Mindfulness in Daily Life

These words of wisdom for Zen Master Eihei Dogen teach us about mindfulness in daily life. This is actually quite a universal teaching these days by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Phillip Moffitt, and many others. The idea is to take your mindfulness into your life in order to enrich your everyday experience. Thich Nhat Hanh teaches us that mindfulness in daily life allows us to experience the wonders of life, which can only be experienced in the present moment.

Dogen says,

Dogen Zenji“Between aspiration, practice, enlightenment and nirvana, there is not a moment’s gap. Continuous practice is the circle of the way. This being so, continuous practice is unstained, not forced by you or others. The power of continuous practice confirms you as well as others. It means your practice affects the entire earth and the entire sky in the ten directions. Although not noticed by others or by yourself, it is so.”

— Zen Master Eihei Dogen

The most recent teaching on mindfulness in daily life that I experienced was by Phillip Moffitt. He gave the dharma talk at Marin Sangha in San Rafael the Sunday before last. This teaching was on one of my favorite subjects: equanimity. He spoke about the five jhana factors, and how they relate to equanimity. The five factors are

  1. Directed attention (i. e., mindfulness) powered by equanimity, based on intention
  2. Sustained attention
  3. Joy
  4. Happiness
  5. Equanimity

So the whole process starts and ends with equanimity!

In my experience, mindfulness practice develops a strong sense of equanimity so that you are able to bring your mindfulness in daily life. When you wash the dishes, you only wash the dishes. When you fold the laundry, you only fold the laundry. When you hear bad news you take in in stride. When you hear good news, you also take it in stride.

How do you practice mindfulness in daily life? Please share your experience.

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