Basic Mindfulness System

Three attentional skills working together

The Basic Mindfulness System is a contemporary, “user-friendly” approach to think about and practice mindful awareness. It is one way to make mindfulness a very accessible, practical and relevant practice with wide application for anyone who may be interested.

Developed and refined over many years by mindfulness teacher Shinzen Young, the Basic Mindfulness System defines mindful awareness as a set of three attentional skills working together through which we process our sensory experience. Sensory experience includes our outer physical experience like sights and sounds and also our inner experience of thoughts and emotions. These three skills, which can be improved with practice, are:

  • Concentration Power
    the ability to focus on what we consider most relevant at a given time

  • Sensory Clarity
    the ability to keep track of what we are actually experiencing in the moment

  • Equanimity
    the ability to allow sensory experience to come and go naturally – without interference

“we can begin to notice several beneficial changes in how we are living”

As we cultivate these three skills by practicing specific techniques over time we can begin to notice several beneficial changes in how we are living and navigating the inevitable ups and downs of life. These include:

  • reduction in our physical and/or emotional suffering
  • elevation in our physical and/or emotional fulfillment
  • deeper understanding of who we are – really
  • positive changes in our objective behaviors
  • a spirit of love and service towards others