Within Buddha Dharma we speak often of Mindfulness, but that Mindfulness is of two sorts and we must be careful ot to confuse the two.
There is a Mindfulness which is complete and actually functions at a conscious and an unconscious level and it is best to think of it as FULL ATTENTION. The second iss less complete, for it is only vailable to consciousness, but as a result of this specificity it can be directed effectively as a tool to consciously correct errors in comportment.
It is this DIRECT ATTENTIVENESS that is perfect when considering the refraining of inapproprite behavior and is essential for the practicing of the Noble Eightfold Path suggested by Buddha.
Both FULL ATTENTION and DIRECT ATTENTIVENESS can be directed at:
CONSCIOUSNESS OF THE MIND
CONTENTS OF MIND
In the former case through Meditation and in the latter through a conscious One-pointedness.
Energy is, of course, important and it flows through all the operations of a living system. In the case of the energy flow that we are discussing we can say that it flows through:
ATTITUDE, which sets the BASE of natural and correct behavior.
INTENTION, which generates the correct APPLICATION and DIRECTION of responses.
EFFORT, which generates MOTIVATION.
ACTION, which is the CONSEQUENCE of COGNITIVE FUNCTION.
This allows the final development of a response to any stimulus, be it internal or external.
It is naturally susceptible to Identity interference and this is the cause of IMPEDIMENTS.
This energy flows from what we call the Life Force and carries with it, in circumstances
liberated from impediments, the experiences of Gladness, Compassion, Benevolent Affect and Equanimity which can be experienced by Consciousness.
This is not to be confused with the states generated by the mind which are Identity-flawed and promulgated by state, education and religion.
Tis Energy is a natural flow that is not mentally directed and as such is not ponderous.
It is when that Energy is converted in effort that it can be correctly APPLIED and SUSTAINED after One-pointedness.
Bearing this in mind we can continue with the ATTITUDE MINDFULNESS which is DIRECT ATTENTIVENESS.
Simplifying this very complex topic we can say that Intentions are built from the combination of Data from memory, the Nature of the stimulus, the information of the recent belief system and the attitudes of the primordial system.
Inasmuch as the belief system has been influenced by Identity, in great measure in ways which are alien to the natural primordial correct attitudes, it is imperative to understand this negative influence.
Since at a beginner's level there is no access to the unconscious it is the conscious operation of Intentions to which an attentiveness must be directed.
We must remember that it is generally agreed that cognitive processes are not in normal conditions, in and of themselves, open to introspection. However, the human creature is often unaware of the existence of a stimulus that may influence a response; be actually unaware of a response made and often be after actions unaware that the stimulus has affected the response.
In the computation for any intention, the information from memory related to the stimulus and the Attitudes at the two levels using the available word/concept language tools are melded with respect to logic and apparent reality. There is an orientation towards deriving details, rules of learned facts, order and pattern. Finally there is the application of the self knowing in an academic sense with comprehension and the use of practical strategies that might bring a required outcome.
The information with great rapidity is used, intentions moulded and remolded until a final intention is evolved, which includes the attitudes of the right brain to generate a "whole picture" vision of the situation and in particular to grasp future consequences using where possible imagination.
All this you will remember to obtain a response that fits the required beliefs and fits the criteria of the primordial attitudes.
If Identity impediments are involved then you can see that the intentions may fit any required beliefs that have been Identity-installed, but will almost certainly, in that case, conflict with the primordial natural criteria for correct survival that is not based only upon the survival of the individual, but tribe, offspring and the environment which supports all these.
So the question is, where does one direct one's attentiveness for maximum efficiency?
Beginning and intermediate students can only use a critical evaluation of what is conscious.
This introspection of the final intention we can almost declare is a preliminary form of Vipassana, for what we must do before the intention is converted into action is introspect upon its characteristics; that is to say, determine what is subjective that makes up its apparent reality.
GENERALITY (jati); the properties of its general application.
QUALITY (guna); the attributes that distinguish its apparent individual nature.
SUBSTANCE (dravda); the characteristics of the mass of energy that any of its components occupies in space and generates it as "something" tangible.
NAME (nama); the name that has been given each part as a phenomenon.
ACTION (karma); the state of existence that effects change in the apparent eternal and internal worlds.
THE METHODOLOGY IS IN CONSTRUCTION