The pitfalls in the practice of Mindfulness

Acharya Prashant
5 min readApr 25, 2020

Following is an excerpt from a samvaad (dialogue) session with Acharya Prashant.

Questioner: You are holding a rabbit in your hands, what else is there except sensory perception? Why must there be anything beyond sensory perception? Just look at the creature, look into his eyes. Let the perception be total, and you will realise what is beyond perception. But that comes as Grace.

I am not able to see the difference between this example, and the philosophy of being mindful towards activities like eating, walking etc. In one of your talks you have discouraged the practice of mindfulness, and mentioned that observation means — ‘Am I with the Beloved or not?’

It is observation of the inside. Please help me understand this better.

Acharya Prashant: I have said repeatedly that you cannot be purposelessly mindful. Consciousness is anyway very-very burdened. Man’s mind is a storehouse of all kinds of stuff. Man’s mind is already full. You do not want to load it with more sensory objects.

So, when you do look at something, when you do admit something into your mind-space, there must be a strong and valid reason. In the other sense, mindfulness has to be very-very purposeful. Nobody should be allowed to gain entry into your mind unless the entry serves a clear purpose.

That’s why I talked of the ‘rabbit’ here. I didn’t talk of anything in general. I said, “Look into the eyes of the rabbit.” Now, there is a purpose there, there is a gain there. I am not talking of admitting just anything into your consciousness. I am talking of admitting that which will you insight. Insight about what? Insight about your own situation.

When you will look at the rabbit you will know who you are. The eyes of the rabbit specifically will tell you of your own longing. When you will look at that animal, you will see something that will tell you who you are, and will not allow you as a bonus, to kill and consume the rabbit.

If there is something that really benefits you with insight, then be mindful of it, then allow it entry into your consciousness. Otherwise, just being conscious of every little, trivial thing and object that is in you, around you, will leave you nowhere. There you actually have to be

Acharya Prashant