what is the value of a single moment of mindfulness- and is it worth anything if not combined with other moments

when i do a good action to help others even a small one it has its benefit to the other without even looking at its affect on the practice even

even if i do one deed like washing the dishes of the family than i dont do nothing for 4 months its worth something

if i meditate for 30 minutes or be mindful while doing some action for 30 minutes and than i dont do meditation or even be mindful for 4 months - is it worth something ? why you say so ?

(there are so many teachers talking about the importance of consistent practice which makes me think that its not worth anything)

This is a continuation of a precius question i ask which is very similar but not exactly the same :

Is there a point for a not continues practice?

  • How old will you be by the time you learn to play the piano? The same age as if you don't. You seem to be asking if you will ever learn to play the piano by practicing once every four months. How much time do you have? Are you willing to wait forever, or not?
    – user2341
    Dec 27, 2016 at 19:55
  • i tried many times to have a consistent practice - i dont think im exaggerating if i say its probably more than a 100 times .... so if it was piano i would just give up on trying to play the piano
    – breath
    Dec 27, 2016 at 21:42
  • Whatever you do is worth something. Because existence exists.
    – user2341
    Dec 28, 2016 at 14:13

5 Answers 5


Value, let's face it, is an idea - not to diminish the question. Value can be attributable to all and everything that occurs, whether once and forgotten, or consistently applied.

All that can be found is mindfulness, whether realized or ignored. No moment, or what appears in it, can possibly have a beneficial or detrimental effect on some other moment, though a clean sink is bliss itself.

If one's present course of practice is intermittent, it is beautiful. If one's present course of practice is consistent, it is beautiful. If we tie our quality of practice to some preferential outcome, there is binding.

If we fail to see or appreciate the fulfillment of things as they are, our very commitment to practice can reinforce the myth that we are somehow less than enlightenment. Presence is awake, this is irrefutable.

Warmly, NightSkySanghaGuy


If you have only a single moment of mindfulness it is only two types of thought moments that will be of immense benefit to you. Even other thoughts are OK if you understand the nature of your mind, how merits and demerits form in the mind, how to free yourself from those demerits, and ways to cultivate merits, and then follow such a process with effort. You will then be able to come to the Dhamma gradually. It will be like a hole-less pot being filled by droplets of water with the each drop it receives.

The two thought moments to cultivate are that of Metta and impermanence (Anicca). Such moment thoughts would be of immense benefit (as per the scriptures). Here I did not say loving kindness, as metta is not necessarily an attitude of loving-kindness. It’s more an attitude of goodwill—wishing the other person well, but realizing that true happiness is something that ultimately each of us will have to find for him or herself, and sometimes most easily when we go our separate ways.

  • "It will be like a hole-less pot being filled by droplets of water with the each drop it receives. " .... if i can truly believe that my practice will surely be great and i see no reason i wont reach nibanna this lifetime if my health stays good ..... but still i dont understand how what you wrote in the first paragraph shows that each moment of mindfulness is a drop in a hole less pot
    – breath
    Dec 28, 2016 at 0:25
  • Have 'Saddha' in what Buddha taught, @breath. Never lose Confidence in the True Teachings. Never for a moment Doubt the True Teachings. Therein lies your protection. The 'break through' will not happen in this life for almost all of us. We live in such unfortunate times. You must have heard the discourses about the blind turtle and the yoke, and the comparison of the small piece of earth on the fingernail and the great earth itself, of those who do not realize their truth. So it is the unflinching confidence in the dhamma that would make a hole-less pot. Dec 28, 2016 at 1:11
  • i have faith that non-attachment is great if you get it (nibanna) and that the 8 fold path is the way to it .... i have a ton of doubts i can do it - and im really confident of my ability's in achieving anything i want in life - i can learn to play any song on the piano - talk fluently in 50 languages ect but not that i can advance in the path cause i alway stop after a short time and take huge breaks whatver i try even without formal medtation - i didnt try 1 time or 10 times or even 20 but much more i assume at least a 100 times without exaggerating - also i tried differnt techniques
    – breath
    Dec 28, 2016 at 1:20
  • 2
    @breath, it is up to you to accept what I say or disregard it. Please do not ask for sources as that it is clear example of the 'doubt' in you. If your confidence (Saddha) is unflinching, then even a single moment of mindfulness in Metta and Impermanence is important. Then Sila-visuddhi (purification of virtue) is important, BUT meditation is NOT important. Having any kind of regret is BAD. Be happy for that one moment, disregard the 100 times. Even if you do not meditate, there are 7 planes of Heaven to go & practice dhamma. If you do you will go beyond these to practice in 16 other levels. Dec 28, 2016 at 3:12

The ultimate Buddhist practise is letting go or non-attachment (refer to Culatanhasankhaya Sutta). Selfless or unselfish acts, such as washing the family dishes, contribute to a mind that can let go.

When the Buddha spoke of mindfulness, concentration, etc, he referred to qualities of mind that have the quality of 'letting go' or 'vossagga':

A monk develops mindfulness as a factor for awakening dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in relinquishment. He develops analysis of dhammas as a factor for awakening... persistence as a factor for awakening... rapture as a factor for awakening... serenity as a factor for awakening... concentration as a factor for awakening... equanimity as a factor for awakening dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in relinquishment ('vossagga'). Anapanasati Sutta

And what is the faculty of concentration? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, making it his object to let go ('vossagga'), attains concentration, attains singleness of mind. Quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful mental qualities, he enters & remains in the first jhana... SN 48.10

Definitions for vossagga

Concise Pali English Dictionary vossagga masculine donation; relinquishing; giving up.

PTS Pali English Dictionary vossagga relinquishing, relaxation; handing over, donation, gift (see on term as ethical Bdhgh at K.S. i.321) DN.iii.190 (issariya˚ handing over of authority)

  • This was a helpful reply - but i still dont understand why 10 minutes of mindfulness followed by 4 months of no mindfulness is worth something many monks talk about the benifit of a consistent practice - which makes me wonder what is the point of a non consistent practice - but an extreme one like my own - when i meditate for 3-4 days and than take a break of 4 months - not only from offical meditation but from mindfulness in general
    – breath
    Dec 27, 2016 at 11:49
  • 1
    The eightfold path and particularly the five precepts are important for everyday life, so you can be aware of your actions in relation to other people. However, if you are not gaining benefits from formal meditation practise you can give it up. Buddhism does not insist everyone practise formal meditation. In the suttas, it is rarely found the Buddha teaching formal meditation to lay people. Regards Dec 27, 2016 at 18:55
  • im talking about mindfulness even while doing choirs - i take the 4 month breaks and i am not being mindfull at all during it ..... also i tried this many many times and failed - which make me think why try if i always stop no matter how relazed i am or how hard i try or what trick i try to use
    – breath
    Dec 27, 2016 at 22:49
  • Buddhism starts with non-harming & metta towards oneself & others. One should not suffer or stress over Buddhism. Dec 27, 2016 at 23:19
  • i can do that - but i wouldnt do anything than - just watch videos on youtube play pc games enjoy life without a single moment of mindfulness
    – breath
    Dec 28, 2016 at 0:14

You don't say what your practice is - unless I missed it - but there is more than one way. Have you considered hunting around and reviewing a few different ways? Life is fleeting and opportunity is soon lost, as is said. Even reading a sutra or chapter a day would be more protective than what you are describing, I think. I hope you find something that works for you.

  • vipassana - with labeling - prostations before the walking medtation than sitting than a few seconds of metta /// i tried death contemplation - doing lots of metta - short meditations - no medtiation just informal mindfulness ect nothing works i always stop after a short time and take huge breaks
    – breath
    Dec 28, 2016 at 0:16
  • and i asked this question a ton of times in many different ways and i never ever got an answer for it - i got some nice answers which are good and even a bit helpful but never a full direct answer
    – breath
    Dec 28, 2016 at 0:18
  • You said you don't see how 10 minutes of mindfulness followed by 4 months of no mindfulness is worth something, but even daydreaming kind thoughts while staring out the window during a bus ride is worth something. It just isn't worth much. How will it keep you from sliding into vanity or greed when the going gets ugly? Will it help at all? Not what you describe. But you haven't scratched the surface of ways to practice. Get your hands dirty, get out there and look. Even to set out on a course of researching and comparing the multitude of ways that people do practice can be used as a practice.
    – Bearen
    Dec 28, 2016 at 0:32

Imagine some valuable has fallen into a well and you are draining it to get the items. Every bucket of water you take out has a value towards draining it. But if you take buckets of water far apart new water will replace the old and the water level will not go down.

Same with Fabrication. You have to take them out faster than new ones forming, i.e., every moment you practice has a value as long as you practice often enough.

  • which means they dont have value if you dont practice them often enough - which means 1 minute of meditation in a year dosnt have value- so your answer is no - right ?
    – breath
    Dec 31, 2016 at 11:26
  • Nobody can attach a value to this, even yourself. The value is decided by the benefits you experience. Dec 31, 2016 at 13:41
  • we make fabrications all day long in each moment - so to take out fabrications faster than they form means to be mindful for at least half the moments in a day - right ?
    – breath
    Dec 31, 2016 at 13:47
  • No throughout the day. Also practice to keep mindfulness having a sitting about 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in the evening. Dec 31, 2016 at 16:17
  • do you have time for a chat now ?
    – breath
    Dec 31, 2016 at 16:32

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