Mindfulness question

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Mindfulness question

Postby sangyey » Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:16 pm

From my understanding in the correct practice of mindfulness mindfulness must be aware of an object i.e., nama and rupa. If this is the case and from what I can gather then mindfulness would mainly be directed inside. For example, if you are practicing mindfulness and watching tv you would not really direct your mindfulness out at the tv but rather you would direct it inwards being mindful of the activity as it is in your own nama and rupa (even though I guess you could say that the tv is a kind of rupa or physical phenomena but in the practice of mindfulness it is directed towards one's own nama and rupa. Is this correct?
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Re: Mindfulness question

Postby Goofaholix » Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:22 pm

sangyey wrote:From my understanding in the correct practice of mindfulness mindfulness must be aware of an object i.e., nama and rupa. If this is the case and from what I can gather then mindfulness would mainly be directed inside. For example, if you are practicing mindfulness and watching tv you would not really direct your mindfulness out at the tv but rather you would direct it inwards being mindful of the activity as it is in your own nama and rupa (even though I guess you could say that the tv is a kind of rupa or physical phenomena but in the practice of mindfulness it is directed towards one's own nama and rupa. Is this correct?


Pretty much. If you are watching TV then the process of watching will happen as it always has. The difference is instead of just obsorbing into the story on the TV and forgetting yourself in addition to that you will be aware of the watching process itself, this is a process occuring within your own mind/body not the TV.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Mindfulness question

Postby sangyey » Mon Mar 14, 2011 10:32 pm

Thank you. Before I learned how to practice like that I would just try to be mindful and aware of just anything but I always had a real difficult time with it but after learning to practice by being mindful of my own nama and rupa it really makes it easier.
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Re: Mindfulness question

Postby Goofaholix » Mon Mar 14, 2011 11:28 pm

sangyey wrote:Thank you. Before I learned how to practice like that I would just try to be mindful and aware of just anything but I always had a real difficult time with it but after learning to practice by being mindful of my own nama and rupa it really makes it easier.


Yes. Your mind body process is designed to naturally be aware of it's environment, no need to meddle with that, you just need to put effort into being aware of the mind body process itself.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Mindfulness question

Postby daverupa » Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:03 am

Not to split hairs but for my own understanding: this sort of practice is clear comprehension, isn't it? Mindfulness in the Suttas exclusively denotes satipatthana, does it not? I know the colloquial definition of mindfulness is as in above posts, but in looking for this sort of thing in the Suttas I'm better off researching clear comprehension, aren't I?
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Mindfulness question

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Mar 15, 2011 12:40 am

daverupa wrote:Not to split hairs but for my own understanding: this sort of practice is clear comprehension, isn't it? Mindfulness in the Suttas exclusively denotes satipatthana, does it not? I know the colloquial definition of mindfulness is as in above posts, but in looking for this sort of thing in the Suttas I'm better off researching clear comprehension, aren't I?


All mindfulness techniques that I've heard of have the object of attention being the process of perception at the six sense doors, rather than the object that is perceived.

So one notes hearing, one doesn't note car horn. One notes seeing, one doesn't note television, etc.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Mindfulness question

Postby daverupa » Tue Mar 15, 2011 1:58 am

Well, if driving and I note "hearing" instead of "those are sirens" then I might not safely pull to the side of the road to let the ambulance drive past unimpeded. So, this noting seems like decent mindfulness, but what about clear comprehension for moving about, whether walking, sitting, standing, or lying down, while urinating or defecating, while eating... and pertinent to the OP, while watching TV?

Mindfulness, even if noting "seeing" and/or "hearing", makes watching TV impossible because the mere sense contact is noted, and the content is set aside. Clear comprehension, on the other hand, is the approach that would allow watching TV without getting drawn in and attached and lost in it, according to my understanding.

I simply get confused when the word 'mindfulness' is tasked with hauling both of these ideas; I think the Suttas underscore a useful distinction by using the two terms "mindful" and "clearly comprehending", a distinction that seems lost in colloquial discussions of 'mindfulness'.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Mindfulness question

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:20 am

daverupa wrote:Well, if driving and I note "hearing" instead of "those are sirens" then I might not safely pull to the side of the road to let the ambulance drive past unimpeded. So, this noting seems like decent mindfulness, but what about clear comprehension for moving about, whether walking, sitting, standing, or lying down, while urinating or defecating, while eating... and pertinent to the OP, while watching TV?

Mindfulness, even if noting "seeing" and/or "hearing", makes watching TV impossible because the mere sense contact is noted, and the content is set aside. Clear comprehension, on the other hand, is the approach that would allow watching TV without getting drawn in and attached and lost in it, according to my understanding.


I think you've missed the main point of my post. The mind automatically recogises "those are sirens" there is no need to meddle with that, there is no need to note "recognising those are sirens". The practise is to note 'hearing" and therefore bring some attention to the point of contact with the six sense doors, this doesn't mean the recognition "those are sirens" stops happening as I say no need to meddle with it.

Mindfulness practise is adding another level of awareness to your daily activities not removing one and replacing it with another.

daverupa wrote:I simply get confused when the word 'mindfulness' is tasked with hauling both of these ideas; I think the Suttas underscore a useful distinction by using the two terms "mindful" and "clearly comprehending", a distinction that seems lost in colloquial discussions of 'mindfulness'.


Mindfulness practise includes Sati (remembering) and Sampajanna (Clear comprehension) among other things and I don't think it's really a direct translation for either. I think confusion arises when you try to match it to a pali word on a 1 to 1 basis, the way we use the term "mindfulness" in english is usually a description of a methodology.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Mindfulness question

Postby daverupa » Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:44 am

:anjali:
:heart:
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Mindfulness question

Postby sangyey » Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:46 pm

Would you say that the practice of sati, sampajjana, attapi takes time and practice to get used to? I have studied it (via Bhhikkhu Bodhi & Ven Analayo) but it seems like I will start to practice with a lot of enthusiasm but at first it is kind of difficult and brings with it some tension and then I will lose my sati for awhile but then when I remember to practice I basically come to point where its like yeah I could pick it up again and try to keep going but I usually end up not picking it up again thinking that (atleast short term) I feel more peaceful and happy not doing the practice.

Perhaps, I don't know, it can be regarded as a skill and of course learning any skill at first will bring with it some difficulty but with enough dilligence and perserverance you will gradually get used to it.

What are your thoughts on this?
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