Dave, "mindfulness" can be a misunderstood word. The word itself is not a good 
translation for Samadhi. When we think of the word `mindfulness', we imagine 
corralling the mind and pushing it into one direction. I have watched some 
practice mindfulness in `kinhin' or walking meditation, and during this time 
they forced their attention at every little leaf and bug. When viewed, this 
sort of `mindfulness' looks forced and contrived and is far from the true 
meaning. Mindfulness is not a game, it is not an activity in which one needs to 
artificially look at every detail, it is an effortless activity which has no 
direction or object; hence we find true mindfulness. Mindfulness is like 
setting sail in the winds of the present moment without a need for a direction 
or preference. When we learn to do this/practice, we are truly present and we 
begin to see life as it truly is. Now this forced mindfulness I spoke of in my 
introduction, looks and sounds somewhat like Samadhi; however, it is not. With 
that being said, you may truly stop and see/watch the leaf and bug as they 
truly are, on and so on,  one moment turns into another and the leaf and bug 
fade away as the tree and wind arise. True Mindfulness is like riding the waves 
of the sea, no effort is needed yet there is a vivid direction. 
In regards to your OCD, I would not recommend mindfulness in the common sense; 
however, I would recommend meditation practice in full with the friendship of a 
teacher or sangha. I have worked with men and women in the past who have OCD 
and they have communicated relief with ongoing Zen/Meditation Practice. 
Moreover, your concern is valid if we look at the practice of mindfulness as 
forced and contrived – this was good insight on your part, this need to force 
and push is something that many of us struggle with. As I described above, 
Samadhi is not forced nor is it "stuck",  Samadhi is a state free from these 
issues. I would recommend you find a good teacher, in whatever tradition you 
are attracted to and start practicing. There are many tools and traditions 
within Buddhism which will guide you, they all are mere window dressings 
though. The true core is what they all point to.  I would also recommend being 
open with your/the teacher about your OCD and create a solid relationship with 
him/her based on trust. You might also want to create a protocol so that if 
your anxiety or thoughts become to intense you have a game plan to collect 
yourself; don't forget to talk to the jisha or teacher about it though. Also, 
start out slow,  try ten minutes, then twenty, then thirty ect. and you will 
soon work your way up to a solid round.
In closing, I hear many people explain that they can't hold onto the serenity 
they find on the mat, or in their "everyday" world. I perceive there are a few 
reasons for this, although I will only touch on a couple. The first is the 
division that we create between the spiritual world and the everyday world 
(absolute/relative). There is a tendency to view our world through a dualistic 
filter and this creates the separation that binds us. These two worlds are 
truly not two at all, they are the same and neither. The only difference 
between the two is the one we create. Blurring those lines takes some practice 
and a lot of letting go. True Mindfulness or Samadhi is the tool by which we 
blur and ultimately erase these lines. The second reason is the attachment and 
delusion that arises when we hold onto our experiences. When we `see' the 
present moment, we are experiencing the dharma for briefs flashes. Soon after 
these flashes, thoughts and concepts arise which replace the passing moment and 
soon the experience is digested. One of the tools we use to digest the Dharma 
is duality. Our brain pines to make sense of the moment and it uses its store 
house of previous experiences to make sense of the new. If there is new 
information, even ever so slight,  the brain will actually fuse the new 
information with the old. So we may not be able to hold onto our kensho 
experiences but, change has occurred. It has become something that is based in 
the Dharma however, is not IT. This is where the idea comes from that words can 
not fully explain the Dharma but, they should also never be a barrier. 
Moreover, the reason we can not remain in the present moment continuously is 
due to our nature, and our nature is to digest and make sense of the 
experiences we have gathered. In order to do this, we need to step back from 
the present to digest the past – this is how we learn. Coming full circle, when 
we are truly mindful or in Samadhi the mind is at rest and the waves that has 
tossed our ship so violently in the passed have become ripples which feather 
out ever so softly and leave without a trace.
                                              In the Dharma,
                                               A Friend Of The Way

--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, "Dave P" <wookielife...@...> wrote:
> I haven't been on here for a long time, and I apologize for just barging in 
> with a new topic, but I'm having a hard time with the concept of mindfulness.
> I have been suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) for a long 
> time, and lately it has gotten worse. I don't want to get into details here, 
> but it revolves around both ethical and health choices in diet and just 
> living. 
> What I don't understand is how mindfulness can help, because to my mind 
> (pardon the pun) mindfulness means paying attention to everything, and if 
> anything OCD people pay too much attention. I worry about everything, and 
> intellectually I can understand just observing my emotions, but there is the 
> constant feeling that I MUST DO SOMETHING, that if I don't do things right I 
> will die. Hence I'm much more vigilant.
> Am I getting the whole concept of mindfulness wrong? Is there anything I can 
> read that could help me with this?


Current Book Discussion: any Zen book that you recently have read or are 
reading! Talk about it today!Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

<*> Your email settings:
    Individual Email | Traditional

<*> To change settings online go to:
    (Yahoo! ID required)

<*> To change settings via email:

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:

Reply via email to