The other day, I found an interesting article by Alan Wallace on the topic of Mindfulness. For many people who have a passing interesting in Buddhism, mindfulness has begun to take on a meaning of “bare awareness”, or being present in the current moment. While this seems appealing to many because it requires very little study and practice to put into action, it does seem like something is missing because it doesn’t state whether the awareness is in a virtuous, non-virtuous, or neutral state of mind. As Venerable Thubten Chodron once said, if that’s how mindfulness is described, then even a theif stealing from a home requires mindfulness.
Alan Wallace describes how mindfulness is actually described in traditional Theravada and Mahayana literature, and finds that mindfulness is often described in another context. Its more in relation to understanding one’s intention and states of mind at all times.