Simple, Easy to Understand `Mindfulness' by Bhante Vimalaramsi   

Dhamma Greetings Adam,


I hope this finds you well and happy!


I have just written another article about mindfulness and the 6R's 

thought you would enjoy it. Please find it below.


Maha-Metta 2U


Bhante Vimalaramsi


Simple, Easy to Understand `Mindfulness' by Bhante 



Nov 29, 2006


   In Buddhist meditation, have the questions ever come up, "What is 

mindfulness (Sati), really?"Â…  "Exactly how does one practice being 

mindful?"Â… "Can mindfulness really lighten up one's perspective and 

help bring joy, happiness and balance into every aspect of life?"


   If mindfulness is recollecting how to proceed step-by-step when a 

distraction arises and pulls mind's attention away from whatever one 

doing during their daily activities or during their sitting 

practice, then by doing this practice life becomes easier and more 

stress free, at that point it seems that it would be a useful tool 

develop. Don't you agree?


    To clearly understand this connection, one first has to start 

a precise definition of Meditation (Bhavana) and Mindfulness (Sati). 

Seeing this will help one gain a  new harmonious perspective (Samma 

Ditthi) of exactly how mind works and teaches the meditator `HOW" to 

change old painful habits that cause great suffering into a new way 

having a contented, balanced mind. This is the point of all of the 

Buddha's teachings, isn't it?


   Meditation (Bhavana) is "observing how mind's attention moves 

moment-to-moment in order to see clearly and precisely `HOW' the 

impersonal (anatta) process of Dependent Origination (Paticca 

occurs."  Seeing and understanding `HOW' mind's attention moves from 

one thing to another is what the main thrust is in Buddhist 

This is why Dependent Origination is so important to see and 

understand. It develops an impersonal perspective with all arising 

phenomena and leads the meditator to see for themselves the true 

of all existence.

   Why is this important? Because concerning awakening, it has been 

said by the Blessed One: "One who sees dependent origination sees 

Dhamma; one who sees the Dhamma sees dependent origination." [MN-

   Mindfulness is "remembering HOW to observe mind's attention as it 

moves moment-to-moment and remembering what to do with any arising 



   Successful meditation needs a highly developed skill of 

The "6R's" training taught at Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center is a 

reclaimed ancient guidance system which develops this skill. The 

R is to RECOGNIZE but before we do it, the meditator must RECOLLECT 

use their observation power [mindfulness] for the meditation cycle 

start running. Mindfulness is the fuel. It's just like gas for an 

engine. Without Mindfulness, everything stops! Being persistent with 

this practice it will relieve suffering of all kinds. To begin this 

cycle "smoothly" one must start the engine and have lots of gas 

(mindfulness) in the tank! 


   Meditation (Bhavana) helps one let go of such difficult 

states in life as fear, anger, tension, stress, anxiety, depression, 

sadness, sorrow, fatigue, condemnation, feelings of helplessness or 

whatever the catch (attachment) of the day happens to be. 

here means taking things that arise personally and identifying with 

them to be "I", "Me", "Mine" or atta in Pali). These states are the 

suffering that we cause to ourselves. This suffering comes from a 

of understanding how things actually occur. 


   The "6R's" are steps which evolve into one fluid motion becoming 

new wholesome habitual tendency that relieves any dis-ease in mind 

body. This cycle begins when MINDFULNESS recollects the "6R's" which 









   Development of mindfulness (one's observation power) recollects 

step of the practice cycle. Once one understands what the purpose of 

mindfulness is, keeping it going all the time is no longer 

and makes the meditation easier to understand, plus it is much more 

to practice. It becomes a part of happy living and this brings up a 

smile. Remembering and recollection leads to having a wholesome 

up-lifted mind.


   This recollection (mindfulness) is very important. Before 

the `6R's" one has to REMEMBER to start the cycle! That's the trick! 

Remembering to gas-up the engine, so it can run smoothly! Then we 


   RECOGNIZE: Mindfulness recollects how the meditator can recognize 

and observe any movement of mind's attention from one thing to 

This observation notices any movement of mind's attention away from 

object of meditation, such as the breath, sending out of Metta or, 

doing a task in daily life. One can notice a slight tightness or 

tension sensation as mind's attention barely begins to move toward 

arising phenomena. Pleasant or painful feeling can occur at any one 

the six sense doors. Any sight, sound, odor, taste, touch, or 

can cause this pulling sensation to begin. With careful non-

observation, the meditator will notice a slight tightening 

RECOGNIZING early movement is vital to successful meditation. One 

continues on to; 


   RELEASE: When a feeling or thought arises, the meditator RELEASES 

it, let's it be there without giving anymore attention to it. The 

content of the distraction is not important at all, but the 

of HOW it arose are important! Just let go of any tightness around 

let it be there without placing attention on it. Without attention, 

tightness passes away. Mindfulness then reminds the meditator to; 


   RELAX: After releasing the feeling or sensation, and allowing it 

be without trying to control it, there is a subtle, barely 

tension within mind/body. This is why a RELAX [TRANQUILIZATION] step 

being pointed out by the Buddha in his meditation instructions. 

DON'T SKIP THIS STEP! It would be like not putting oil in a car so 

motor can run smoothly. The important Pali word here 
is `pas'sambaya'. 

The word specifically means `to tranquilize' and appears as `an 

to be performed' as described in the suttas and is not `a general 

of relaxed or tranquilized feeling' that can arise with other kinds 

meditations. This point is sometimes mis-understood in translation 

which then changes the end result! Without performing this step of 

relaxation every time in the cycle of meditation, the meditator will 

not experience a close-up view of the ceasing (cessation) of the 

tension caused by craving  or feel that relief as the tightness is 

relaxed. Note that craving always first manifests as a tightness or 

tension in both one's mind and body. One has a momentary opportunity 

see and experience the true nature and relief of cessation (of 

tightness and suffering) while performing the RELEASE/RELAX steps. 

Mindfulness moves on with a recollection the meditator should then; 

   RE-SMILE: If you have listened to the Dhamma talks at you might remember hearing about how smiling is 

important aspect for the meditation. Learning to smile with mind and 

raising slightly the corners of the mouth helps mind to be 

alert and agile. Getting serious, tensing up or frowning causes mind 

become heavy and one's mindfulness becomes dull and slow. One's 

insights become more difficult to see, thus slowing down one's 

understanding of Dhamma. Imagine, for a moment,  the young 

resting under the Rose Apple Tree as a young boy. He was not serious 

and tense when he attained a pleasant abiding [jhana] and had deep 

insights with a light mind. Want to see clearly? It's easy! Just 

lighten up, have fun exploring and smile! Smiling leads us to a 

more interesting practice. If the meditator forgets to 

rather than punishing or criticizing oneself, be kind, re-smile and 

start again. Keeping up one's humor, sense of fun exploration and 

recycling is important. After re-smiling, mindfulness recalls the 



   RETURN or RE-DIRECT: Gently re-direct mind's attention back to 

object of meditation (that is the breath and relaxing, or metta and 

relaxing) continuing with a gentle collected mind to use that object 

a "home base". In daily life, having been pulled off task, this is 

where one returns their attention back to releasing, relaxing, and 

re-smiling into the task. Sometimes people say this practice cycle 

simpler than expected! In history simple things can become a mystery 

through small changes and omissions! Reclaiming this practice 

more effective focus on daily tasks with less tension and tightness. 

Mind becomes more naturally balanced and happy. The meditator 

more efficient at whatever they do in life and, actually, they have 

more fun doing all of the things that used to be a drudgery. Nearing 

the end of the cycle, Mindfulness helps with a final recollection to;


   REPEAT: REPEAT this entire practice cycle to attain the results 

Buddha said could be reached in this lifetime! Repeating the "6R's 

cycle" over and over again eventually replaces old habitual 

as we see and experience for ourselves what suffering actually is; 

notice the cause which is becoming involved with the tension and 

tightness in any way; experience how to reach the cessation by 

releasing and relaxing; and discover how to exercise the direct path 

that cessation of suffering that we cause ourselves. This happens 

time one Releases an arising feeling, Relaxes and Re-smiles. Notice 



       Sharpening the skill of mindfulness is the key 
               to simple and smooth meditation. 


   In summary, Mindfulness is very relevant to Buddhist meditation 

daily life. The process of recollection keeps the 6 steps of the 

practice moving. Practicing this meditation as close to the 

(found in the suttas) as possible will lighten all of life's 

experiences. A very similar practice was most likely taught to 

in the time of the Buddha. The remarkable results of doing the 

meditation in this way are "immediately effective" for anyone who 

diligently and ardently embraces these instructions. When one has an 

attachment arise this practice will eventually dissolve  the 

but it does take persistent and constant use of the "6R's" to have 



   When one practices in this way, because it is found to be so 

relevant in daily life, it changes one's perspective and leads us to 

more successful, happy, and peaceful experience. Developing 

mindfulness, knowledge and wisdom grow naturally as one sees HOW 

work by witnessing the impersonal process of dependent origination. 

This leads to a form of happiness the Buddha called "Contentment". 

Contentment is the by-product of living the Buddhist practice. This 

meditation leads to equanimity, balance and dissolution of fear and 

other dis-eases. With less fear and dread one finds new confidence. 

Then Loving Kindness, Compassion, Joy and Equanimity grow in our 


   The practitioner's degree of success is directly proportional to 

well they understand mindfulness, follow the precise instructions, 

use the "6R" practice in both the sitting practice and in one's 

life. This is the way to the end of suffering. It's interesting and 

to practice this way and certainly it helps one smile while changing 

the world around them in a positive way.

May you reach Nibbana quickly and easily in this very life time! 


Maha-Metta 2U


Bhante Vimalaramsi


Talks can be download as MP3 or as html file from :
Joshua Tree Retreat (Meditation)  & Suttas
Bhante U Vimalaramsi 
Abbot of Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center,
RR1 Box 100, Annapolis, MO. 63620, U.S.A.

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