Book: Teaching Awareness in the Buddhist Tradition
Chapter: 6. The Teaching of Awareness (sati) in Corrado Pensa’s Thought
Today the use of the term sati, ‘awareness,’ often translated as ‘mindfulness,’ has become very widespread, especially in some groups oriented to the well-being of their students from a psycho-physical point of view. This article will first briefly reconstruct the original idea of awareness (sati) as presented in the Pāli Canon and then analyse how it was interpreted by Professor Corrado Pensa, and why he thought sati was a key to understanding Buddhism itself. The image that emerges is that, although he has been a part of bringing mindfulness to the West, in contrast to some teachers who have tended to trivialize mindfulness and even divorce it from its Buddhist roots, he has very much been a vehicle for the transmission of the Burmese and Thai forest practice traditions, always embedding sati within the framework of Pāli Canonical texts.