Clearly knowing

Notes from Joseph Goldstein’s book “Mindfulness; a practical guide to awakening”

Clearly knowing is one of the four qualities of mind: Ardency, Clearly knowing, mindfulness, and concentration.

Clearly knowing – Sampajanna

This is translated in different ways as clearly knowing, clear comprehension or fully aware. This is a quality of mind that encourages mindfulness to be all-inclusive. Mindfulness is more than just being present. It is awareness of what is actually going on. It demonstrates that mindfulness includes knowing what we are doing and why we are doing it. We become aware of our purpose and the appropriateness of our action. What is the motivation behind what we our doing?

We become aware of:

  • our desire
  • our decision to act
  • and the appropriateness of the action

Is this motivation and action skillful or not? Useful or not?

Clear comprehension is part of the investigatory and wisdom aspects associated with mindfulness. It includes discernment in what is helpful and what is not helpful. How does our action affect everyone else like a vibratory wave going through our communities.

It also includes our motivation. Do we take actions to benefit all beings?

The more we understand our own minds, the more we understand other people’s mind.

The more we understand how we create our suffering, the more commonality we feel with all people’s suffering and how its created.