Great story! We are more the same than different with religions of the world.
It seems unlikely Charles Dickens knew anything about the buddhist practise of ‘sati‘ when he wrote a Christmas Carol in 1843. It was still a few years before the terms was translated into English as ‘mindfulness’ by victorian Pali scholar Rhys Davids. Surprisingly though, Dickens may have unwittingly defined mindfulness in a way that is often missed in contemporary western teachings.
Whenever sati is mentioned in the buddha’s teachings it is understood as a quality of remembrance or recollection. Too often today mindfulness gets either misunderstood as a form of concentration or at best a sort of broadening of present moment awareness. There is no harm in developing either of these qualities; they are skills of the mind that are worth fostering, however, in not getting to grips with the proper practise of sati we loose what is at the very heart of the buddha’s teachings. As the scholar Rupert Gethin…
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