Author Topic: Mindfulness as being "present and available".  (Read 3120 times)

Turiya

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Mindfulness as being "present and available".
« on: August 20, 2016, 09:06:15 PM »
Hi friends, after reading much on vipassana and what is called and usually referred to as mindfulness in traditional texts. I'm curious about where just being "present and available" fits into, or is specifically mentioned in traditional Buddhist texts. You could describe this as "when washing dishes, just wash dishes". I believe I first came across this concept many years ago when someone gave me a short book from a Vietnamese teacher, long lost and name forgotten. This  is then more a "concentrated state" where we are focused on the present task with our whole bodies ( you could say). It is not the same as watching or noting the flow of sensory and mental/ emotional input often described as  vipassana practice. You could say it is more a useful functional state. However it is not just functional, it may have on close inspection a liberating freedom to it. It's a distinct change of state at times. It does seem to be part of the wholesome practice but is distinct and should be mentioned as a nuance or subtle ( or even obvious ?)state.

VipassanaXYZ

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Re: Mindfulness as being "present and available".
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2016, 04:00:26 AM »
Hi Turiya

The practice is not what is described in MBSR and other conventional western techniques.

For now, watch the breath and keep the mind open to what unfolds.

Slow, steady steps.

You will see for yourself.

Keep discipline, practice an hour of watching and staying with the breath everyday, and ten minutes before sleeping and ten minutes after waking up. Keep the five precepts (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Precepts) to help keep the mind clear and give a sound basis for concentration. Look for a quiet place to practice where you wont be disturbed, or practice during early hours in  the morning.

Once you do the ground work, nature would do the rest.
You would know what it is by experience. The best way to know prolly.

There is more than breath. There is more than just awareness.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2016, 05:00:37 AM by poojavassa »

Nicky

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Re: Mindfulness as being "present and available".
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2016, 10:57:36 AM »
Hi friends, after reading much on vipassana and what is called and usually referred to as mindfulness in traditional texts. I'm curious about where just being "present and available" fits into, or is specifically mentioned in traditional Buddhist texts. You could describe this as "when washing dishes, just wash dishes". I believe I first came across this concept many years ago when someone gave me a short book from a Vietnamese teacher, long lost and name forgotten. This  is then more a "concentrated state" where we are focused on the present task with our whole bodies ( you could say). You could say it is more a useful functional state. However it is not just functional, it may have on close inspection a liberating freedom to it. It's a distinct change of state at times. It does seem to be part of the wholesome practice but is distinct and should be mentioned as a nuance or subtle ( or even obvious ?)state.

Yes. I agree.

It is not the same as watching or noting the flow of sensory and mental/ emotional input often described as  vipassana practice.

This is not real 'vipassana' practise. Real vipassana (insight) comes from the 'present concentrated' state. The flow of changing sensory objects in real vipassana are not emotional mental states. Instead, the objects of real vipassana are things like the breathing in & out, non-thought feeling sensations; non-thought moods & the sense organs/objects themselves.

Just keep the mind clear, present & available.  :)


stillpointdancer

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Re: Mindfulness as being "present and available".
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2016, 11:43:51 AM »
Hi friends, after reading much on vipassana and what is called and usually referred to as mindfulness in traditional texts. I'm curious about where just being "present and available" fits into, or is specifically mentioned in traditional Buddhist texts. You could describe this as "when washing dishes, just wash dishes".

My understanding is that being 'present and available' is the central to 'right thought, right deed, right action'. Whatever we are doing, meditating or going about ordinary life, we should be mindful of our actions. The terms 'sati' and 'smrti' exhort us to always be aware, recall how we should act, bear in mind the teachings of the Buddha, and so on. Part of this is to be on the lookout for those times when our minds wander, when we may be acting without thinking. On autopilot, as it were. Nothing 'distinct' about it.

The danger is that we do stuff out of habit, because we don't apply mindfulness to each and every thing we do. We interact with other people in the same way too, developing relationships based on assumptions and beliefs which may or may not be based on reality.

And it's not about only doing one thing at a time. There's nothing wrong with washing dishes and, say, listening to music. The term would then be, 'When you wash dishes and listen to music, just wash dishes and listen to music'. Just be aware of all that you are doing and continue to do them mindfully to the best of your ability and understanding.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Turiya

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Re: Mindfulness as being "present and available".
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2016, 11:46:11 AM »
Quote
This is not real 'vipassana' practise. Real vipassana (insight) comes from the 'present concentrated' state. The flow of changing sensory objects in real vipassana are not emotional mental states. Instead, the objects of real vipassana are things like the breathing in & out, non-thought feeling sensations; non-thought moods & the sense organs/objects themselves.

Not sure what you mean Nicky, every arising movement whatever it is, may be noticed including any thought or emotion, or any reaction  to it. It may be limited by different school's method of emphasis, the breath is always central but going back to the Satipatthana Sutta,  absolutely all arising states are covered.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/nyanasatta/wheel019.html#found

To my earlier point about "when washing dishes, just wash dishes" this quote also from the Satipatthana Sutta
Quote
And further, monks, a monk knows, when he is going, "I am going"; he knows, when he is standing, "I am standing"; he knows, when he is sitting, "I am sitting"; he knows, when he is lying down, "I am lying down"; or just as his body is disposed so he knows it.
comes close.

Turiya

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Re: Mindfulness as being "present and available".
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2016, 12:04:35 PM »
Quote
The practice is not what is described in MBSR and other conventional western techniques.

Thanks for your input poojavassa, even though I had a little trouble deciphering your meaning  ;)


Quote
And it's not about only doing one thing at a time. There's nothing wrong with washing dishes and, say, listening to music. The term would then be, 'When you wash dishes and listen to music, just wash dishes and listen to music'. Just be aware of all that you are doing and continue to do them mindfully to the best of your ability and understanding.

I think we are on the same page, or maybe the the one after this one, stillpointdancer ,  all good!

VipassanaXYZ

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Re: Mindfulness as being "present and available".
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2016, 01:34:53 PM »
"To my earlier point about
Quote
And further, monks, a monk knows, when he is going, "I am going"; he knows, when he is standing, "I am standing"; he knows, when he is sitting, "I am sitting"; he knows, when he is lying down, "I am lying down"; or just as his body is disposed so he knows it."


....

then how does the concentration of a tight rope walker in a circus differ from concentration of a monk?

Nicky

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Re: Mindfulness as being "present and available".
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2016, 08:31:35 PM »
Not sure what you mean Nicky, every arising movement whatever it is, may be noticed including any thought or emotion, or any reaction  to it. It may be limited by different school's method of emphasis, the breath is always central but going back to the Satipatthana Sutta,  absolutely all arising states are covered.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/nyanasatta/wheel019.html#found

It is highly unlikely the Buddha spoke the Satipatthana Sutta due it its illogical nature. Many meditation monks have this view. 'Emotional mental states' are called 'hindrances' to meditation. The mind cannot practise real vipassana in relation to hindrances because when there are hindrances the mind is not clear enough to see clearly.

The 2nd part of Satipatthana Sutta refers to contemplating feelings. This is what I called 'non-thought-feeling-sensations'. It does not refer to superficial thoughts & emotions. The 3rd part of Satipatthana Sutta refers to contemplating the mind or citta. This is what I called 'non-thought-moods'. It does not refer to superficial thoughts & emotions.

However, the 4th part of the Satipatthana Sutta that states: "Herein, monks, a monk lives contemplating mental objects in the mental objects of the five hindrances" is non-sense because real vipassana is performed with a detached clear mind & results in liberation. A detached mind does not have the five hindrances & a clear mind cannot contemplate the five hindrances. This is impossible. The Sangaravo Sutta states:

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Well, Brahman, when a man dwells with his heart possessed and overwhelmed by the five hindrances, and does not know, as it really is...he cannot know or see, as it really is...

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn46/sn46.055.wlsh.html

'Vipassana' means 'seeing clearly as things really are'. Since the Sangaravo Sutta contradicts the Satipatthana Sutta, one of the suttas must be wrong. 

The Satipatthana Sutta is for trying to learn to meditate. It is not for advanced or real meditation. Advanced meditation follows the Anapanasati Sutta or the suttas about jhana.

 :)
« Last Edit: August 21, 2016, 08:40:39 PM by Nicky »

Turiya

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Re: Mindfulness as being "present and available".
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2016, 08:41:09 PM »
Thanks poojavassa great question, can't  say it better than the great meditation masters, here is Bhante Gunaratana from here :
http://www.vipassana.com/meditation/mindfulness_in_plain_english_16.php

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Vipassana meditation is something of a mental balancing act. You are going to be cultivating two separate qualities of the mind - mindfulness and concentration. Ideally these two work together as a team. They pull in tandem, so to speak. Therefore it is important to cultivate them side-by-side and in a balanced manner. If one of the factors is strengthened at the expense of the other, the balance of the mind is lost and meditation impossible.

Concentration and mindfulness are distinctly different functions. They each have their role to play in meditation, and the relationship between them is definite and delicate. Concentration is often called one-pointedness of mind. It consists of forcing the mind to remain on one static point. Please note the word FORCE. Concentration is pretty much a forced type of activity. It can be developed by force, by sheer unremitting willpower. And once developed, it retains some of that forced flavor. Mindfulness, on the other hand, is a delicate function leading to refined sensibilities. These two are partners in the job of meditation. Mindfulness is the sensitive one. He notices things. Concentration provides the power. He keeps the attention pinned down to one item. Ideally, mindfulness is in this relationship. Mindfulness picks the objects of attention, and notices when the attention has gone astray. Concentration does the actual work of holding the attention steady on that chosen object. If either of these partners is weak, your meditation goes astray.

Concentration could be defined as that faculty of the mind which focuses single mindedly on one object without interruption. It must be emphasized that true concentration is a wholesome one-pointedness of mind. That is, the state is free from greed, hatred and delusion. Unwholesome one-pointedness is also possible, but it will not lead to liberation. You can be very single-minded in a state of lust. But that gets you nowhere. Uninterrupted focus on something that you hate does not help you at all. In fact, such unwholesome concentration is fairly short-lived even when it is achieved - especially when it is used to harm others. True concentration itself is free from such contaminants. It is a state in which the mind is gathered together and thus gains power and intensity. We might use the analogy of a lens. Parallel waves of sunlight falling on a piece of paper will do no more than warm the surface. But the same amount of light, when focused through a lens, falls on a single point and the paper bursts into flames. Concentration is the lens. It produces the burning intensity necessary to see into the deeper reaches of the mind. Mindfulness selects the object that the lens will focus on and looks through the lens to see what is there.

Concentration should be regarded as a tool. Like any tool, it can be used for good or for ill. A sharp knife can be used to create a beautiful carving or to harm someone. It is all up to the one who uses the knife. Concentration is similar. Properly used, it can assist you towards liberation. But it can also be used in the service of the ego. It can operate in the framework of achievement and competition. You can use concentration to dominate others. You can use it to be selfish. The real problem is that concentration alone will not give you a perspective on yourself. It won't throw light on the basic problems of selfishness and the nature of suffering. It can be used to dig down into deep psychological states. But even then, the forces of egotism won't be understood. Only mindfulness can do that. If mindfulness is not there to look into the lens and see what has been uncovered, then it is all for nothing. Only mindfulness understands. Only mindfulness brings wisdom. Concentration has other limitations, too.

The person on the tightrope has complete one-pointedness, no doubt. He or she is not thinking about last night's pizza. It is possible to walk a tightrope and be mindful, or be in a position of extreme danger and stick with the practice. There is the story of a Thai forest monk who used to do his walking meditation in dense remote jungle, one day he noticed a tiger (quite common in the day) near his walking track and choose to ignore it and continue just being mindful of the walking practice. I often use vipassana when driving which is always very close to danger (driving is extremely dangerous, but just taken for granted mostly) and it tends to sharpen awareness of what is going on around you.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2016, 09:00:07 PM by Turiya »

Turiya

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Re: Mindfulness as being "present and available".
« Reply #9 on: August 21, 2016, 10:09:40 PM »
Hi Nicky, enjoyed your post and note your strong views (OK by me) read the Suttas you referenced (if any one interested) below :

Sangaravo Sutta : http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn46/sn46.055.wlsh.html

Anapanasati Sutta : http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.118.than.html

Both very informative. I'm not a scholar so can't comment on authenticity. What does tend to happen with any scripture (in any religion, sorry no favors to Buddhism) is people tend to favor what suits their only viewpoints and disregard or even denigrate what doesn't. That's the history of sectarianism either personal (my view) or group (our view). That's worth noting in anyone's case. Monks (no disrespect intended) may be guilty of this also. Who do you turn to for real wisdom then? Personally I would choose the accomplished meditation masters as guides. There are plenty of differences there also, but there is also the
Quote
certainty of practice that has achieved results
.

As far as I can see there are many nuances based within two specifics : concentration practices (Jhana) and insight practices (Vipassana). That's a simplification, but is clear enough. Some schools say use insight from day one, because it will incorporate Jhana in the process, others say do degrees of intense Jhana from the beginning and then go on to Insight or variations of this (perhaps use insight whilst doing intense Jhana to some degree). Others say Jhana is evil, don't touch these practices. So there is choice here. I love Jhana it gives juice to the practice. I love insight it gives awesome clarity, one-pointedness, and enjoyment of clear(ing) Citta. Of the meditation masters I say they are all "kings" in their own right, I have nothing but respect for all accomplished masters whatever their personal perspectives are.

Nicky

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Re: Mindfulness as being "present and available".
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2016, 12:49:52 AM »
. I'm not a scholar so can't comment on authenticity. What does tend to happen with any scripture (in any religion, sorry no favors to Buddhism) is people tend to favor what suits their only viewpoints and disregard or even denigrate what doesn't. That's the history of sectarianism either personal (my view) or group (our view).

What is posted above is irrelevant. The fact that you do not understand the Satipatthana Sutta is wrong in its discussion about the five hindrances (or 'emotions') is based on your own lack of meditative insight.


As far as I can see there are many nuances based within two specifics : concentration practices (Jhana) and insight practices (Vipassana).

You do not see here. You are posting non-sense. If real insight could be practised from Day 1, practitioners could be Buddhas from Day 1.

Your original post is good. This is the path you should stick to. Your departure into 'vipassana' comes from ignorance & not respecting your own meditation experience. Your original post mentions a feeling of 'liberation'. This sense of liberation & how it comes about is what you should focus on.

 :)

Turiya

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Re: Mindfulness as being "present and available".
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2016, 12:55:21 AM »
You are moving into an unfriendly zone, I tend to leave conversations at that point, tears angst only follows  ;D

Quote
If real insight could be practised from Day 1, practitioners could be Buddhas from Day 1

Are you a Buddha then? If not practice what you preach.

Nicky

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Re: Mindfulness as being "present and available".
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2016, 05:29:28 AM »
You are moving into an unfriendly zone, I tend to leave conversations at that point, tears angst only follows  ;D

You seem to have very strong held views. Let me try again:

1. 'Emotions' are like 'neurosis'. Therefore, why would you want to move from a 'liberated mind' to a state of watching 'neurosis'? 

2. An analogy: 'You find a really pure-hearted loyal girl who loves you but you fall in love with a prostitute, believing your life will be more exciting with the raunchy prostitute.  ::)

3. Moral of the story. Real vipassana is not watching 'emotions'. Watching emotions is a form of self-administered psycho-therapy taught as 'vipassana' in the USA.

4. Real vipassana is using the concentrated clear mind to observe the impermanence & selflessness of phenomena, such as breathing, feeling sensations, mental moods (tendencies) and sense consciousness & its objects.

 :angel:
« Last Edit: August 22, 2016, 05:35:23 AM by Nicky »

Matthew

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Re: Mindfulness as being "present and available".
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2016, 05:32:26 AM »
Hi Turiva,

You are moving into an unfriendly zone, I tend to leave conversations at that point, tears angst only follows  ;D
...

You may be misreading Nicky's tone as something beyond what it is. The words in the post below are friendly, encouraging and insightful:

...
Your original post is good. This is the path you should stick to. Your departure into 'vipassana' comes from ignorance & not respecting your own meditation experience. Your original post mentions a feeling of 'liberation'. This sense of liberation & how it comes about is what you should focus on.

 :)

Nicky puts 'vipassana' practice in quotation marks and links this to ignorance. So it is: though any 'ignorance' on your part is literally "not-knowing" (Gr i - negation, gnosis - to know), i.e. there is no intent to disparage.

As far as I can see there are many nuances based within two specifics : concentration practices (Jhana) and insight practices (Vipassana).

Herein lies the root of your not-knowing. Vipassana, or insight, is a fruit (Sanskrit,Pali: 'Phala') of practice, not a practice in and of itself. This is a common confusion. The Buddha never instructed Bhikkhus or lay practitioners to go do 'vipassana'. Always the instruction is go do 'Jhana'. This is true throughout the entire canon - so it cannot be due to any personal tendency "to favor what suits their only viewpoints and disregard or even denigrate what doesn't".

Concentration/calm abiding/"liberation from attachment" practices lead to the arising of insight as a fruit, an outcome, a product of 'right meditation'. This then informs the practice development of the practitioner in a positive feedback loop.

The practices widely taught and labelled as 'vipassana' are a fairly modern (last 150 years or so) interpretation that sprung from Burmese Buddhism. It is not contentious to say the validity and efficacy of them is subject to ongoing debate, and, though many find them of great personal benefit, they are not the teachings of the Buddha in the canon.

You really did hit the nail on the head in your first post, based on your own experience:

...
This  is then more a "concentrated state" where we are focused on the present task with our whole bodies ( you could say). It is not the same as watching or noting the flow of sensory and mental/ emotional input often described as  vipassana practice. You could say it is more a useful functional state. However it is not just functional, it may have on close inspection a liberating freedom to it. It's a distinct change of state at times. It does seem to be part of the wholesome practice but is distinct and should be mentioned as a nuance or subtle ( or even obvious ?)state.

The path is a path to liberation. You found out much with your own researches. Nicky's advice to investigate further the state you describe of "liberating freedom" is not unwise.

Warmly,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Matthew

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Re: Mindfulness as being "present and available".
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2016, 05:42:27 AM »
...
Who do you turn to for real wisdom then? Personally I would choose the accomplished meditation masters as guides.
...

"Do not look outside of yourself for the leader":

Meditation is a DIY project. If you ever bought some flat-pack furniture you might realise that you usually must decipher the instructions before getting anywhere.

That doesn't mean that we can't help each other - it does mean that, at the end of the day, you need to work it out for yourself.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Turiya

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Re: Mindfulness as being "present and available".
« Reply #15 on: August 22, 2016, 07:28:59 AM »
Thanks for the thoughtful response Mathew, I hope you don't mind a degree of disagreement with the below quote. I think a teacher is necessary in most cases, you don't find many accomplished yogis on the D.I.Y circuit, generally I found the self-delusion is too strong. including myself in that analysis That is not to say that great personal effort (mostly on your own) is not required but without a very good teacher you tend to get enmeshed in your own constructs. He or she would (should) point out where you are "too much" or "not enough" that's just my viewpoint, each to their own of course. Plus these guys are very inspiring, they have realized the goal to different degrees and prove the possibility of doing just that.


Quote
"Do not look outside of yourself for the leader":

Meditation is a DIY project. If you ever bought some flat-pack furniture you might realise that you usually must decipher the instructions before getting anywhere.

That doesn't mean that we can't help each other - it does mean that, at the end of the day, you need to work it out for yourself.

Turiya

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Re: Mindfulness as being "present and available".
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2016, 08:11:35 AM »
Quote
1. 'Emotions' are like 'neurosis'. Therefore, why would you want to move from a 'liberated mind' to a state of watching 'neurosis'? 

2. An analogy: 'You find a really pure-hearted loyal girl who loves you but you fall in love with a prostitute, believing your life will be more exciting with the raunchy prostitute.  ::)

3. Moral of the story. Real vipassana is not watching 'emotions'. Watching emotions is a form of self-administered psycho-therapy taught as 'vipassana' in the USA.

4. Real vipassana is using the concentrated clear mind to observe the impermanence & selflessness of phenomena, such as breathing, feeling sensations, mental moods (tendencies) and sense consciousness & its objects.

Say anger arises or fear, it's noticed and forgotten, another input will replace it, noticed and forgotten. The anger, annoyance, fear (Emotion this is what I mean) or many shades of it may return, it's noticed or noted and forgotten over time we feel free of the suffering of it, we notice this (that's the liberating insight) something else replaces it. Same process again. There is a constant return to the breathe depending on which approach you take ( that's concentration) An image, memory, mental construct arises ( that 's what i call a Thought) same approach. It does not matter what type of thought or emotion or sensory input arises same method.  This is a useful practice. It's not that you watch emotion or thought specifically, when they arise in the flow of things if you are mindful you can see them and flick them off before they bind too deeply. You could say they are all defilements in that sense. No need to have a taboo against being mindful of any emotion (if it and only if it arises).

Laurent

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Re: Mindfulness as being "present and available".
« Reply #17 on: August 22, 2016, 11:56:59 AM »
Hi friends, after reading much on vipassana and what is called and usually referred to as mindfulness in traditional texts. I'm curious about where just being "present and available" fits into, or is specifically mentioned in traditional Buddhist texts. You could describe this as "when washing dishes, just wash dishes". I believe I first came across this concept many years ago when someone gave me a short book from a Vietnamese teacher, long lost and name forgotten. This  is then more a "concentrated state" where we are focused on the present task with our whole bodies ( you could say). It is not the same as watching or noting the flow of sensory and mental/ emotional input often described as  vipassana practice. You could say it is more a useful functional state. However it is not just functional, it may have on close inspection a liberating freedom to it. It's a distinct change of state at times. It does seem to be part of the wholesome practice but is distinct and should be mentioned as a nuance or subtle ( or even obvious ?)state.

I am not sure i understand because i am not english but you seem to talk about the three disciplines actually.

The concentrated state refers to samadhi, "when washing dishes, just wash dishes"
The mindfulness, "watching or noting the flow of sensory and mental/ emotional input" is panna.
And the third, sila is just about the thing you do, as buddha would not say: "when you are killing someone, just kill someone and just notice the flow of sensory and mental/ emotional input".

So "when washing dishes, just wash dishes" could be developped as "when washing dishes, just wash dishes, knowing you are washing dishes" or again  "when washing dishes, just wash dishes, knowing you are washing dishes rapidly" etc...to show the three disciplines here.
For example: "breathing in a long breath, he knows "i breath in a long breath"", this monk is focused on the breath (samadhi), while doing this he don't have any unskillful thought (sila) and "he knows" (panna) with details ("long breath").

The three disciplines are tangled but you are right thinking that there are several aspects in the practice.


Turiya

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Re: Mindfulness as being "present and available".
« Reply #18 on: August 22, 2016, 12:04:09 PM »
I am not sure i understand because i am not english but you seem to talk about the three disciplines actually.

Quote
The concentrated state refers to samadhi, "when washing dishes, just wash dishes"
The mindfulness, "watching or noting the flow of sensory and mental/ emotional input" is panna.
And the third, sila is just about the thing you do, as buddha would not say: "when you are killing someone, just kill someone and just notice the flow of sensory and mental/ emotional input".

So "when washing dishes, just wash dishes" could be developped as "when washing dishes, just wash dishes, knowing you are washing dishes" or again  "when washing dishes, just wash dishes, knowing you are washing dishes rapidly" etc...to show the three disciplines here.
For example: "breathing in a long breath, he knows "i breath in a long breath"", this monk is focused on the breath (samadhi), while doing this he don't have any unskillful thought (sila) and "he knows" (panna) with details ("long breath").

The three disciplines are tangled but you are right thinking that there are several aspects in the practice.

Hey Laurent, I think you have it there to a large degree in that description, very astute  8)

Laurent

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Re: Mindfulness as being "present and available".
« Reply #19 on: August 22, 2016, 12:28:30 PM »
Buddha was a fantastic teacher. Sometimes he sent Ananada to give a teaching to someone. When Ananda gave verbatim the teaching to this person, this person went later to nibbana. Actually this is the teaching which can lead to nibbana, not Buddha. Those events show that the teaching is efficient even when the buddha is not there.
But only a buddha can formulate such a teaching.
The suttas are a huge reference for us. They are regarded as being the words of Buddha himself.
Buddha said that some communities had some teachings close to his, but were not lead by a fully awakened and liberated person.
We have to be very careful to what we hear from books and quotations from wise persons because frequently,what they say is not wrong but this is elliptical or not fully defined. We can read what we want into.

VipassanaXYZ

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Re: Mindfulness as being "present and available".
« Reply #20 on: August 22, 2016, 05:02:24 PM »
I often use vipassana when driving which is always very close to danger

Dear Turiya,

For now, please do not try to meditate while driving.

Practice when you are alone in a room, do the breath meditation.

Stay safe, happy and healthy.

Life is precious.

Turiya

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Re: Mindfulness as being "present and available".
« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2016, 12:26:54 AM »
Quote
I often use vipassana when driving which is always very close to danger

Dear Turiya,

For now, please do not try to meditate while driving.

Practice when you are alone in a room, do the breath meditation.

Stay safe, happy and healthy.

Life is precious.

Hey  poojavassa, thanks for the kind sentiment. There may have been some misunderstanding there. Just to clear it up. What I am calling meditation in this case (while driving) would not be what you seem to be referring to (as meditation). Sitting on a cushion, secluded from the world, is not what what I would be doing while driving. I would not be using any method that would distract from the road (as being a inherently dangerous situation, for myself or other road users) I would be calm, clear and attentive. I would not be noting (or any other form) arising states of mind or emotion if that practice was taking me away from present conditions or distracting me at all. So it is : one-pointedness, clarity, availability of attention, concentration rather than insight method (in this case under those circumstances). This is the best position to take while driving, instead of the usual agitated state I ( and most people) are in whilst driving. So technically I should not have called it vipassana in the usual sense it is used, so in that sense you are quite correct.  Hope that clears it up a bit.



 

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