Mindfulness, My Foot

by | Jan 11, 2024 | Buddhism for All

“Mindfully put your right foot in, take your right foot out,
… (the rest of the song) …
That’s what it’s all about.”

Once upon a time, a talented student of meditation was granted an opportunity to meet a great Zen master.  Eager to impress the master, right after sitting down, the student proceeded to recite the list of his meditative accomplishments.  After he finished his long monologue, the master smiled and said, “I only have one question for you.  When you entered this room, which foot landed first?  The left foot or the right foot?”

The student had no answer.  He suddenly realized he had not even perfected basic mindfulness of the body.  He bowed to the master, and left the room.  He would practice mindfulness diligently for ten more years before he would ask to see the master again.

In the next few articles, let us take a deep dive into right mindfulness, starting with a definitive definition of mindfulness itself.


Artwork by Colin Goh.

Chade-Meng Tan

Meng is an award-winning engineer, international bestselling author, movie producer and philanthropist. His work has been nominated eight times for the Nobel Peace Prize. (Read Meng's story)

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