[Buddha-l] Question about Pali Term

Richard Hayes rhayes at unm.edu
Thu Jan 17 11:11:34 MST 2008

On Wednesday 16 January 2008 09:29, Michael Essex wrote:
> I am interested in the term mindfulness. It is frequently used in
> Buddhist influenced therapies. This particular use seems to stem from
> the translation of sati used in the "Heart of Buddhist Meditation". 

Mindfulness does indeed seem to be becoming a fashionable term. Last weekend 
there was a workshop at a cardiac rehabilitation and wellness center entitled 
Mindful Money Management. It was taught by a Methodist who has a degree in 
accounting and banking and who presents caring for personal finances and 
living within one's means as one of the many elements in a spiritual practice 
for householders. 

How does the focus on remaining mindful of one's spiritual goals as one keeps 
the household budget balanced fit with the Buddhist concept of sati/sm.rti? 
Generally speaking, I suppose it fits fairly well, since the essential 
ingredient in what we have come to call mindfulness in Buddhist hybrid 
English is remembering (sm.rti) the Dharma in everything one does, including 
managing one's resources.

About twenty years ago there was a North American Buddhist convention at which 
one of the panels was on applying the principles of Right Livelihood to 
investing. Mindful investing turns out to be pretty challenging, since 
investment opportunities that don't have some connection to exploitation, war 
or other violet practices or the provision of unwholesome services, are rare.

Richard P. Hayes
Department of Philosophy
University of New Mexico

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