Awareness and Mindfulness

At the Sangha this week we explored the meaning of the terms consciousness, perception, mindfulness and wisdom, and reflected on their role in the dharma and Buddhist practice.

The counterparts of these terms in Pali have very precise meanings. By way of contrast, there is no correlate in Pali for the word “awareness”, although it is a term that certainly evokes many of the ideas that are central to Buddhist thinking; there was interesting discussion of what this term signifies for us.

Margaret played excerpts from two talks, one by Guy Armstrong (, and the other by Joseph Goldstein ( Of particular note was Joseph Goldstein’s clear distinction between perception and mindfulness.