Somatics of Early Buddhist Mindfulness and How to Face Anxiety.

Author: Anālayo B1
1Barre Center for Buddhist Studies, 149 Lockwood Road, Barre, MA 01005 USA.
Conference/Journal: Mindfulness (N Y).
Date published: 2020 May 8
Other: Volume ID: 1-7 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1007/s12671-020-01382-x. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 200

The body is a central object of the cultivation of mindfulness, in the way this has been described in relevant Pāli discourses and their parallels. At the background of such cultivation stands the absence of positing a mind-body duality and a lack of concern with a particular physical location of the mind in early Buddhist thought. Moreover, the various exercises that involve directing mindfulness to the body need to be considered in conjunction in order to arrive at a balanced understanding of their overarching purpose. Out of the different possible modalities of cultivating mindfulness in this way, the discourses present awareness directed to one's own bodily postures as a practice already undertaken by the Buddha-to-be when he was still in quest of awakening. In this particular setting, such mindfulness of postures served as a way of facing fear. The potential of this exercise to provide a grounding in embodied mindfulness, being fully in the here and now, is of particular relevance to the challenges posed by the current pandemic.

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020.

KEYWORDS: Anxiety; COVID-19; Fear; Mindfulness of the body; Proprioception; Somatics; kāyagatāsati

PMID: 32391113 PMCID: PMC7205602 DOI: 10.1007/s12671-020-01382-x