Meditation Discussion Forum

Vipassana Meditation Forum => Meditation, Practice And The Path => Topic started by: Thanisaro85 on May 21, 2020, 06:33:12 PM

Title: Three aspects to watching the mind.( developing vipassana)
Post by: Thanisaro85 on May 21, 2020, 06:33:12 PM
Excerpts from the book: To see the truth by reverend father pramote.

There may be some relevant answers in regards to some of the questions raised recently. Apologies if there are some spelling or punctuation mistakes as I am typing from my mobile phone.
Note that this is not talking about whether samatha is effective or not.

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The three aspects to watching the mind, three tendencies to remember to avoid if we are to practice effectively

 The first is to avoid intending to know in advance. We just need to know the feelings that temporarily arise in the mind after they do. Let the feeling occurs naturally first and then know that it has. If anger arises , know that it has.. if greed arise, know that it has. If the Mind has Wondered off,  know that this has happened why must we know after the fact? This is because many of the feelings that arise are the defilements of mind ( i. E. Anger, desires, see glossary for more)only one mind arises at a time so a defiled mind cannot arises at the same time as on non-defiled mind.  for example anger cannot arise in the Mind at the same moment that the mindfulness notice the angers. The defiled angry mind drops off and is replaced by an defiled mind- the one that is mindful of what just happened.

It is important to not watch intently and wait for what will arise next , let a feeling arises first and then know that it has . A good way to demonstrate this is to imagine a rabid dog. Suddenly darting at us. We feel terrified. We then should know that fear has arises. We didn't intend for this occurrence beforehand.

Of course we should get out the way of the dogs!  we do not proceed to let the dog bite us and see what happened after that. Anyone who said that they would just leave it up to the karma, it's making new karma  - stupidity!
we do what is appropriate so that we are not harmed.(jokingly) If we are with a friend, we just need to run a little faster than our friend and you will be fine. Or we can practice the art of sacrifice and run slower than our friend. But that is another topic altogether and so I'm speaking here, many people here have their minds wondering out. Some wandering to me some are wandering in thoughts.some have Wandered home already.

Back to the lesson, we should not intend to watch the mind. many people have too much intention; they wait for the gong to be strucked to begin the meditation session and say okay, when the session begin I'm ready going to watch my my mind well,  to their surprise, little happens. This is because they focused in beforehand and made the minds still. When we hold our attention somewhere, there won't be much movement to notice. The mind will be immobilized. Instead, we should practice in the most natural way. Each time the mind thinks or the eyes ,ears, nose, tongue, a body make contact with the outside world the feeling is likely to appear. Be aware of of what does. if we hear a song and like it we should know that liking has arisen. If someone is shouting, wanting may arise. We may want to know what this person is ranting and raving about. Know that wanting to know has arisen. Then we listen for a while in realise, it is us that he's going on about. Wanting to know will have disappeared, and anger crops up. Our job is to know the anger has arisen. Know after the fact, again and again, as much as possible. Watching the mind is not about focusing in advance. It is about knowing what has arisen.

Okay, now I want all of you to stop watching the mind right now. watch it. can you see that you are starting to freeze up, to get still?  this is because you intend to watch. It is the wrong approach. Okay, now I would like you to stop watching the mind and I will tell you an old story. Can you feel that you're starting to relax again? When something easy and amusing is about to happen our mind is loose up and relax. know that it has relaxed. This is the right approach. Intending to watch will stiffen us up and thus thing will not arise naturally.

So the right approach is not to intend, and instead to know what arises after the effects. This is the first three aspects to teach regarding watching the mind. I should mention however, that when we know, we need to know quickly. we can't be angry today and realize it tomorrow. When anger arises, we need to recognize that there is anger while the anger is still there. If it has already dropped away, and we wake up to eat an hour later it is too late. We should recognize the anger while it is there. We will notice, just a moment ago I was angry, and now I'm knowing,. We will see that when we are mindful of the anger. the anger is not there in the moment of knowing.know subsequent to the rising of the phenomena, but as close to the arising as possible without prior intention. Once we are able to recognize many states in this way, mindfulness will come automatically and the path of wisdom that will liberate us from suffering will begin.

Now I will tell you about the second aspect of watching the Mind correctly. The mind should not slip down into any of the mental phenomenon or feelings of which you have become mindful. Normally when we want to know something, our minds will move up to the place of interest. Try it now. Let's have a look at our arm see how many birthmarks there are. Can you see the mind had  went out to look at them. I am not interested in how many marks. I want us to notice that the mind goes out. The mind is not stable, not rooted in awareness. It is slipping down into what it is knowing. We can easily see this happen when we reach something a bit far away, like a poster on a wall, or a street sign. The Mind runs out to see, and then it goes into thinking, internally repeating the words it is reading.

When we watch the mind, we should know what has arising from a distant, as if we are not involved in what is going on. Don't move towards the feeling or mental state once it has been acknowledged. If anger, for example, arises in the mind, see it as if it is someone else who has just become angry. The mind is just the Watcher
; there is a distance between the Mind and the anger. Don't focus in on the anger. The tendency of meditation is to go in and focus on what has come out, just like when zeroing on the television when our favorite show is on. The Mind goes on out to the TV and get lost in it.

 From now on whenever the mind goes out to watch something, I know that it is happening. When we see this happened, the mind will become stable on his own. We should not try to force it to be stable in awareness.

Vipassana practise has no force in it whatsoever. It is about knowing things as they really are. If that is force,there is stress, which is always a sign that is something wrong. So we don't force it, we just know it when the mind slips into something. If you're thinking of a friend, our mind will slip into the world of thought and completely loose awareness of our mind and body. We need to know that this has happened, and the mind  will become rooted on its own......

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The third aspect of watching the mind applies after we know what has arisen. We don't interfere in any way with the feeling of mental phenomenon that we have recognized.. It is absolutely it doesn't matter what it is that arise, we let it be. If anger arises, we do not try to make it go away. Our job with regards to the anger is just to know that the mind is angry. We do our best to be just the Watcher and not get in the way. We're not trying to get rid of suffering if it is it arises. we are to recognized if it is there. If happiness arises, we don't try to make it last longer. If a virtuous state arises, we don't try to keep it. We are just to know with equanimity;, without maintaining,denying or resisting what's comes up. Formally put, the third aspect of watching the mind is to know what arises with a mind that is equanimous. This means the mind is impartial Neutral to whatever phenomenon appear.. Equanimity is accomplished by seeing the mind eitger liking or disliking what it has just recognized. Equanimity is not accomplished by forcing the mind to be neutral. Force causes stress. In vipassana, there is no controlling, denying, resisting-  we mustn't really do anything at all at! At any given moment whatever state the mind is in, know that it is in that state.

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If we see a beautiful woman who walked by and craving appears in the mind, we don't look for a way to get rid of the craving. We don't try to get rid of the woman either. Yes quickly acknowledge that the Mind is craving. If the mind doesn't like the craving, then it is no longer impartial. It has aversion to the craving and once it to go away..........

May we met the correct teachers that matches our characteristics, and lead us the way to the cessation of dukkha fast. May we do not go thru great deal of sufferings, before we reach nirvana.