Mindfulness – is only real when we can give up the self-view

Uncategorised Oct 24, 2019

Walking round the upper level of the three circumambulatory paths round the temple of Bodh Gaya and the Bodhi tree (where the Buddha was enligfhtened), I came across a small boy about seven years old, sitting against the stone railings, asleep and alone, in Tibetan monks robes; someone had tucked a ten rupee note into his robes.
India is uncontrollable – the population has more than doubled since I first came here in 1972 – its now about 1.27 billion people. You cannot avoid seeing corpses in the Ganges, (wood to burn corpses is increasingly expensive  in Varanasi), deformed people, and beggars who thrust their  babies in your face.
On retreat a stones throw away from where the Buddha gave his first talk in Sarnath, (the meeting point of the main roads from West to East and North to South in those days) is a good place to focus on what the Buddha thought was important to say in his first talk. 
Recognising ‘there is suffering’, (and the two codicils – ‘suffering should be understood’ and ‘suffering has been understood’ – leads to the medicine for suffering within an understanding of conditionality; ‘Attachment to desire is the origin of suffering’, and its two codicils: ‘desire should be let go of’, and ‘desire has been let go of’
This is where mindfulness becomes real – in the cessation of the self-view that is suffering…