Wednesday, September 2, 2009

French Renaissance Mindfulness


Mindfulness is a human quality. Because I first came across mindfulness in the writings of East Asian Zen Buddhists, I got the idea—wrongly—that Buddhists more or less coined the concept. Here's a quotation from a French Renaissance essayist, Michel de Montaigne that gives good expression to the practice of mindfulness arising in France in the 1500s:

"When I dance, I dance, when I sleep, I sleep, yes, and when I walk alone in a beautiful orchard, if any thoughts drift to far-off matters for some part of the time ... I lead them back again to the walk, the orchard, to the sweetness of this solitude, to myself." —Michel de Montaigne
And, needless to say, one could find countless other expressions of the practice of mindfulness in every human culture throughout all time. (And, I strongly suspect if we were able to perceive it, we would discover that the wisdom of mindfulness practice pervades all life forms.)

The essential point is to cultivate mindfulness right here, just now.

6 comments:

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Beautiful. Thank you, Dan.

steven said...

dan what a find!! beautifully expressed and right in the moment of the moment of walking in an orchard. thanks for this. have a peaceful evening. steven

Delwyn said...

Hi dan

when sitting sit
above all don't wobble...


Happy days

Margaret Pangert said...

Hi Dan! Beautiful resonance between the painting and the quote. (Who would think the French could be mindful?!;) The instructions under your clock say it all: When one is being mindful, time doesn't pass; it is only now.

camilyn said...

Hi,

You have an incredibly good blog. Most people usually do not comprehend what mind power can do to one's achievement.

Dan Gurney said...

Bonnie, steven, Delwyn, Margaret, and camilyn... thank you!