The traditional spiritual path is virtue, then concentration, then wisdom. We begin with the ‘mundane’ path of virtue. We are learning first of all to tune in to our minds with a moral intention. Then, as we empty out the mind through concentration, we see that it becomes more and more wholesome. In this way we learn for ourselves, in our own experience, that everything that comes to interfere with our concentration during meditation, everything that arises automatically in the mind, is unwholesome. At this point there is no longer a need to discriminate on a moral basis.
Having seen this, we can add contemplation to concentration as a way to let go of all these states and to empty out the mind. Then we are not dependent upon concentration practise to keep the mind clear. Once we have developed, through contemplation, the stable perception of the automatic mind as unwholesome, the mind will become automatically self-clearing. Then we can apply our wholesome minds fully to other things. Developing wholesome perceptions of the world will then cut off at the root any tendency for the unwholesome to arise.
I hope this explains the connection between the two kinds of right mindfulness in the Buddha’s teaching – mundane and supramundane. Mundane right mindfulness is to see the wholesome or unwholesome nature of things, it is a moral discrimination. Supramundane right mindfulness contemplates the impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and non-self nature of things.
I offer this for your reflection