The Buddha taught many things, including powerful conceptual tools to liberate the mind from illusion and empower it to achieve lofty goals such as enlightenment. Some of these tools, such as ‘mindfulness’, are becoming well-known, but other even more powerful tools remain hidden by arcane jargon and religious obscurantism.
I write ‘mindfulness’ in quotes because the commercial varieties now becoming popular have very little to do with the Buddha’s original conception. The term for mindfulness in the Buddha’s teaching is sati-sampajañña, which means ‘presence of mind with recollection’. Recollection of what? The Buddha’s teaching, of course.
Why does this bug me enough to write about it? Because I’m Robin Hood. If someone is misusing their knowledge, power or position to cheat others, I am automatically on the side of the guys being cheated.
So popular commercial ‘mindfulness’ is teaching only presence of mind without recollection—which is a start, I suppose. But it’s like selling a car without an engine; you can sit in it all day without getting anywhere. To my way of thinking, selling an engineless car is dishonest. Ditto with selling half of authentic mindfulness as the whole thing.
In a similar way, Buddhist monks and scholars have been jealously withholding knowledge of the post powerful tools in the Buddha’s teaching. They are insisting that these tools are only good for self-realization, when actually they are valuable in many, many applications in life. Especially these days when we have to deal with multiple streams of rich information, conceptual tools that allow us to master our mental processes are extremely valuable.
When I see this, it sets off my Robin Hood alarm. Those Buddhist monks start looking a lot like the Sheriff of Nottingham. So I set off on the trusty steed of my mind, penetrating deep into the mysteries of the Buddha’s teaching. I even became an ordained Buddhist monk, disguising myself as one of them. I searched out and met the guardians of the secrets of the forest monasteries, learned from them and made off with their secrets!
Steal from the rich and corrupt! Give to the poor and deserving! Those deep secrets I liberated, I now share with you in The Dharmasar Solution. Please use them well.