Part Two: Dharma Discourses

Chapter Six: Exposition of Scriptures


24. The Master said, “Let me now discuss a list of various types of mindfulness practice. 1) If a person wishes to be successful in any endeavor, one should first concentrate one’s mind solely on that project and one’s thought should focus on honing to the task. 2) After achieving success in an endeavor, if a person wishes to preserve that success over the long term, one should not behave negligently and should continue to concentrate on it and study it. 3) If one wishes to determine correctly when it is better to take time or to hurry in the face of changing conditions so that one may avoid discomposure or failure, one should study in advance all possible scenarios. 4) In dealing with various situations, if one wishes to conduct oneself according to the Middle Way by clearly distinguishing right from wrong, one must always think about correct choice in action. 5) In order to learn lessons for the future, one must always reflect over everything that has happened. 6) If one wishes to avoid idle thought or drowsiness during one’s free time, one should hold on to the thought to eliminate idle fantasies. 7) If one wishes to fulfill all the duties of a position one has assumed, one must always maintain a profound sense of responsibility. 8) If one tries to repay all the grace one has received, one should first feel a profound sense of indebtedness. 9) If one wishes to carry on with a pledge one has made, one must always maintain a sense of loyalty.
“If one behaves thoughtlessly as one pleases even after I have laid out all these examples, then one is inviting failure, ingratitude, and distrust in all affairs, and ultimately one will be forsaken. What enterprise in this world can be accomplished without mindfulness? How great indeed is the merit of mindfulness!”