Mindfulness in the present

By Thanawaro Bhikkhu

This occasion, I would like to describe by separating into levels: the conventional truth level and the ultimate truth level
Conventional truth level refers to being aware of one’s position in accordance with worldly conventions such as being a male, a female, a mother, a father or a child, a teacher, a police, etc. When we are mindful of our position, we will be able to carry out our duties appropriately and in accordance with morals and ethics. For example, a lady should be polite, virtuous, and deport someone correctly in accordance with culture, a father must carry out the duties of head of the family, take responsibility to provide the family’s comfort and happiness, etc.
Ultimate truth level refers to the act of mindfully contemplating all things to see them as they really are in accordance with the teaching on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness: mindfully examining the body as simply body, feeling as simply feeling, mind as simply mind and dhammas as simply dhammas without clinging to the conventional meaning such as a being, we, they, or self to anything. This is how we develop wisdom through mindfulness and self-awareness by which we will be able to see things as they really are. Only then we can relinquish all attachments to sense pleasures and sense objects until there is no longer any love or delight in the five aggregates, not anything to hold onto as being self or belonging to self. Developing mindfulness through this level is something that is so important and regarded as the heart of Buddhist teaching which aims at the cessation of suffering.
Buddha said in regard to this, whenever there is no you, at that time you do not exist in this world, you do not exist in the next world and not in between both worlds. This is the end of suffering.