In the western world, it is only recently commonly recognized that meditation brings many health benefits, for both the mind and the body, thanks in part to its “discovery” by people such as Jon Kabat-Zinn in the 1970s, former Buddhist monk Jack Kornfield, and lay Buddhists: Joseph Goldstein and Sharon Salzberg. In Asia, however, billions of people have benefitted from meditation for thousands of years.
In the late 1970s, Kabat-Zinn realized that the technique he learned from Buddhist meditation was a “scientific” way to alleviate a host of illnesses including stress, anxiety, and pain. This led him to form a “mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program that he offered to health organizations with great success. Since then, meditation has been widely accepted by both the medical profession and the normal public as a means to promote health.
Whilst it is great that meditation has been more widely accepted in the west, the ensuing secular movement focuses (probably inadvertently from over-simplifying the system) almost exclusively on only one aspect of the Buddha’s teaching – mindfulness. But mindfulness alone is not enough to eradicate humanity’s discontent. It is only one of the eight factors that make up the Buddha’s formula to eradicate suffering. The other factors needed include correct understanding, intent, ethics, and concentration. If mindfulness alone solves the problem the Buddha would have called his path the “One-Fold Noble Path” instead of the “Eight-Fold Noble Path”.
Therefore, a practice that relies only on mindfulness is incomplete and not effective in quelling our discontent. And with increasing commercialization and over-marketing, such oversimplification, in fact, undermines and obscures the true value of the system it draws from. To fully benefit from meditation we have to incorporate the other factors that contribute to the purification of the mind.
Here, at Way of Insight, we aim to show you the complete path. You will understand that the depth, scope, and the way we employ the techniques make all the difference to the result. Because what we teach is the authentic meditation, pure science of the mind, that has come from a long line of enlightened masters, not its partial adaptation. The teaching of the Buddha that has always been scientific, pragmatic, and without dogma.
Your time and effort are precious, so invest wisely, learn the proper way to master your mind.