Chapter 9: Right-mindfulness: The Flavor of Understanding
It interprets not.
And why is it called mindfulness? This is the translation of a Buddhist term “sammasati.” Samma means right - the translation is not very correct, cannot be. Samma is a very strange word, very significant, has many meanings; “right” is only one of its meanings. Samma is the root from where samadhi arises; the word samadhi comes from samma.
Samma means many things. One: tranquility, silence, equanimity, balance, undisturbedness, undistractedness, centeredness, groundedness - they are all aspects of samma. “Right” is a very poor translation of samma.
And sati - sammasati. Sati can mean mindfulness, can mean remembrance, can mean reflection, can mean recollectedness, can mean presence. All those meanings are involved in it. Mindfulness is only one of the meanings. It is a very potential and pregnant word - -sammasati.
It is the seventh step in Buddha’s eight steps - you are very close to reality. The eighth is samadhi. The seventh is sammasati. You have come very, very close; you are just on the threshold of reality - it has to be very, very significant. When you are utterly present in the presence, when you don’t have any past and don’t have any future.when this cuckoo calling, this train passing, this dog barking, is all.when this is all and there is no that, when the word here is your whole reality and there is no there, when now contains all time and there is no then.then you are in the state of sammasati.
That’s what I go on calling “herenow” - that is sammasati. Then you are utterly present, absolutely present. When something is going on in your mind about the past, you are not here; a part of you is traveling towards the past, and a part of you is traveling towards the future - only a small fragment is here.
When all the parts of your being are here, when you are totally at home, nothing is missing, when you are integratedly here, then it is right-mindfulness. In that moment you will reflect reality - as it is, without any distraction, without any distortion. Because you don’t have any thought in the mind, how can you distort it? Thought distorts, thinking is destructive. It goes on imposing - it does not allow you to see that which is.
Right-mindfulness is a state of no-mind, no-thought!
And remember: it is also a state of no-feeling - otherwise, you may think it is a state of feeling. No, it is not - because feeling again creates ripples and the surface of the lake is disturbed, and again the moon is not reflected as it is.
Neither thought disturbs you, nor feeling.