I’m thinking about meditation today. For a large part of my life I practiced daily meditation, and although I am not a regular meditator at the moment, I do believe that it is an important part of any spiritual life. I have been reading some of Alan Wallace’s writings on Buddhist meditation. This snippet caught my attention, and captures for me something about the simple quality of meditation.
In Tibetan and Sanskrit, the word translated as mindfulness also means remembering. So the cultivation of mindfulness means maintaining an unbroken flow of remembering, remembering, remembering. It doesn’t involve any internal commentary. You are simply remembering to attend to the stream of tactile sensations of the in- and out-breaths. The quality of awareness you are cultivating here is a kind of bare attention, a simple witnessing, with no mental analysis or conceptual elaboration.
– from Alan Wallace’s meditation instruction (the first chapter of his book Genuine Happiness), via Santa Barbara Institute for Consciousness Studies.