Mindfulness Meditation is a western, non-sectarian, research-based form of meditation derived from a 2,500 year old Buddhist practice called Vipassana or Insight Meditation. It is a form of meditation designed to develop the skill of paying attention to our inner and outer experiences with acceptance, patience, and compassion. The University of California Center for Mindfulness, part of the medical school’s psychiatry department, defines Mindfulness Meditation this way:
“(Mindfulness) is a quality, which human beings already have, but they have usually not been advised that they have it, that it is valuable, or that it can be cultivated. Mindfulness is the awareness that is not thinking but which is aware of thinking, as well as aware of each of the other ways we experience the sensory world, i.e., seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, feeling through the body".
“Mindfulness is non-judgmental, open-hearted, friendly, and inviting of whatever arises in awareness. It is cultivated by paying attention on purpose, deeply, and without judgment to whatever arises in the present moment, either inside or outside of us. By intentionally practicing mindfulness, deliberately paying more careful moment-to-moment attention, individuals can live more fully and less on ‘automatic pilot,’ thus, being more present for their own lives.”
The Triple Gems
To Buddha we go for refuge.
In the path of mindful awareness, we take refuge.
The practice of conscious breathing is our refuge.
To Dharma we go for refuge.
In the teaching of no separate self, we take refuge.
The insight that all beings are without blame is our refuge.
To Sangha we go for refuge.
In the community of boundless compassion, we take refuge.
The guidance of the Five Wonderful Precepts is our refuge.
The Five Wonderful Precepts
Being mindful of suffering caused by the taking of life,
we are determined to live in ways that preserve and protect life in all its forms.
Being mindful of suffering caused by the taking of
what belongs to others,
we are determined to take only what is freely given
and to give freely as we are able to those in need
Being mindful of suffering caused by sexual acts
that break commitments,
we are determined to keep our commitments and
to respect the commitments of others.
Being mindful of suffering caused by
careless or malicious speech,
we are determined to use words to heal the wounds of misunderstanding, anger, hate and fear
Being mindful of suffering caused by taking poisons into our bodies and minds,
we are determined to take into our bodies and minds
only those things
that nourish awareness, life, and love