Returning to the Roots Of Mindfulness — The Four Noble Truths

I’m astonished at the impact of Buddhism on Western culture. Psychologists and business leaders are churning out books that mention mindfulness. Twenty years ago, I would have never predicted this.

In all the hoopla we can forget that mindfulness — the precise and nonjudgmental awareness of our present-moment experience — is ancient. It comes directly from the Four Noble Truths taught two millennia ago by the Buddha.

When an idea such as mindfulness ignites so quickly and spreads so widely, we benefit by returning to its historical origins. Then we can check for current misunderstandings.

The biggest danger is that we’ll cherry-pick the ancient teachings that align with our desires for success, sex, and money — and ignore anything else. (See this for an example.)

Preventing this outcome is my reason for writing about the Four Noble Truths.

Please note that my understanding of the Four Noble Truths has been shaped by Steve Hagen, author of Buddhism Plain and Simple. I highly recommend this book.

Meanwhile, here’s what’s coming (I’ll add links as I post them):