill. Words can and do hurt and often what we say in anger will come back to haunt us at a later date. That’s why this is a desirable way to live.

This is a skill that we learn in DBT therapy. Often people that go through this therapy do so as they often speak before they can think and act before they can think. This is why mindfulness of our thoughts and words is an essential skill for every one to have. This skill is what enables us to be careful about our words in a “fight” or “deep discussion”. Otherwise we are likely to cause unintended harm through our words.

Nourishment and Healing is the final teaching and technique on the Plum Village website. In essence Plum Villages teaches that there are spiritual ramifications for eating and drinking items that are not as nutritious for us as items such as apples and tomatoes. Constantly eating fast food or canned food is not going to give your body the proper amounts of nutrition. Eating proper nutrition is essential. This is defiantly a desirable way to live ones life, so long as you remember that the occasional fast food is all right.

This is a skill that I am working on. It is a skill that I feel we all need to work on. I have a habit of eating food that is prepared. This is common amongst college students. For me to make the changes is going to take a long time and a lot of effort. This is actually something that my fiance and I are working on right now as neither of us have the best diet. Changing a person;s diet can not be done over night and is a gradual process. So I hope that in time I will have everything I need to have a healthier body in place.

  1. This essay here was an exercise given to me as a homework assignment for my Ethical Dilemmas class this past fall semester at school. I haven’t really done much research into Buddhism in my life. That is something that will change, but for now this piece is one of the few things I have to go on. I do think that the techniques provided by the temple mentioned are useful in developing one’s spirituality.

    I will also say that there are some other things I don’t fully agree with Buddhism on. I need to do more reading before I can do more in depth analysis. I will say that what I do agree with I have tried to integrate into my own belief structure. I do believe in enlightenment and states of consciousness beyond our own. I don’t believe that all life is suffering, but I do believe that suffering is an essential part of life.

    The core concept in Buddhism about mindfulness is something I do need to integrate into my daily life. There are spiritual exercises I have to do based an author I have mentioned before and there are other mindfulness activities I need to engage in for my own mental health and well being. In the end while I don’t fully agree with Buddhism I think there is a lot I can get from it, and I think that there is a lot that seekers can get from it, which is the other reason the essay is included on this website.

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