Cultivating Awareness
in Daily Life

3 of 5

Mindfulness (continued)

What is the link between attentiveness and engagement? Does this path — mindfulness — belong in a Wheel of Engaged Buddhism? Yes, for several reasons. Alert involvement in ordinary activities is itself a meaningful expression of engagement, even in the absence of overt participation in broader social, political, or environmental work. When one is mindful, one is less likely to cause harm and more likely to recognize others' needs. Engagement without attentiveness can be unskillful and even harmful. One practitioner connects mindfulness and bodhisattva mind in the following way:

When I get depressed, off course, tangled in my engaged Buddhist practice, it helps me to flash on the bodhisattva vows, specifically to say to myself, kind of like a Zen hit: "SAVE ALL BEINGS RIGHT NOW!" Which brings me back to whatever it is I can do right in this moment. Often it is just to be mindful and meticulous and here now, washing the dishes or folding my clothes.

Folding clothes peacefully contributes to peace on a much larger scale.

In the Wheel, the path of daily awareness touches five other paths; in reality, this path is integral to all other paths.