Practice : Mindfulness

I'm taking a concrete example to get the right help.

Reading a book ,

  • Reading without being absorbed , mind keeps wondering but still able to read words

  • Reading with being absorbed , mind more likely continuously anchored on reading with minimal mental movements

Now I want to be aware about myself while being absorbed in reading or be aware about the reader while reading

Could anyone provide me a guide to proceed to that ?

  • 1
    It does look like there's an interesting question trying to express itself here... but it's not clear exactly what you are asking. Can you please clarify what it is that you want a guide towards? Is the book just a metaphor or do you really want advice on how to read a book and be aware of yourself at the same time? Buddhism doesn't really teach such things, as far as I am aware. May 1, 2015 at 17:52
  • @yuttadhammo I think the question is: how can you stay "self-aware" aka "mindful" even when, for example, reading a book? The list items describe the progress/state attained to date, i.e.: either, not absorbed in the book but still reading words, but mind wanders (and/or is self-aware of wandering); or, absorbed in the book, therefore not self-aware, and with minimal wandering (perhaps because it's guided by or focused on what the book is saying).
    – ChrisW
    May 1, 2015 at 18:31

1 Answer 1


In Buddhism

  • awareness is on:
    • Arising and passing of phenomena pertaining to the mind and matter process (Samudaya-vaya-dhammanupassi)
  • more particularly:
    • through sensations (as you experience phenomena and any characteristic of the aggregates or characteristics of matter though a sense door - vidita vedana - and also make you whole body sensitive - Sabbakayapatisamvedi)
    • any mind and matter phenomena creates sensations
  • arising from:
    • internal and external sources (Ajjhatta-bahiddha)
  • with:
    • equanimity, and
    • absence of clinging and craving of any type

So it is good to be aware of the reading so you don't miss any facts, but this might not liberate you from stress and misery.

If awareness alone did the trick then the happiest people would be the circus performers, gymnasts, etc.

So what ever you are absorbed in, be aware of the sensations and their arising and passing, keeping your mind firmly equanimous and devoid of craving and clinging. This is the type of awareness you have to develop in daily life including when reading.

Reading on its own creates verbal fabrications but if you can limit thought proliferation this is good. The though proliferation can be limited by:

  • calming the fabrication - less distraction from bodily pains
    • though observing the speed and length off the breath cycles - may be not easy while reading
    • passively looking at sensation, ideally in a small area like the upper lip
  • anchoring the mind
    • realise your mind has left the anchoring object
    • objectively looking at sensations or experience created by the distracting object
    • objectively look at the sensations created by:
      • reaction of your perception
      • though proliferation
    • bring back your mind to the anchor

For further details see:


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