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Meditation content

Introduction

  1. Hi, my name's Ryan, and welcome to Open Mind, a free app to help you develop your mindfulness and wisdom. This is all in an effort to end your stress and the stress of those around you. Here are some tips on how to get the most out of these exercises for your brain.

  2. Finding a place where you won't be disturbed is important when you're beginning. Background noise is ok if it isn't distracting.

  3. Science has shown that if you practice around the same time each day you're more likely to create a skillful habit. Practicing in the same place can also be helpful.

  4. Your practice will be different every time you do it. Sometimes it's easy to maintain your focus and concentration, sometimes it's difficult and your thoughts scatter quickly and repeatedly. This is normal, don't worry :) The less incoming data to your mind the quieter it becomes. The more you practice taking the time to quiet it, the easier it becomes. The important thing is to stick with it and notice when your attention wanders, and then start over. Repeat to form helpful habits. Try to maintain focus, fail, and try again without judging yourself. The reason we fail is so we can learn to bring our focus back.

  5. There are different postures you can use such as laying down, sitting, kneeling, standing, walking, or even doing simple repetitive tasks. The easiest and most skillful position when first starting is sitting, and it's what I would recommend starting off with. If you keep your back straight while also remaining relaxed it makes it easier to calm your breathing and your mind. Back supports like walls and chairs can be helpful :)

  6. And thats it, you're now ready experience a calmer, wiser, and more open mind.


The content for this audio course comes from "Mindset", by Carol Dweck, "How to See Yourself as You Really Are", by H.H. Dalai Lama, "The 6 Dharma Gates to the Sublime", by Zhiyi, and "The Words of My Perfect Teacher" by Patrul Rinpoche.

Framework and Calm Down

1 Minute

  1. ...
  2. [Counting] Start by counting the breaths from one to four.
  3. [Follow] Focus your concentration on the feeling of the breath someplace in the body.
  4. [Stabilize] Allow one's breathing to calm down, which calms down the mind, which calms down the breath.
  5. ...
  6. [Contemplate the mind] Realize this experience is empty of an objective self because it arises from the mind.
  7. [Purification] Every thing is everything.
  8. ...

20 minutes

  1. [Prepare] Take a moment to get comfortable before listening.
    1.1 [Goal and Merit] Practice to end your stress and the stress of those around you.
    1.2 [Motivation] Understand that our basic traits like focus, intelligence, concentration and the like, are not fixed, they like all our basic abilities can be developed through effort. We must choose to make the effort.source
    1.3 [Notice the Senses] So just start to notice and calm the senses. 1.3.1 [Body scan] As you begin to scan down from head to toe. Noticing the different areas of comfort or discomfort.
    1.4 [Object of meditation] Now take your biggest breath and notice the feeling of it somewhere in the body.
    1.4.1 The tip of the nose,
    1.4.2 back of the throat,
    1.4.3 expanding belly,
    1.4.4 wherever you like.
  2. [Counting] Start by counting the breaths from one to four, starting over when you reach four. Count one with the inhale, two with the exhale.
    2.1 [Reminder] If the mind wanders restart the counting once you notice, without judging.
  3. [Follow] Focus your concentration on the feeling of the breath someplace in the body. And let go of counting.
    3.1 [Follow the Breath] Follow the coming in and going out of the breath.
    3.1.1 Notice how each breath is unique.
    3.1.2 Eventually the breath becomes subtle, peaceful, and still.
  4. [Stabilization] Allow one's breathing to calm down, which calms down the mind, which calms down the breath.
    4.1 [Reminder] Notice if the attention wanders, label it thinking, or feeling, and bring the attention back.
  5. [Contemplate what is skillful]
  6. [Contemplate the mind] Realize this experience is empty of an objective self, because it arises from the mind.
  7. [Purification] Allow the mind to be open and free now, letting go of any focus. Every thing is everything.
  8. [Prepare] Bring the attention back to the breath. Back to the body. Back to the senses.

Contemplate What is Skillful (Groups)

The Need for Insight

Contemplate the Cause of Stress

  1. The reason to practice is to stop unhelpful stress.
    1.1 Let's think about what causes that stress.
  2. It's caused by stressful thoughts or mental habits.
    2.1 Which leak out as harmful words
    2.2 and harmful actions [Kleshas]
  3. Examples may be anxiety, depression, anger, hatred, among others.
    4 [Attachment and Aversion] Stressful thoughts are caused by our brain's patterns of wanting.
    4.1 Such as wanting things we don't have that we label good, like pleasure.
    4.2 and wanting to not have things labeled bad, like pain.
  4. [Ignorance] These are caused by the overlay of a delusional desire for eternal life, and a false belief that we and the things we covet will last forever.
    5.1 This delusion exists because our mind overlays names and labels over all of our perceptions.
  5. We can't experience reality without the overlay of mind interfering which is why its important to mindfully train our minds to see reality as it actually exists.
  6. Choose to practice your focus and concentration to analyze your mind and see all things as they really are, which sees through delusion on a path that ends unhelpful stress.

Contemplate Ending Stress

  1. Practice to stop the stress caused by a deluded and closed mind with a limited view of reality.
    1.1 Let's think about how we might end stress.
  2. We can suppress unhelpful thought patterns like anger, hatred and the like.
    2.1 We can do this by thinking deeply about the opposite thought pattern we want to change.
    2.2 To counteract hatred we can practice love
    2.3 To counteract wanting we can practice giving
    2.4 To counteract delusion we can practice wisdom through logically analyzing reality.
  3. The root of all our unhelpful thought patterns is a deluded belief that overlays every one of our experiences.
    3.1 This deluded mind views reality from a fixed perspective,
    3.2 which causes all our unhelpful suffering and stress.
  4. Therefore by learning to recognize and understand this delusion in ourselves, as well as learning to analyze and logically think about reality, we will learn to see through delusion and end unhelpful stress.
  5. Choose to practice your focus and concentration to analyze your mind and see all things as they really are, which sees through delusion on a path that ends unhelpful stress.

Contemplate the Process of Delusion

  1. Practice to stop the stress caused by a deluded and closed mind with a limited view of reality.
    1.1 Let's think about the process behind this delusional.
  2. [Contact] First we sense things
    2.1 like light
    2.2 through our eyes.
  3. Next our nerves communicate an electrical signal to the brain.
  4. [Name and Form] Then the mind labels the signal with names it remembers.
    4.1 shape
    4.2 hand
    4.2 my hand
    4.4 my body
    4.5 me
  5. [Consciousness] Which makes the mind become conscious of the grouping of labels we call an experience.
  6. [Karmic formations] The mind records the experience forming beliefs.
  7. [Ignorance] Like our delusional belief that our mental experiences exist as something concrete and separate from a mental condition of consciousness.
    7.1 Beliefs are built on the experiences we remember
    7.2 which are colored by our mental vocabulary and habits.
    7.3 If we think about things that make us angry
    7.4 we are more likely to label our experiences angrily,
    7.5 which forms our beliefs on a foundation of anger, hatred, and suffering.
  8. Choose to practice your focus and concentration to analyze your mind and see all things as they really are, which sees through delusion on a path that ends unhelpful stress.

Contemplate Delusional Labeling

  1. Practice to stop stress caused by a deluded and closed mind stuck in the habits of craving and hating.
    1.1 Let's think about this process of craving and hating.
  2. First we briefly perceive a thing.
    2.1 Like a feeling in our body
  3. Next we delusionally think the thing we perceive exists as a solid continuous entity, independent of thought.
  4. Then we label the thing as good or bad.
    3.1 This pleasurable feeling is good. I want it to last forever and will have stress when it is gone.
    3.2 Or, this painful feeling is bad. I hate it and will have stress as long as I have it.
  5. We think labels like good and bad, and even the notion of I, exist outside our imagination and inside the thing we are perceiving.
    4.1 Neither the body part nor the pleasure are good by default, we just label them good.
    4.2 Similarly neither the pain nor the body part containing it are bad by default, we just label them this way.
    4.3 We label based off the experiences and beliefs in our imagination.
  6. We crave good things and hate bad things.
  7. Our craving and hatred causes us stress, and leaks out causing stress in others.
  8. Choose to calm down and focus your concentration on analyzing your mind to see all things as they really are, which sees through delusion on a path that ends unhelpful stress for everyone.

Insight Ends Stress

  1. Practice insight to stop stress caused by a deluded and closed mind.
  2. Observe your mind to see the way you and all things actually exist.
  3. This is the only way to give up the false beliefs you are overlaying onto the way things really are.
    3.1 There are no external means of removing stress.
    3.2 It is all in your mind.
  4. We practice insight by first calming our thoughts, and then using reason to explore the nature of all things, until we can focus and concentrate on what we have understood.
    4.1 As Dharmakirti said: "The abandonment of desire, hatred, and so forth, is through not seeing those in objects."
  5. When you see that all troublesome emotions, and all problems, arise from your deluded misunderstandings, you will want to get rid of all of this ignorance.
  6. When you remove this delusion, you stop creating unhelpful thoughts, which stops unhelpful words and actions.
  7. Choose to calm down and focus your concentration on analyzing your mind to see all things as they really are, which sees through delusion on a path that ends unhelpful stress for everyone.

How to Undermine Ignorance

Experience Relativity

All things are relative to all things.

  1. Practice insight by thinking about how things are related through their causes and conditions.
    1.1 A six-inch line is short relative to an eight-inch line.
    1.2 An eight-inch line is short relative to a ten-inch line.
  2. Delusion is the mistaken view that people and things exist independently and outside the influence of other things and the realm of change.
    2.1 Think about it, if things existed outside the influence of other things, how would those things change?
    2.2 Is there any thing imaginable that is unchangable?
  3. The way to remove this delusion is to think about the fact that all things are changeable because they exist relative to other things.
    3.1 Where there is long, there has to be short.
  4. Let's think about a thing, like a house.
  5. Think about all the things that made this house come into existence.
    5.0.1 [1 minute] It's materials, location, and other dependencies.
    5.1 Its materials,
    5.1.1 like wood, stone, and plastic.
    5.2 location,
    5.3 and other dependencies.
    5.3.1 Like the people who built it,
    5.3.2 and the timeframe it exists as a house within.
    5.4 If we change one of these things, is it still the same house?
    5.5 Was its soul in the thing we changed?
    5.6 Is a flame burning on a candle now the same flame from 2 minutes ago?
  6. See how the house depending on other things conflicts with the deluded idea that the house exists as a concrete independent entity.
  7. Choose to calm down and focus your concentration on analyzing your mind to see all things as they really are, which sees through delusion on a path that ends unhelpful stress for everyone.

Contemplate Consciousness

All things are relative to all things.

  1. Practice insight by thinking about how consciousness exists as a continuum of relative moments.
    1.1 Just as a moment has an end, so it must have a beginning and a middle.
    1.2 Also the beginning, middle, and end are to be analyzed like a moment.
    1.3 ~ Nagarjuna .
  2. Consciousness of a grain of sand has earlier and later moments in its continuum.
  3. These moments of consciousness make up parts of the stream of consciousness.
  4. Even the shortest amount of time we can perceive in this continuum is made from parts.
  5. If it didn't have a beginning, middle, and end, it couldn't join with other moments to form a continuum.
  6. Choose to calm down and focus your concentration on analyzing your mind to see all things as they really are, which sees through delusion on a path that ends unhelpful stress for everyone.

Contemplate Space

All things are relative to all things.

  1. Practice insight by thinking about how space exists dependent upon its parts.
  2. Think about how space depends on its particular directions, like space in the east, and the west.
    2.1 Think about the space of a house.
    2.2 Think about how it depends upon its parts, the space in the bedroom, the living room, and so forth.
  3. Consider how all space depends upon its parts.
  4. See how space existing dependant upon its parts conflicts with the deluded idea that it exists as an independent entity.
  5. Choose to calm down and focus your concentration on analyzing your mind to see all things as they really are, which sees through delusion on a path that ends unhelpful stress for everyone.

Contemplate What is Skillful (Singles)

======================

Other Sources (Not HTSYAYRA)

5 Things to Think About Often

Contemplate the Five Remembrances (Upajjhatthana Sutta)

End harmful thoughts and actions

End conceit, lust,

  1. There are five things that are skillful to think about often.
    1.1 I can not avoid aging.
    1.2 I can not avoid illness or injury.
    1.3 I can not avoid death.
    1.4 I can not keep any thing forever.
    1.5 I am the owner of my thoughts, words, and actions; whether good or bad, of these shall I inherit.

Contemplate the Four Encompassing Bodhisattva Vows (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhisattva_vow)

Recorded but not uploaded yet

  1. [Contemplate what is skillful] There are four things that are skillful to think about to relieve the stress of every one.
    1.1 Beings are countless; I will help them all.
    1.2 Stress and delusive-desires are inexhaustible; I will end them all.
    1.3 There are teachings beyond-measure; I will learn them all.
    1.4 The Buddha's Way is unsurpassable; I will accomplish it all.

Generate compassion (by Shantideva

Wish for others to be free from suferring, and the causes of suffering.

  1. My being and all my good I give away to bring about the benefit of all beings.[11]
  2. I give up my being to serve all beings; let them do whatever they want that does not bring them injury. [13-15]
  3. All those who do evil to me, may they attain the fortune of enlightenment![17]
  4. For all who are sick, may I be their doctor, nurse, and the medicine itself.[8]
  5. Raining down a flood of food and drink, may I dispel the ills of thirst and famine.[9]
  6. For sentient beings, poor and destitute, may I become a treasure ever plentiful.[10]
  7. May I be a guard for those who are protector less.[18]
  8. A guide for those who journey on the road.[18]
  9. For those who wish to go across water, May I be a boat, a raft, a bridge.[18]
  10. May I be an isle for those who yearn for landfall.[19]
  11. A lamp for those who long for light.[19]
  12. For those who need a resting place, a bed.[19]
  13. For everything that lives may I provide their livelihood and nourishment.[22]
  14. May all the pain of every living being be wholly scattered and destroyed![7]
  15. Embrace, abide, and train in the awakened attitude of mind, for the benefit of all beings.[22-24]

WIP

======================

Edited Framework

  1. [Prepare] Take a moment to get comfortable before listening.
    1.1 [Goal and Merit] Practice to end your stress and the stress of those around you.
    1.2 [Motivation] Understand that our basic traits like focus, intelligence, concentration and the like, are not fixed, they like all our basic abilities can be developed through effort. We must choose to make the effort.source
  2. [Awareness-of-Breath] Focus your concentration on the feeling of the breath someplace in the body. The tip of the nose, back of the throat, expanding belly, wherever you like. Follow the coming in and going out of the breath. Notice how each breath is unique.
  3. [Contemplate-what-is-skillful]
  4. [Contemplate-the-mind] Realize this experience is empty of an objective self, because it arises from the mind.
  5. [Purification] Allow the mind to be open and free now, letting go of any focus. Every thing is everything.

Edited Framework with Additions

  1. [Prepare] Take a moment to get comfortable before listening.
    1.1 [Goal-and-Merit] Practice to end your stress and the stress of those around you.
    1.2 [Motivation] Understand that our basic traits like focus, intelligence, concentration and the like, are not fixed, they like all our basic abilities can be developed through effort. We must choose to make the effort.source
    1.3 [Faith-in-Effort] If we are diligent, patient, and persistant in our efforts to remain aware and equanimous, we will suceed in breaking our minds' unhelpful stressful habits of greed, hatred, and delusion.
  2. [Awareness-of-Breath] Focus your concentration on the feeling of the breath someplace in the body. The tip of the nose, back of the throat, expanding belly, wherever you like. Follow the coming in and going out of the breath. Notice how each breath is unique.
  3. [Contemplate-what-is-skillful]
  4. [Contemplate-the-mind] Realize this experience is empty of an objective self, because it arises from the mind.
  5. [Purification] Allow the mind to be open and free now, letting go of any focus. Every thing is everything.

PRACTICAL INSIGHT MEDITATION BASIC PRACTICE The Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw From: https://www.saddhamma.org/pdfs/mahasi-practical-insight-meditation.pdf PREFACE It is a truism to say that nobody likes suffering and everybody seeks happiness. In this world of ours, human beings are making all possible efforts for prevention and alleviation of suffering, and enjoyment of happiness. Nevertheless, their efforts are mainly directed towards physical well-being by material means. Happiness is, after all, conditioned by attitudes of mind, and yet only a few persons give real thought to mental development, fewer still practice mind training in earnest. To illustrate this point, attention may be drawn to the commonplace habits of cleaning and tidying up one's body, the endless pursuits of food, clothing and shelter, and the tremendous technological progress achieved for raising the material standard of living, for improving the means of transport and communications, and for prevention and cure of diseases and ailments. All these efforts are, in the main, concerned with the care and nourishment of the body. It must be recognized that they are essential. However, these human efforts and achievements cannot possibly bring about the alleviation or eradication of suffering associated with old age and disease, domestic infelicity and economic troubles, in short, with non-satisfaction of wants and desires. Sufferings of this nature are not overcome by material means; they can be overcome only mind training and mental development. Then, it becomes clear that the right way must be sought for training, stabilizing and purifying the mind. This way is found in the Maha Satipatthana Sutta, a well-known discourse of the Buddha, delivered well over 2,500 years ago. The Buddha declared thus: "This is the sole way for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation, for the destroying of pain and grief, for reaching the right path, for the realization of nirvana, namely the four foundations of mindfulness." The four foundations of mindfulness are (1) the contemplation of the body, (2) the contemplation of feelings, (3) the contemplation of mind, and (4) the contemplation of mind objects. Obviously, this way should be followed by those in search of happiness, with a view to getting rid of the impurities of mind, which are the cause of their sufferings. If one were asked whether he wished to overcome sorrow and lamentation, he would surely say, "Yes." Then he, nay everybody, should practise the four foundations of mindfulness. If one were asked whether he wishes to destroy pain and grief, he would not hesitate to reply in the affirmative. Then he, nay everybody, should practise the four foundations of mindfulness. If one were asked whether he wishes to reach the right path and realize nirvana, the state of being absolutely free from old age, decay and death and from all sufferings, he would certainly give an affirmative answer. Then he, nay everybody, should practise the four foundations of mindfulness. How shall one practise the four foundations of mindfulness? In the Maha Satipatthana Sutta, the Buddha said, "Dwell practising body contemplation, feeling contemplation, mind contemplation and mind-objects contemplation." Without the guidance of a wellqualified teacher, however, it will not be easy for an average person to practise these contemplations in a systematic manner in order to make progress towards development of concentration and insight. Having myself undergone a most intensive practical course of satipatthana meditation under the personal guidance of the Most Venerable Mingun Jetavan Sayadaw of Thaton, I have imparted the technique of meditation ever since 1938 and given personal instruction, as well as through books and lectures, to several thousands of yogis. In compliance with the requests of those of the earlier batches, who had benefited from my personal instructions, I wrote a treatise on vipassana or insight meditation, in two volumes. The treatise was completed in the year 1944 and has been published in seven editions. In all the chapters, except in Chapter V, dissertations and discussions are made with reference to Pali texts, commentaries and sub-commentaries. In Chapter V, I chose to write in common language for easy understanding by my pupils as to how they should begin and then proceed step by step, stating fully the salient features, in line with the Visuddhimagga and some other texts. This present book is the English translation of the said Chapter V. The first fourteen pages of the Burmese original were translated into English in 1954 by U Pe Thin, an old pupil of mine, for the benefit of those who came from abroad to our Meditation Centre. Pages 15 to 51 of the Burmese original were translated into English, in compliance with the wish of the Venerable Nyanaponika Mahathera, by Myanaung U Tin, a disciple and dayaka of mine. Incidentally, it may be mentioned that the area of our Meditation Centre, Thathana Yeiktha, is nearly twenty-four acres, with over fifty buildings to house the meditation teachers and yogis, monks as well as lay, both men and women. The Venerable Nyanaponika Mahathera put this translation into final literary shape after obtaining confirmation of his valuable suggestions. U Pe Thin's translation was revised by and improved upon, as to style, by Miss Mary McCollum, an American Buddhist lady. She practised satipatthana meditation under the guidance of Anagarika Munindra at the Burmese Vihara, Bodh-Gaya, Bihar, India. Anagarika Munindra stayed with us for a considerable period. He sent her revision to us for perusal and approval. When done, it was forwarded to the Venerable Nyanaponika Mahathera. This book is, therefore, the coordination and combined publications of the aforesaid two translations, with my preface added thereto. Chapter V of my Burmese treatise, as mentioned earlier, was written in common linguistic style. I should like to say here that the doctrinal terms found in this book without Pali names are fully explained in 'Progress of Insight,' translated from my Pali treatise into English by the Venerable Nyanaponika Mahathera. His book, 'The Heart of Buddhist Meditation,' is itself a veritable mine of information and instruction on this subject of vital importance. In conclusion, I would like (1) to say that I deeply appreciate the services of those who have done the translations and revisions as well as of those who are responsible for the publication of this book, (2) to urge the readers of this book not to be content with the theoretical knowledge contained therein but to apply that knowledge to systematic and sustained practice, and (3) to express my earnest wish that they gain insight soon and enjoy all the benefits vouchsafed by the Buddha in the preamble of the Maha Satipatthana Sutta. Bhaddanta Sobhana (Agga Mahapandita) Mahasi Sayadaw October 1st, 1970 'Thathana Yeiktha', 16, Hermitage Road, Rangoon, Burma PART I BASIC PRACTICE Preparatory Stage If you sincerely desire to develop contemplation and attain insight in this your present life, you must give up worldly thoughts and actions during the training. This course of action is for the purification of conduct, the essential preliminary step towards the proper development of contemplation. You must also observe the rules of discipline prescribed for laymen, (or for monks, as the case may be) for they are important in gaining insight. For laypeople, these rules comprise the eight precepts which Buddhist devotees observe on sabbath days (uposatha) and during periods of meditation. 1 An additional rule is not to speak with contempt, in jest, or with malice to or about any of the noble ones who have attained states of sanctity. 2 If you have done so, then personally apologize to him or her or make an apology through your meditation instructor. If in the past you have spoken contemptuously to a noble one who is at present unavailable or deceased, confess this offence to your meditation instructor or introspectively to yourself. The old masters of Buddhist tradition suggest that you entrust yourself to the Enlightened One, the Buddha, during the training period, for you may be alarmed if it happens that your own state of mind produces unwholesome or frightening visions during contemplation. Also place yourself under the guidance of your meditation instructor, for then, he can talk to you frankly about your work in contemplation and give you the guidance he thinks necessary. These are the advantages of placing trust in the Enlightened One, the Buddha, and practising under the guidance of your instructor. The aim of this practice and its greatest benefit is release from greed, hatred and delusion, which are the roots of all evil and suffering. This intensive course in insight training can lead you to such release. So work ardently with this end in view so that your training will be successfully completed. This kind of training in contemplation, based on the foundations of mindfulness (satipatthana), had been taken by successive Buddhas and noble ones who attained release. You are to be congratulated on having the opportunity to take the same kind of training they had undergone. It is also important for you to begin your training with a brief contemplation on the 'four protections' which the Enlightened One, the Buddha, offers you for reflection. It is helpful for your psychological welfare at this stage to reflect on them. The subjects of the four protective reflections are the Buddha himself, loving-kindness, the loathsome aspects of the body, and death. First, devote yourself to the Buddha by sincerely appreciating his nine chief qualities in this way: Truly, the Buddha is holy, fully enlightened, perfect in knowledge and conduct, a welfarer, world-knower, the incomparable leader of men to be tamed, teacher of gods and mankind, the awakened one and the exalted one. Secondly, reflect upon all sentient beings as the receivers of your loving-kindness and identify yourself with all sentient beings without distinction, thus: May I be free from enmity, disease and grief. As I am, so also may my parents, preceptors, teachers, intimate and indifferent and inimical beings be free from enmity, disease and grief. May they be released from suffering. Thirdly, reflect upon the repulsive nature of the body to assist you in diminishing the unwholesome attachment that so many people have for the body. Dwell on some of its impurities, such as stomach, intestines, phlegm, pus, blood. 3 Ponder on these impurities so that the absurd fondness for the body may be eliminated. The fourth protection for your psychological benefit is to reflect on the phenomenon of ever-approaching death. Buddhist teachings stress that life is uncertain, but death is certain; life is precarious but death is sure. Life has death as its goal. There is birth, disease, suffering, old age, and eventually, death. These are all aspects of the process of existence. To begin training, take the sitting posture with the legs crossed. You might feel more comfortable if the legs are not inter-locked but evenly placed on the ground, without pressing one against the other. If you find that sitting on the floor interferes with contemplation, then obtain a more comfortable way of sitting. Now proceed with each exercise in contemplation as described. Basic Exercise I Try to keep your mind (but not your eyes) on the abdomen. You will thereby come to know its rising and falling movements. If these movements are not clear to you in the beginning, then place both hands on the abdomen to feel these rising and falling movements. After a short time the upward movement of exhalation will become clear. Then make a mental note of rising for the upward movement, falling for the downward movement. Your mental note of each movement must be made while it occurs. From this exercise you learn the actual manner of the upward and downward movements of the abdomen. You are not concerned with the form of the abdomen. What you actually perceive is the bodily sensation of pressure caused by the heaving movement of the abdomen. So do not dwell on the form of the abdomen but proceed with the exercise. For the beginner it is a very effective method of developing the faculties of attention, concentration of mind and insight in contemplation. As practice progresses, the manner of the movements will be clearer. The ability to know each successive occurrence of the mental and physical processes at each of the six sense organs is acquired only when insight contemplation is fully developed. Since you are only a beginner whose attentiveness and power of concentration are still weak, you may find it difficult to keep the mind on each successive rising movement and falling movement as it occurs. In view of this difficulty, you may be inclined to think, "I just don't know how to keep my mind on each of these movements." Then simply remember that this is a learning process. The rising and falling movements of the abdomen are always present and therefore there is no need to look for them. Actually it is easy for a beginner to keep his or her mind on these two simple movements. Continue with this exercise in full awareness of the abdomen's rising and falling movements. Never verbally repeat the words, rising, falling, and do not think of rising and falling as words. Be aware only of the actual process of the rising and falling movements of the abdomen. Avoid deep or rapid breathing for the purpose of making the abdominal movements more distinct, because this procedure causes fatigue that interferes with the practice. Just be totally aware of the movements of rising and falling as they occur in the course of normal breathing. Basic Exercise II While occupied with the exercise of observing each of the abdominal movements, other mental activities may occur between the noting of each rising and falling. Thoughts or other mental functions, such as intentions, ideas, imaginings, are likely to occur between each mental note of rising and falling. They cannot be disregarded. A mental note must be made of each as it occurs. If you imagine something, you must know that you have done so and make a mental note, imagining. If you simply think of something, mentally note, thinking. If you reflect, reflecting. If you intend to do something, intending. When the mind wanders from the object of meditation which is the rising and falling of the abdomen, mentally note, wandering. Should you imagine you are going to a certain place, note going. When you arrive, arriving. When, in your thoughts, you meet a person, note meeting. Should you speak to him or her, speaking. If you imaginarily argue with that person, note arguing. If you envision or imagine a light or colour, be sure to note seeing. A mental vision must be noted on each occurrence of its appearance until it passes away. After its disappearance, continue with Basic Exercise I, by being fully aware of each movement of the rising and falling abdomen. Proceed carefully, without slackening. If you intend to swallow saliva while thus engaged, make a mental note intending. While in the act of swallowing, swallowing. If you spit, spitting. Then return to the exercise of noting rising and falling. Suppose you intend to bend the neck, note intending. In the act of bending, bending. When you intend to straighten the neck, intending. In the act of straightening the neck, straightening. The neck movements of bending and straightening must be done slowly. After mentally making a note of each of these actions, proceed in full awareness with noticing the movements of the rising and falling abdomen. Basic Exercise III Since you must continue contemplating for a long time while in one position, that of sitting or lying down, ( it is not advised that the meditator should use the lying posture except when it is time to sleep.) you are likely to experience an intense feeling of fatigue, stiffness in the body or in the arms and legs. Should this happen, simply keep the knowing mind on that part of the body where such feelings occur and carry on the contemplation, noting tired or stiff. Do this naturally; that is, neither too fast nor too slow. These feelings gradually become fainter and finally cease altogether. Should one of these feelings become more intense until the bodily fatigue or stiffness of joints is unbearable, then change your position. However, do not forget to make a mental note of intending, before you proceed to change your position. Each movement must be contemplated in its respective order and in detail. If you intend to lift the hand or leg, make a mental note intending. In the act of lifting the hand or leg, lifting. Stretching either the hand or the leg, stretching. When you bend it, bending. When putting it down, putting. Should either the hand or leg touch, touching. Perform all of these actions in a slow and deliberate manner. As soon as you are settled in the new position, continue with the contemplation in another position keeping to the procedure outlined in this paragraph. Should an itching sensation be felt in any part of the body, keep the mind on that part and make a mental note, itching. Do this in a regulated manner, neither too fast nor too slow. When the itching sensation disappears in the course of full awareness, continue with the exercise of noticing the rising and falling of the abdomen. Should the itching continue and become too strong and you intend to rub the itchy part, be sure to make a mental note, intending. Slowly lift the hand, simultaneously noting the actions of lifting; and touching, when the hand touches the part that itches. Rub slowly in complete awareness of rubbing. When the itching sensation has disappeared and you intend to discontinue rubbing, be mindful by making the usual mental note of intending. Slowly withdraw the hand, concurrently making a mental note of the action, withdrawing. When the hand rests in its usual place touching the leg, touching. Then again devote your time to observing the abdominal movements. If there is pain or discomfort, keep the knowing mind on that part of the body where the sensation arises. Make a mental note of the specific sensation as it occurs, such as painful, aching, pressing, piercing, tired, giddy. It must be stressed that the mental note must not be forced nor delayed but made in a calm and natural manner. The pain may eventually cease or increase. Do not be alarmed if it increases. Firmly continue the contemplation. If you do so, you will find that the pain will almost always cease. But if, after a time, the pain has increased and becomes unbearable, you must ignore the pain and continue with the contemplation of rising and falling. As you progress in mindfulness you may experience sensations of intense pain: stifling or choking sensations, such as pain from the slash of a knife, the thrust of a sharp-pointed instrument, unpleasant sensations of being pricked by sharp needles, or of small insects crawling over the body. You might experience sensations of itching, biting, intense cold. As soon as you discontinue the contemplation you may also feel that these painful sensations cease. When you resume contemplation you will have them again as soon as you gain in mindfulness. These painful sensations are not to be considered as something wrong. They are not manifestations of disease but are common factors always present in the body and are usually obscured when the mind is normally occupied with more conspicuous objects. When the mental faculties become keener you are more aware of these sensations. With the continued development of contemplation the time will come when you can overcome them and they will cease altogether. If you continue contemplation, firm in purpose, you will not come to any harm. Should you lose courage, become irresolute in contemplation and discontinue for some time, you may encounter these unpleasant sensations again and again as your contemplation proceeds. If you continue with determination you will most likely overcome these painful sensations and may never again experience them in the course of contemplation. Should you intend to sway the body, then knowingly note intending. While in the act of swaying, swaying. When contemplating you may occasionally discover the body swaying back and forth. Do not be alarmed; neither be pleased nor wish to continue to sway. The swaying will cease if you keep the knowing mind on the action of swaying and continue to note swaying until the action ceases. If swaying increases in spite of your making a mental note of it, then lean against a wall or post or lie down for a while. Thereafter proceed with contemplation. Follow the same procedure if you find yourself shaking or trembling. When contemplation is developed you may sometimes feel a thrill or chill pass through the back or the entire body. This is a symptom of the feeling of intense interest, enthusiasm or rapture. It occurs naturally in the course of good contemplation. When your mind is fixed in contemplation you may be startled at the slightest sound. This takes place because you feel the effect of sensory impression more intensely while in a state of concentration. If you are thirsty while contemplating, notice the feeling, thirsty. When you intend to stand, intending. Keep the mind intently on the act of standing up, and mentally note standing. When you look forward after standing up straight, note looking, seeing. Should you intend to walk forward, intending. When you begin to step forward, mentally note each step as walking, walking, or left, right. It is important for you to be aware of every moment in each step from the beginning to the end when you walk. Adhere to the same procedure when strolling or when taking walking exercise. Try to make a mental note of each step in two sections as follows: lifting, putting, lifting, putting. When you have obtained sufficient practice in this manner of walking, then try to make a mental note of each step in three sections; lifting, pushing, putting; or up, forward, down. When you look at the tap or water-pot on arriving at the place where you are to take a drink, be sure to make a mental note, looking, seeing. When you stop walking, stopping. When you stretch out the hand, stretching. When you touch the cup, touching. When you take the cup, taking. When dipping the cup into the water, dipping. When bringing the cup to the lips, bringing. When the cup touches the lips, touching. When you swallow, swallowing. When returning the cup, returning. When withdrawing the hand, withdrawing. When you bring down the hand, bringing. When the hand touches the side of the body, touching. If you intend to turn round, intending. When you turn round, turning. When you walk forward, walking. On arriving at the place where you intend to stop, intending. When you stop, stopping. If you remain standing for some time continue the contemplation of rising and falling. But if you intend to sit down, note intending. When you go to sit down, walking. On arriving at the place where you will sit, arriving. When you turn to sit, turning. While in the act of sitting down, sitting. Sit down slowly, and keep the mind on the downward movement of the body. You must notice every movement in bringing the hands and legs into position. Then resume the practice of contemplating the abdominal movements. Should you intend to lie down, note intending. Then proceed with the contemplation of every movement in the course of lying down: lifting, stretching, putting, touching, lying. Then take as the object of contemplation every movement in bringing the hands, legs and body into position. Perform these actions slowly. Thereafter, continue with noting rising and falling. Should pain, fatigue, itching, or any other sensation be felt, be sure to notice each of these sensations. Notice all feelings, thoughts, ideas, considerations, reflections; all movements of hands, legs, arms and body. If there is nothing in particular to note, put the mind on the rising and falling of the abdomen. When sleepy, make a mental note, sleepy. After you have gained sufficient concentration in contemplating you will be able to overcome drowsiness and you will feel refreshed as a result. Take up again the usual contemplation of the basic object. If you are unable to overcome the drowsy feeling, you must continue contemplating drowsiness until you fall asleep. The state of sleep is the continuity of sub-consciousness. It is similar to the first state of rebirth consciousness and the last state of consciousness at the moment of death. This state of consciousness is feeble and therefore, unable to be aware of an object. When you awake, the continuity of sub-consciousness occurs regularly between moments of seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching, and thinking. Because these occurrences are of brief duration they are not usually clear and therefore not noticeable. Continuity of sub consciousness remains during sleep - a fact which becomes obvious when you wake up; for it is in the state of wakefulness that thoughts and sense objects become distinct. Contemplation should start at the moment you wake up. Since you are a beginner, it may not be possible yet for you to start contemplating at the very first moment of wakefulness. But you should start with it when you remember that you are to contemplate. For example, if on awakening you reflect on something, you should become aware of the fact and begin your contemplation by a mental note, reflecting. Then proceed with the contemplation of rising and falling. When getting up from the bed, mindfulness should be directed to every detail of the body's activity. Each movement of the hands, legs and rump must be performed in complete awareness. Are you thinking of the time of day when awakening? If so, note thinking. Do you intend to get out of bed? If so, note intending. If you prepare to move the body into position for rising, note preparing. As you slowly rise, rising. Should you remain sitting for any length of time, revert to contemplating the abdominal movements. Perform the acts of washing the face or taking a bath in due order and in complete awareness of every detailed movement; for instance, looking, seeing, stretching, holding, touching, feeling cold, rubbing. In the acts of dressing, making the bed, opening and closing doors and windows, handling objects, be occupied with every detail of these actions in sequence. You must attend to the contemplation of every detail in the action of eating: When you look at the food, looking, seeing. When you arrange the food, arranging. When you bring the food to the mouth, bringing. When you bend the neck forwards, bending. When the food touches the mouth, touching. When placing the food in the mouth, placing. When the mouth closes, closing. When withdrawing the hand, withdrawing. Should the hand touch the plate, touching. When straightening the neck, straightening. When in the act of chewing, chewing. When you are aware of the taste, knowing. When swallowing the food, swallowing. While swallowing the food, should the food be felt touching the sides of the gullet, touching. Perform contemplation in this manner each time you take a morsel of food until you finish your meal. In the beginning of the practice there will be many omissions. Never mind. Do not waver in your effort. You will make fewer omissions if you persist in your practice. When you reach an advanced stage of the practice you will also to be able to notice more details than those mentioned here. Advancement in Contemplation After having practised for a day and a night you may find your contemplation considerably improved. You may be able to prolong the basic exercise of noticing the abdominal movements. At this time you will notice that there is generally a break between the movements of rising and falling. If you are in the sitting posture, fill in this gap with a mental note of the fact of sitting in this way: rising, railing, sitting. When you make a mental note of sitting, keep your mind on the erect position of the upper body. When you are lying down you should proceed with full awareness as follows: rising, falling, lying. If you find this easy, continue with noticing these three sections. Should you notice that a pause occurs at the end of the rising as well as at the end of the falling movement, then continue in this manner: rising, sitting, falling, sitting. Or when lying down: rising, lying, falling, lying. Suppose you no longer find it easy to make a mental note of three or four objects in the above manner. Then revert to the initial procedure of noting only the two sections; rising and falling. While engaged in the regular practise of contemplating bodily movements you need not be concerned with objects of seeing and hearing. As long as you are able to keep your mind on the abdominal movements of rising and falling it is assumed that the purpose of noticing the acts and objects of seeing is also served. However, you may intentionally look at an object; then simultaneously make a mental note, two or three times, seeing. Then return to the awareness of the abdominal movements. Suppose some person comes into your view. Make a mental note of seeing, two or three times and then resume attention to the rising and falling movements of the abdomen. Did you happen to hear the sound of a voice? Did you listen to it? If so make a mental note of hearing, listening and revert to rising and falling. But suppose you heard loud noises, such as the barking of dogs, loud talking or shouting. If so, immediately make a mental note two or three times, hearing, then return to your basic exercise. If you fail to note and dismiss such distinctive sounds as they occur, you may inadvertently fall into reflections about them instead of proceeding with intense attention to rising and falling, which may then become less distinct and clear. It is by such weakened attention that mind-defiling passions breed and multiply. If such reflections do occur, make a mental note reflecting, two or three times, then again take up the contemplation of rising and falling. Should you forget to make a mental note of body, leg or arm movements, then mentally note forgetting, and resume your usual contemplation on abdominal movements. You may feel at times that breathing is slow or that the rising and falling movements are not clearly perceived. When this happens, and you are in the sitting position, simply move the attention to sitting, touching; or if you are lying down, to lying, touching. While contemplating touching, your mind should not be kept on the same part of the body but on different parts successively. There are several places of touch and at least six or seven should be contemplated. Basic Exercise IV Up to this point you have devoted quite some time to the training course. You might begin to feel lazy thinking that you have made inadequate progress. By no means give up. Simply note the fact, lazy. Before you gain sufficient strength in attention, concentration and insight, you may doubt the correctness or usefulness of this method of training. In such a circumstance turn to contemplation of the thought, doubtful. Do you anticipate or wish for good results? If so, make such thoughts the subject of your contemplation; anticipating, or wishing. Are you attempting to recall the manner in which the training was conducted up to this point? Yes? Then take up contemplation on recollecting. Are there occasions when you examine the object of contemplation in order to determine whether it is mind or matter? If so, then be aware of examining. Do you regret that there is no improvement in your contemplation? If so, attend to the feeling of regret. Conversely, are you happy that your contemplation is improving? If you are, then contemplate the feeling of being happy. This is the way in which you make a mental note of every item of mental behaviour as it occurs, and if there are no intervening thoughts or perceptions to note, you should revert to the contemplation of rising and falling. During a strict course of meditation, the time of practice is from the first moment you wake up until the last moment before you fall asleep. To reiterate, you must be constantly occupied either with the basic exercise or with mindful attention throughout the day and during those night hours when you are not asleep. There must be no relaxation. Upon reaching a certain stage of progress with contemplation you will not feel sleepy in spite of these prolonged hours of practise. On the contrary, you will be able to continue the contemplation day and night. Summary It has been emphasized during this brief outline of the training that you must contemplate on each mental occurrence, good or bad; on each bodily movement large or small; on every sensation (bodily or mental feeling) pleasant or unpleasant; and so on. If, during the course of training, occasions arise when there is nothing special to contemplate upon, be fully occupied with attention to the rising and falling of the abdomen. When you have to attend to any kind of activity that necessitates walking, then, in complete awareness, each step should be briefly noted as walking, walking or left, right. But when you are taking a walking exercise, contemplate on each step in three sections; up, forward, down. The student who thus dedicates himself or herself to the training day and night, will be able in not too long a time, to develop concentration to the initial stage of the fourth degree of insight (knowledge of arising and passing away) 5 {'Taruna-udayabbaya-nana - On the degrees of insight knowledge see 'The Progress of Insight' by the Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw (Published by The Forest Heritage, Kandy, Sri Lanka) } and onward to higher stages of insight meditation (vipassana-bhavana).

The Meaning of Satipatthana

From: https://www.saddhamma.org/pdfs/the-meaning-of-satipatthana.pdf

Introduction

The Ven. Sayadaw U Pandita talks frequently about the meaning of satipatthana. He uses etymology to explain the proper way to note and observe the arising physical and mental objects in the practice of meditation. This detailed and practical exposition of the term satipatthana goes to the Sayadaw's credit. It is a formula or recipe for success in meditation. If applied meticulously to one's practice, the dhamma will unfold in no time.

The seven benefits of mindfulness

The practice of satipatthana meditation leads to

  1. the purification of the mind,
  2. the overcoming of sorrow and lamentation,
  3. the complete destruction of physical pain and mental distress,
  4. the entering of the right path and the attainment of nibbana.

The etymology of satipatthnna

The Pali term satipatthana is generally rendered as the Four foundations of mindfulness. However, its full meaning can be revealed by breaking up the compound word into its parts and examining these elements both individually and in combination.

  1. sati + patthana, or,
  2. sati+pa+(t)thana The word sati derives from the root meaning to remember (sam sarati), but as a mental factor it signifies:
  3. presence of mind,
  4. attentiveness to the present,
  5. awareness,
  6. wakefulness and
  7. heedfulness, rather than the faculty of memory of the past. Patthana means:
  8. close, firm, and steadfast establishment,
  9. application,
  10. setting up. Combining these two elements, the meaning of the compound becomes close, firm and steadfast establishment of awareness on the object of observation. This kind of awareness is also called suppatitthita sati, steadfast mindfulness.

The four foundations of mindfulness

The four foundations of mindfulness have a single essence - mindful contemplation of natural phenomenon. They are differentiated insofar as this mindful contemplation is applied to four objects:

  1. the body (kaya)
  2. the feelings (vedana)
  3. states of consciousness (citta)
  4. mental objects (dhamma) The latter comprise such factors as:
  5. the five hindrances
  6. the five aggregates
  7. the six sense bases and six sense objects (general activities)
  8. he seven factors of enlightenment
  9. the four noble truths

Sati

Mindfulness has come to be the accepted English translation of the term sati. However, this is an incomplete rendering. Observing power is a more adequate translation. The full scope of its meaning will be explained by examining its various aspects, such as characteristic, function, manifestation, proximate cause and the further distinguishing factors of mindfulness.

Non-superficiality

Sati has the characteristic of not wobbling; that is, of not floating away from the object (apilapana lakkhana). The commentators have give the simile of a dried, hollow pumpkin thrown into water. The cork or pumpkin will pop up and down on the surface of the water. In the same way, the noting and observing mind should not skim over the object in a superficial manner. Instead, the mind should sink or plunge into the object of observation, just as when a stone is thrown into water it will sink or plunge to the bottom.

Suppose you are watching your abdomen as the object of your satipatthana practice. You try to be very firm, focusing your attention on the main object so that the mind will not skip off. Instead, the mind will sink deeply into the process of rising and falling. As the mind penetrates this process, you can comprehend its true nature: tension, pressure, movement and so on.

Keeping the object in view

The function of sati is the absence of confusion, or nonforgetfulness (asamnrosa rasa). This means that the noting and observing mind should neither lose sight of, nor miss, nor forget, nor allow the object of observation to disappear. To express this aspect positively, the function of sati is to keep the object always in view. Just as a footballer never loses sight of the football, a badminton player the shuttlecock and a boxer his opponent's movements, so too the yogi never loses sight of the object of mindfulness.

Confrontation and protection

There are two manifestations of sati, namely:

  1. coming face-to-face with the object; and
  2. protection

Face-to-face with the object

The chief manifestation of sati is confrontation - it sets the mind directly, face-to-face, with the object of observatio (visayabhimuka bhava paccupatthana). Sati manifests as the mind in a state (bhava) of confronting, face-to-face (abhimukha) with an object or objective field (visaya). It is said that the human face is the index of character. Therefore, if you want to 'size up' a person, you have to be face-to-face with that person and examine his or her face carefully. Then your judgement will be correct. But if you stand at an angle, behind or far away from that other person, then you will not be able to distinguish the distinctive features of his face.

Similarly, when you are observing the rising movement of your abdomen, if the mind is really face-to-face with the rising movement, you will notice different sensations in the rising such as tension, pressure, heat, coolness or movement.

Protection

If the noting and observing mind remains face-to-face with the object of observation for a significant period of time, the yogi can discover a great purity of mind due to the absence of kilesas (mental defilements). This purity is the result of the second manifestation of sati - guardianship or protection from attack by the kilesas (amkkha paccupatthana). With sati present, mental defilements have no chance to enter the stream of consciousness.

Sati is likened to a doorkeeper because it guards the six sensedoors. A doorkeeper dose not admit bad and destructive people; he admits only good and useful people. Sati does not admit unwholesomeness (akusala); it admits only wholesomendss (kusala). By not accepting akusala, the mind is protected.

The proximate causes of mindfulness

The proximate causes for the arising of sati are:

  1. strong perception (thirasanna padat.thana); and
  2. the four foundations of mindfulness (kayadi sati patthana padatthana).

Strong perception

In order to be mindful of an object, strong and firm (thira) perception of it is necessary. As much as perception (sarrra) is firm, strong and steadfast, mindfulness will also be firm, strong and steadfast.

The two functions of perception are the recording and the recognition of formations (sankhara), irrespective of their wholesome or unwholesome nature. Sanna is compared to the recording of talks with the help of a tape or video recorder. The recording takes place regardless of the content or quality of the talks. A clear, high quality recording, such as a state-of-the-art digital recording on CD of a classical concert or opera, is the cause for a clear, strong, impressive listening experience (mindfulness) when replaying the recording.

Similarly, in the meditation practice a strong, clear-cut perception (noting or labelling) of the arising objects of observation is very supportive of strong, clear-cut, steadfast mindfulness.

Four foundations of mindfulness

Another proximate cause for the arising of sati is the four foundations of mindfulness (kayadi satipatthana padatthana). That is, mindfulness itself is the cause of mindfulness. In fact, the development of mindfulness is the result of continuous momentum, one moment of mindfulness causing the next.

This can be compared to the process of acquiring an education, assuming that the sludent is studious and does his homework respectfully. Lessons learnt in the lower grades are a cause for learning lessons in the higher grade. Primary school education is a cause for high school education, and this in turn serves as a cause for tertiary and university education.

In a nutsheli, mindfulness leads to ever greater and stronger mindfulness. Immediacy Immediacy in the awareness of an object of observation is very important. Nothing should come between the presently arising object and the noting and observing. The arising object and the noting mind should not be separated in time. The observation of the presently arising object should happen at once, without any delay. It should be instant. As soon as the object of observation arises it should be noted and observed. If one's noting and observing is delayed, then the object will have already passed by the time one's awareness turns to it. Objects of the past and future cannot be known correctly, and if the attention cannot remain with objects as they arise, then it is no longer vipassana practice. It is no longer dwelling in the reality. I Concurrence When two or more processes occur at the same time, it is the phenomenon of 'concurrence'. Concurrence of the noting and observing mind and the object of observation is an important aspect of sati. For example, when an object arises, the mind falls on the object simultaneously with its arising, synchronically with it. Extraordinary mindfulness The particle pa of sati-pa-(t)thana specifies that the mindfulness should be of an extraordinary or outstanding nature (tisittha); excessive, intensive and persistent (bhusattha). Ordinary mindfulness is out of place in intensive satipatthana meditation. It is this nature of the particle pa, and its practical aspects, which we shall now explore. Rrrs h in g Qt akk han ditva p avcrttttt i) The particle pa of sati-pa-(t)thano can also be interpreted as pa- (k)khandana: rushing, leaping, plunging. As soon as the object of observation arises, the mind has to rush forward towards and into the object of observation with great force, with courage. It attacks 6 lt the object without hesitation, without thinking, reflecting, analysing, imagining, questioning, considering, speculating or fantasising. Thus, several aspects are involved in'rushing': o Sudden, impetuous, quick and swift movement with violence, speed or great force, strength and dynamism. Simile: like rushing somebody to the hospital. o Capturing, catching or arresting by sudden attack; to make a swift attack or assault; to charge. Simile: The soldiers capture and defeat the enemy troops in a sudden, forceful attack. o An eager movement of many people to get to a particular place. Simile: The crowds rush the gates of the football stadium just before the garne begins. o To move urgently, with excessive speed, haste, or hurry. Simile: A person at work may say, 'I'm in a dreadful rush'; or, in accordance with the saying, 'Strike while the iron is hot', one notes and observes the object while it is 'fresh' or 'hot'. Yogis should not be noting and observing in a stop-and-go manner. The awareness should not be slack, sluggish, casual; not lagging behind or late; not gazing. It should be without wandering mind, with no room for thoughts. The noting and observing should not be in a cool and hesitating manner; instead, it must be rushing in a systematic and orderly manner. Firmly grasping or seizing the object (upagganhihta puvuttati) A rice farmer when harvesting paddy needs to firmly grasp or seize a bushel of rice. Only then will he be able to cut it with a sickle. Similarly, a meditator has to firmly grasp the object of observation so that the mind will neither slip off nor lose the object under observation. As mindfulness becomes steadfast, the yogi will be able to firmly seize coarse objects. With more practice, attention can hold on to more refined objects and eventually even very subtle objects can be firmly grasped by the mind. Therefore, a yogi should first try to grasp physical objects before attempting to seize the more subtle type of mental objects like intentions, thoughts, etc. Covering the object completely Qtattharih,n pavattati
The noting and observing mind must cover the object of observation completely, spreading over the entire object, enveloping it, grasping it in its entirety. Not just a part of the object must be observed, but the object should be noted and observed from the beginning, through its middle, to its end. Unbroken continuity Qt avattati) In the practical sense, this aspect means that the noting and observing of the arising objects of observation should be continuous;,that is, one moment of mindfulness connected to the next moment of mindfulness, moment after moment. The preceding moment of mindfulness should be connected with the succeeding moment of mindfulness. In brief, mindfulness should be sustained. Similes: o If there is a gap between two floor planks, dust and sand may enter. If there is no continuity of mindfulness and there is a gap, defilements may enter. I F:- / o In the past one had to start a fire by rubbing two sticks together. If one fails to rub continuously, but instead takes a rest and resumes rubbing later, no fire will start Similarly, if mindfulness is not continuous, the fire of wisdom will not ignite. To reaffirm this aspect negatively, the noting and observing, or mindfulness, of the objects should not have gaps but be continuous; it should not proceed in a stop-and-go manner. People who practise in fits and starts, resting occasionally and then starting again, being mindful for a stretch and then stopping to daydream, are known as 'chameleon yogis'. Non-mnnipulating The universal characteristic of 'not-self (anatta) can be applied to the process of noting and observing the arising physical and mental objects. A meditator must take great care to watch the objects of observation without manipulating, controlling or governing them. He should simply observe what is there - not what he expects or wants to be there. Conclusion What can we now say satipatthana is? Satipatthana is mindfulness of any noted object by rushing to, entering into and spreading ot,er it, so that the mind stays closely and firmly vith it. When noting 'rising', the mind enters the noted object; that is, the rising movement of the abdomen. The mindfulness rushes into it and spreads over it so that the mind stays closely and firmly on this object or phenomenon. The process is then repeated when noting 'falling', and so on for all other objects that arise in the body and mind. Therefore in conclusion, sati or mindfulness must be dynamic and confrontational. Mindfulness should leap forward onto the object, covering it completely, penetrating into it and not missing any part of it. If your mindfulness has these qualities, then swift progress in meditation is guaranteed and, with the fulfilment of the practice, seeing nibbana is assured. Satipatthana at a glance o close and firm establishment; o non-superficiality; . keeping the object in view; o face-to-face with the object; o protection of the mind from attack by kilesas; o strong perception; o mindfulness is the cause of mindfulness. . rushing and plunging; o firmly grasping the object; o completely covering, or spreading over, the object; . immediacy; o continuity, o poncurrence; o non-manipulating. 10 References L Buddhaghosa, Acarya. The path of purification (Visuddhimagga). Nanamoli (tr..). P.T.S. Chapter XIV, pg. t4r. 2. Sayadaw U Pandita Bhivamsa, Yen. In this very /yt. Wisdom, 1992. 3. Sayadaw U Pandita Bhivamsa, Yen. Raindrops in hot summer. M.B.M.C., 1994 4. Bodhi, Bhikkhu, et. al. Comprehensive manual of abhidhamma. B.P.S. 5. Mahasi Sayadaw, Yen. Vipassana shu nyi g/an. (Burmese). 6. Mahagandayou Sayadaw U Janaka Bhivamsa, Ven. Sangahabhasa-lllra. @urmese). I 990 7. Sayadaw U Pandita Bhivamsa, Ven. Various dhamma talks.

Contemplate Not Self

  1. Practice insight by seeing how we exist dependent on other things.
    1.1 When this is, that is.
    1.2 When this is not, that is not. source .
  2. See how things can exist dependent on other things, or independent, but not both.
  3. For example, think about our selves. Where do we exist? See how our sense of "I" depends upon things like our body and mind. 3.1 If we had no heart we would cease to be, so if we replace our heart did we lose our self? 3.2 If our thought patterns change, and our personalities change, did we cease to exist? 3.3 Is a flame from now the same flame from two seconds ago? 3.3 Our minds make these things exist for us. They are all built by thought dependent on our very limited human senses.
  4. See how our idea of self doesn't exist independently. It is dependent upon its causes, its parts, and upon thought.
  5. Choose to calm down and focus your concentration on analyzing your mind to see all things as they really are, which sees through delusion on a path that ends unhelpful stress for everyone.

Not nihilism, not eternalism.


Because there are no phenomena that are not dependent-arisings, there are no phenomena that are not empty of inherent existence. p60

All things depend on other things for their existence. Therefore all things are empty of an independent existence.

Things can either exist dependent on other things or independent. When something is one, it is not the other.

All things have parts. The parts and the whole entity depend on each other, though they seem to have their own independent entities. This doesn't mean that the whole entity doesn't exist, it just means that it exists in dependence upon its parts.

All things depend on and exist relative to other things, therefore no things exist independently and within only their own power.

All things are empty of being under their own power as an independent, inherently-existent entity, because all things arise in dependence on other things.

  1. Practice insight by seeing how all things exist dependent on other things.
    1.1 When this is, that is.
    1.2 When this is not, that is not. source .
  2. See how things can exist dependent on other things, or independently, but not both, and ultimately no things exist independently.
  3. For example, analyze a table to see that it exists dependent upon its parts. 3.1 Its wood and the trees it came from, its legs, its top, and so forth. 3.2 Nothing from within the parts is the table. 3.3 These things that aren't a table become a table in dependence upon thought. 3.4 A table doesn't exist independently. 3.5 It depends on its causes, its parts, and upon thought. These are the three modes of dependent origination.
  4. As Einstein showed, things do not exist objectively in and of themselves, but exist relatively in the context of involvement with an observer.

Generate bhodicitta

  1. Imagine the Buddha
  2. Imagine his disciples and other noble beings
  3. Imagine all sentient beings around them
  4. Imagine our equality. Like how we all want happiness
  5. Think of how when you think of yourself you only think of one. When thinking of others it’s infinite. It’s immoral and impractical.
  6. Think that you’ve had this self centered attitude since befinningless time.
  7. It’s enough. Be determined to not follow this selfish path.
  8. I will attain liberation and Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. Be determined.
  9. Generate bodhicitta

  1. Delusion is the mistaken view that people and things exist independently and outside the influence of other things and the realm of change.
    2.1 Think about it, if things existed outside the influence of other things, how would those things change?
    2.2 Is there any thing imaginable that is unchangable?
  2. The way to remove this delusion is to think about the fact that all things are changeable because they exist relative to other things.
    3.1 Where there is long, there has to be short.
  3. Let's think about a thing, like a house.
  4. Think about all the things that made this house come into existence.
    5.0.1 [1 minute] It's materials, location, and other dependencies.
    5.1 Its materials,
    5.1.1 like wood, stone, and plastic.
    5.2 location,
    5.3 and other dependencies.
    5.3.1 Like the people who built it,
    5.3.2 and the timeframe it exists as a house within.
    5.4 If we change one of these things, is it still the same house?
    5.5 Was its soul in the thing we changed?
    5.6 Is a flame burning on a candle now the same flame from 2 minutes ago?
  5. See how the house depending on other things conflicts with the deluded idea that the house exists as a concrete independent entity.
  6. Choose to calm down and focus your concentration on analyzing your mind to see all things as they really are, which sees through delusion on a path that ends unhelpful stress for everyone.

  1. Everything is nothing more than a set of conditioned relations. 1.1 When this is, that is 1.2 This arising, that arises 1.3 When this is not, that is not 1.4 This ceasing, that ceases.
  2. Since every thing is conditioned, relative, and interdependent, there is nothing to regard as a permanent entity, ego, elf or soul.
  3. To illustrate the relative nature of the things around us, let's consider a candle.
  4. It's flame burns dependent upon things, like the wax and the wick. 4.1 When the wax and the wick are present, the flame burns. 4.2 If either of these is absent, the flame will cease to burn.
  5. Or consider a plant, which is dependent upon things like the seed, earth and light.
  6. See how every thing arises dependent upon causal factors, and not independently.
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