Unified Mindfulness

A systematic approach to mindfulness practice

I have been trained to teach the Unified Mindfulness System developed by Shinzen Young at the Monastic Academy after practicing the system for about 10 years. With daily guidance from Soryu Forall and over 5000 hours of practice over three years I have fully explored the core aspects of this comprehensive system.

I am available  to facilitate individual and group practice, classes,  short practice, day long and longer retreats. Contact me with requests.

So what is Unified Mindfulness ?

Unified Mindfulness is a way to think about, practice, and teach mindful awareness. It is but one system among many that are currently available. Each approach to mindful awareness has strong points and weak points. The strong point of Basic Mindfulness lies in its conceptual clarity and comprehensiveness. Its weak point is its complexity. Also the large number of focus options it offers can be a bit overwhelming at first. It may be helpful to remember that you don’t have to try all or even most of those focus options. If you can find one or two that really work for you, that’s all you need. Within the Basic Mindfulness System, mindful awareness is defined  as:

“three attentional skills working together: Concentration Power, Sensory Clarity, and Equanimity.”

What does this mean? It means that mindful awareness is a skillset, a collection of skills. A skill is an ability that can be improved with practice. Most skills involve some sort of external performance but mindfulness skills are “internal.” Mindfulness skills are a way to process your sensory experience. By sensory experiences, I mean not just outer physical experience like sights and sounds but also your inner experience of thoughts and emotions. So, Mindful Awareness is a certain way to pay attention to what is happening around you and within you. It involves three core skills. Each skill is distinct from the others, and they work together to reinforce each other.

In the Unified Mindfulness System, the entire endeavor of mindfulness is organized around four questions:

• What is Mindful Awareness?

• Why should we develop Mindful Awareness?

• Where is Mindful Awareness cultivated?

• How is Mindful Awareness cultivated?

The first question clarifies the nature of mindful awareness.

The second question provides a list of payoffs we can expect to get from that awareness.

The third question classifies the types of things we can be mindful of.

The fourth question provides a list of fundamentally distinct training strategies for developing mindful awareness.

Each of the four questions can be addressed in terms of a small set of basic elements. The system is named Basic Mindfulness because it addresses basic questions using basic elements.


For a more detailed explanation see:

The Basic Mindfulness Practice Manual

What is Mindfulness ?

Summary of the System

Introduction to See Hear Feel