Internal Dialogue

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby Freawaru » Sun Aug 15, 2010 8:36 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Freawaru wrote:So the point is not to prevent earth to arise (earth is a part of the body image, namely the hardness) but not to identify with it. .

To my understanding hardness is something to be experienced directly, not as part of a "body image".

Mike


Hi Mike,

okay, please let me explain what I mean.

you wrote:

But my experience is that if I discern these things clearly they tend to stop. Obviously that's not an option in normal life in situations where I need to think to get things done...


Not taking the "tending to stop" into the equation but just speaking about the two options "with noting" and "without noting": how do you describe the difference between experiencing, say, a memory of something (f.e., the pet) when you note it as a memory and when you don't? I mean, you are clear that that you know when you are able to note a memory and when not: how do you know the difference?
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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby Freawaru » Sun Aug 15, 2010 8:46 am

5heaps wrote:
Freawaru wrote:The image of our body, that what is constructed using the body senses, is a sense object. The contact is with that mental sense object just as it is with a colour or a thought or a memory.

conceptuality is by definition indirect; meditation is about generating sophisticated direct cognizers


Can't a concept, say the concept of the number 1, arise and be directly known? Or think of everyday concepts like tree, house, dog, car - in our mind they don't arise as a memory or image but as a concept. Can't we directly know these concepts when they arise as objects of the sense mind?
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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Aug 15, 2010 8:52 am

Hi Freawaru,
Freawaru wrote:Not taking the "tending to stop" into the equation but just speaking about the two options "with noting" and "without noting": how do you describe the difference between experiencing, say, a memory of something (f.e., the pet) when you note it as a memory and when you don't? I mean, you are clear that that you know when you are able to note a memory and when not: how do you know the difference?


All I can say is that if I note these things clearly they tend to stop. Once I note clearly that I'm thinking it tends to stop, and so on. As in the instructions from various teachers:

Ven Sujiva Essentials of Insight Meditation Practice Page 83
[PDF here: http://www.buddhanet.net/xmedfile.htm]
RESTLESSNESS AND WORRY
The other hindrance involved is worry and restlessness. Here, you
are advised to note ‘thinking, thinking’ with mindfulness and it
should go away. Often, when we note ‘thinking, thinking,” it does
not go away. We may just be saying ‘thinking, thinking,’ but we are
not mindful. If you are mindful when you note, you would not be
thinking. You should be clear and aware and the thinking would
go away.

Sometimes, as we note, the thinking goes away but it comes back.
It goes away again and it comes back again... [more advice for when this doesn't work]


Mike
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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Aug 15, 2010 8:57 am

Freawaru wrote:Can't a concept, say the concept of the number 1, arise and be directly known? Or think of everyday concepts like tree, house, dog, car - in our mind they don't arise as a memory or image but as a concept. Can't we directly know these concepts when they arise as objects of the sense mind?

The point, I think, is that the development of insight seems to rely on seeing past those concepts. The Mahasi-style approach is based on the commentaries and would talk in terms of the necessity of having paramattha dhammas as the object for panna to arise. Other teachers may describe things using a different paradigm but they are still talking about seeing past the concepts in some way or other.

Concepts, are, however, useful samatha objects (kasinas, breath nimittas, metta, and so on).

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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby 5heaps » Sun Aug 15, 2010 12:33 pm

Freawaru wrote:Can't a concept, say the concept of the number 1, arise and be directly known? Or think of everyday concepts like tree, house, dog, car - in our mind they don't arise as a memory or image but as a concept. Can't we directly know these concepts when they arise as objects of the sense mind?

thats a huge topic.... concepts like tree and dog apply to all types of trees and dogs and so they (the concepts) are generalities, whereas images of specific things are specifiers. the quite useless word "concept" can refer to either of these 2 types and even more (ie. abstractions/functioning mental factors such as persons, numbers, time, motion, etc).

you were talking about specific images.. and although a mind to which such images appear directly does engage with such images directly, that mind is nevertheless indirect because it is knowing the referent object of the image by way of the image, and not directly, by way of fresh contact with the object itself.
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."
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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby octathlon » Sun Aug 15, 2010 3:57 pm

Here is an excerpt from Mindfulness in Plain English (p.82) which may be relevant:
When you first become aware of something, there is a fleeting instant of pure awareness
just before you conceptualize the thing, before you identify it. That is a stage of
Mindfulness. Ordinarily, this stage is very short. It is that flashing split second just as you
focus your eyes on the thing, just as you focus your mind on the thing, just before you
objectify it, clamp down on it mentally and segregate it from the rest of existence. It takes
place just before you start thinking about it--before [it -- before] your mind says, "Oh, it's
a dog." That flowing, soft-focused moment of pure awareness is Mindfulness. In that
brief flashing mind-moment you experience a thing as an un-thing. You experience a
softly flowing moment of pure experience that is interlocked with the rest of reality, not
separate from it. Mindfulness is very much like what you see with your peripheral vision
as opposed to the hard focus of normal or central vision. yet this moment of soft,
unfocused awareness contains a very deep sort of knowing that is lost as soon as you
focus your mind and objectify the object into a thing. In the process of ordinary
perception, the Mindfulness step is so fleeting as to be unobservable. We have developed
the habit of squandering our attention on all the remaining steps, focusing on the
perception, recognizing the perception, labeling it, and most of all, getting involved in a
long string of symbolic thought about it. That original moment of Mindfulness is rapidly
passed over. It is the purpose of the above mentioned Vipassana (or insight) meditation to
train us to prolong that moment of awareness.
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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby Freawaru » Sun Aug 15, 2010 7:47 pm

Hi Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:All I can say is that if I note these things clearly they tend to stop. Once I note clearly that I'm thinking it tends to stop, and so on. As in the instructions from various teachers:

Ven Sujiva Essentials of Insight Meditation Practice Page 83
[PDF here: http://www.buddhanet.net/xmedfile.htm]
RESTLESSNESS AND WORRY
The other hindrance involved is worry and restlessness. Here, you
are advised to note ‘thinking, thinking’ with mindfulness and it
should go away. Often, when we note ‘thinking, thinking,” it does
not go away. We may just be saying ‘thinking, thinking,’ but we are
not mindful. If you are mindful when you note, you would not be
thinking. You should be clear and aware and the thinking would
go away.

Sometimes, as we note, the thinking goes away but it comes back.
It goes away again and it comes back again... [more advice for when this doesn't work]


Mike


I have not read the pdf but for now your quote seems to disagree with everything I know about Mahasi style meditation. I was under the impression that the idea was to prolong the time of noting until it is perpetual. I don't want to stop thinking perpetually. Also, I doubt that the Buddha wasn't thinking any more - he talked so he had to think and in a language even. And in any case thinking, worrying, restlessness can be easily stopped by concentration practice - noting isn't really useful until one reaches the stage of not interfering with what is noted. Until the process is not stopped. Both processes, the one of thinking and the one of noting have to be stable simultaneously.

I think when one notes correctly the thinking does not go away. What happens is that one does not participate in it any more. Thinking is seen as an automatic process, a process one observes, one knows it clearly and directly, each thought anew. That is how we get to know our own mind. Not by destroying but by not interfering and observing the processes.
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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby Freawaru » Sun Aug 15, 2010 7:51 pm

octathlon wrote:Here is an excerpt from Mindfulness in Plain English (p.82) which may be relevant:
When you first become aware of something, there is a fleeting instant of pure awareness
just before you conceptualize the thing, before you identify it. That is a stage of
Mindfulness. Ordinarily, this stage is very short. It is that flashing split second just as you
focus your eyes on the thing, just as you focus your mind on the thing, just before you
objectify it, clamp down on it mentally and segregate it from the rest of existence. It takes
place just before you start thinking about it--before [it -- before] your mind says, "Oh, it's
a dog." That flowing, soft-focused moment of pure awareness is Mindfulness. In that
brief flashing mind-moment you experience a thing as an un-thing. You experience a
softly flowing moment of pure experience that is interlocked with the rest of reality, not
separate from it. Mindfulness is very much like what you see with your peripheral vision
as opposed to the hard focus of normal or central vision. yet this moment of soft,
unfocused awareness contains a very deep sort of knowing that is lost as soon as you
focus your mind and objectify the object into a thing. In the process of ordinary
perception, the Mindfulness step is so fleeting as to be unobservable. We have developed
the habit of squandering our attention on all the remaining steps, focusing on the
perception, recognizing the perception, labeling it, and most of all, getting involved in a
long string of symbolic thought about it. That original moment of Mindfulness is rapidly
passed over. It is the purpose of the above mentioned Vipassana (or insight) meditation to
train us to prolong that moment of awareness.


Hi octathlon,

and what about the sense: mind? Isn't mind also a sense in Buddhism? What do we perceive via this sense?

When you first become aware of something, there is a fleeting instant of pure awareness
just before you conceptualize the thing, before you identify it.


What if this "something" is perceived via the sense mind? What are the "somethings" perceived via this sense?
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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby Freawaru » Sun Aug 15, 2010 7:57 pm

Hi 5heaps,

5heaps wrote:
Freawaru wrote:Can't a concept, say the concept of the number 1, arise and be directly known? Or think of everyday concepts like tree, house, dog, car - in our mind they don't arise as a memory or image but as a concept. Can't we directly know these concepts when they arise as objects of the sense mind?

thats a huge topic.... concepts like tree and dog apply to all types of trees and dogs and so they (the concepts) are generalities, whereas images of specific things are specifiers. the quite useless word "concept" can refer to either of these 2 types and even more (ie. abstractions/functioning mental factors such as persons, numbers, time, motion, etc).

you were talking about specific images.. and although a mind to which such images appear directly does engage with such images directly, that mind is nevertheless indirect because it is knowing the referent object of the image by way of the image, and not directly, by way of fresh contact with the object itself.


Isn't an image or a memory an object, too? Take for example the starship Enterprise, it does not exist in the physical world but it exists as imagination. When the image arise in a mind isn't it possible to know this object directly? As an image based on imagination? Isn't there a fresh contact with the object, too - just not with the five senses but with the sixth ?
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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Aug 15, 2010 9:03 pm

Hi Freawaru,
Freawaru wrote:I have not read the pdf but for now your quote seems to disagree with everything I know about Mahasi style meditation.

Well, it's a fairly common sort of statement from Mahasi teachers... But of course a soundbite never does anything full justice...
Freawaru wrote:I was under the impression that the idea was to prolong the time of noting until it is perpetual. I don't want to stop thinking perpetually. Also, I doubt that the Buddha wasn't thinking any more - he talked so he had to think and in a language even. And in any case thinking, worrying, restlessness can be easily stopped by concentration practice - noting isn't really useful until one reaches the stage of not interfering with what is noted. Until the process is not stopped. Both processes, the one of thinking and the one of noting have to be stable simultaneously.

Yes, sure. What we are talking about here is "formal meditation" or "retreat setting". If you have to do conceptual thinking you need to ease back on the noting.
Freawaru wrote:I think when one notes correctly the thinking does not go away. What happens is that one does not participate in it any more. Thinking is seen as an automatic process, a process one observes, one knows it clearly and directly, each thought anew. That is how we get to know our own mind. Not by destroying but by not interfering and observing the processes.

Well, of course, you can't really stop thoughts arising, especially if you've eased back a little. And it's not destroying in the sense of watching to make thoughts go away. It just happens.

I'm sure there are other ways to approach this, but that's the way I see it. However, I see little value in analysing the details of thoughts, at the level of mindfulness and concentration that I normally have. It's very difficult to not get caught up in the content.

Mike
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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby octathlon » Sun Aug 15, 2010 9:53 pm

Hi Freawaru,
Freawaru wrote:Hi octathlon,

and what about the sense: mind? Isn't mind also a sense in Buddhism? What do we perceive via this sense?

Ideas or thoughts.
eye-->forms
ear-->sounds
nose-->smells
tongue-->tastes
body-->tactile sensations
mind-->ideas

Freawaru wrote:
When you first become aware of something, there is a fleeting instant of pure awareness
just before you conceptualize the thing, before you identify it.


What if this "something" is perceived via the sense mind? What are the "somethings" perceived via this sense?

The answer would still be "ideas", for the mind/intellect sense. In the passage I quoted, I think he is talking in general about all sense contact; unfortunately he doesn't describe the process for each sense individually or discuss differences between the mental vs bodily senses. I would think the same process occurs as for the bodily senses.
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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby 5heaps » Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:13 pm

Freawaru wrote:Isn't there a fresh contact with the object, too - just not with the five senses but with the sixth ?

so complicated but i thought of a decent way of trying to explain

"the enterprise" is a sankhara and so it conditions the mental consciousess which is cognizing. in this sense, the sankhara "the enterprise" in the process of imagining the enterprise in the new star trek movie is the subject not the object. the object is the enterprise itself in the new star trek movie, but its known by way of the mental image (the sankhara, the generality/category) not directly (seeing it directly would be seeing the physical form of the movie)

just as the heaps are empty of an essence of self so too is the imagination of the enterprise empty of the essence of being "the enterprise". just as persons are the collection of parts so too is the experience of imagining the enterprise a collection of parts, despite its very substantial appearance of substantially being the enterprise.

so in meditation i cant see my breath and yet the tactile sensation of my breath which is my meditation object somehow subtly appears to have a slight physical representation to it.......except it shouldnt since i cant see it at all. this illustrates such strong craving for seeking pleasure from the senses that even in the absence of them even the freakin conceptual consciousnes will get involved, which is internal dialogue without using language
.
.
.
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."
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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby Kenshou » Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:24 pm

so in meditation i cant see my breath and yet the tactile sensation of my breath which is my meditation object somehow subtly appears to have a slight physical representation to it.......except it shouldnt since i cant see it at all. this illustrates such strong craving for seeking pleasure from the senses


Wait a minute, what does the habit of visualizing things in that way have to do with pleasure-seeking? There's nothing more pleasurable about having a mental image of the breath going in and out. Though it isn't helpful either.
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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby 5heaps » Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:47 pm

Kenshou wrote:
so in meditation i cant see my breath and yet the tactile sensation of my breath which is my meditation object somehow subtly appears to have a slight physical representation to it.......except it shouldnt since i cant see it at all. this illustrates such strong craving for seeking pleasure from the senses


Wait a minute, what does the habit of visualizing things in that way have to do with pleasure-seeking? There's nothing more pleasurable about having a mental image of the breath going in and out. Though it isn't helpful either.

its not pleasurable, its there due to the habitual tendencies of having been obsessed with the senses in the past. the more obsessed, the stronger the tendencies. the stronger the tendencies, the more time it will take to ascertain that there even is a subtle visual resprentation. the more time it takes, the longer it takes to gain any level of samadhi

how lucid the mind which never engages in such mistakes because they have no tendencies and no such obsession
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."
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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby Kenshou » Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:04 pm

I don't know how much obsession is really involved, we're just used to making use of our imagination a lot, because normally it's useful. Once you realize that you're paying attention to your imagination's image of the breath (or whatever) instead of the breath itself it isn't so hard to quit making that mistake, I think. But I get what you mean. One of those habits that can be a little bit of a speedbump.
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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby 5heaps » Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:45 am

Kenshou wrote:I don't know how much obsession is really involved

i dont move my eyes from one object to another due to some kind of profound satisfaction with that first object. by moving them im implying that hopefully i'll have a better chance with the second object.

the obsession is so severe and complete that 10,000,000 objects later ive made a habit and a way of life out of this pattern of assumption. in fact if you took it away from me i wouldnt be able to recognize myself. i cannot distinguish between myself and this mode of thinking; this pattern is what it means to be alive.
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."
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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby Freawaru » Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:25 am

Hi Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:
Freawaru wrote:I was under the impression that the idea was to prolong the time of noting until it is perpetual. I don't want to stop thinking perpetually. Also, I doubt that the Buddha wasn't thinking any more - he talked so he had to think and in a language even. And in any case thinking, worrying, restlessness can be easily stopped by concentration practice - noting isn't really useful until one reaches the stage of not interfering with what is noted. Until the process is not stopped. Both processes, the one of thinking and the one of noting have to be stable simultaneously.

Yes, sure. What we are talking about here is "formal meditation" or "retreat setting". If you have to do conceptual thinking you need to ease back on the noting.


For most people the concentration is stronger than the insight during formal meditations. They are not in balance. Are you really sure that this interference with the processes one observes such as breathing, walking, thinking, isn't due to such an imbalance?

Freawaru wrote:I think when one notes correctly the thinking does not go away. What happens is that one does not participate in it any more. Thinking is seen as an automatic process, a process one observes, one knows it clearly and directly, each thought anew. That is how we get to know our own mind. Not by destroying but by not interfering and observing the processes.

Well, of course, you can't really stop thoughts arising, especially if you've eased back a little. And it's not destroying in the sense of watching to make thoughts go away. It just happens.


Again, are you sure they don't leave because one wants it? Have you tried the same technique during retreats and taken care to tell your mind that the observed processes should not stop? It is so easy, so habitual, to interfere with the breath or the walking or the thinking process when we attempt just to be mindful of them we have to train our mind NOT to do it.

I'm sure there are other ways to approach this, but that's the way I see it. However, I see little value in analysing the details of thoughts, at the level of mindfulness and concentration that I normally have. It's very difficult to not get caught up in the content.


I remember this problem, both during wake and dream. During dream I solved it by concentrating on staying lucid when I became lucid and just let the dream do what it wants. It is similar during thinking - usually, the moment we become aware of thoughts we want to control them, just as we want to control breath when we pay attention to it. This wanting is habitual, automatic. What do you do when you catch yourself controlling the breath but you want to practice being mindful of it?
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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby Freawaru » Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:42 am

Hi octathlon

octathlon wrote:Hi Freawaru,
Freawaru wrote:and what about the sense: mind? Isn't mind also a sense in Buddhism? What do we perceive via this sense?

Ideas or thoughts.
eye-->forms
ear-->sounds
nose-->smells
tongue-->tastes
body-->tactile sensations
mind-->ideas


Hmm, I am not sure how you define "ideas or thoughts". Personally, I would discern between ideas, thoughts, memories, imaginations (imaginations can actually be not only visual but also tactile and auditive, etc), interconnections (when we suddenly see how the pieces of a puzzle fit together), and so on.

Freawaru wrote:
When you first become aware of something, there is a fleeting instant of pure awareness
just before you conceptualize the thing, before you identify it.


What if this "something" is perceived via the sense mind? What are the "somethings" perceived via this sense?

The answer would still be "ideas", for the mind/intellect sense. In the passage I quoted, I think he is talking in general about all sense contact; unfortunately he doesn't describe the process for each sense individually or discuss differences between the mental vs bodily senses. I would think the same process occurs as for the bodily senses.


I agree. When we become first aware of a thought or idea or memory or image, etc, there is a fleeting instant of pure awareness - just as for the other senses. Sometimes the thought, idea, memory, image (etc) even vanishes again before I can identify the content. I am only aware of them when they already pass away.
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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:47 am

Hi Frauwaru,

I don't understand what you mean by balancing concentration and insight.

You could be well be right that there can be unconscious manipulation, but this how I've been instructed and the results match my experience.

If I find myself controlling something I note it.

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Re: Internal Dialogue

Postby Freawaru » Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:36 am

Hi Mike,

I had to google a bit because the only good quotes I had at hand were from the Tibetans. But I found this:

mikenz66 wrote:I don't understand what you mean by balancing concentration and insight.


I think this is a good introduction:

http://www.vipassana.com/meditation/min ... ish_16.php

Consider:
Bhante Gunaratana wrote:In a state of pure mindfulness your attention just flows along with whatever changes are taking place in the mind. "Shift, shift, shift. Now this, now this, and now this."


So when one is mindful of worry one just observes worry. One observes how this worried thought appears and ceases and then that. And then this image of what gruesome stuff might happen and then that. And so on. Mindfulness does not stop worry. But it distances ourselves from the worry.

Bhante Gunaratana wrote:There is no 'me' in a state of pure mindfulness.


I think this is the most important statement of them all. In a state of pure mindfulness one is no person, no personality, no character, no being. But not because everything belonging to the personality, memories, idea, thoughts, emotions, wishes, desires, intentions, fears, hates and so on are absent - but because they are not oneself, not one's own. Because they are all part of the "Shift, shift, shift. Now this, now this, and now this." and one is the eye that watches them, without reaction to them, without interfering with them. With increasing concentration this can go really deep.

When there is mindfulness but not much concentration there is no interference with whatever happens in the mind. Without concentration however the temporal resolution is low and we cannot see deeply into our mind - everything is just noted very shallowly, like the surface of an ocean, no depth. When there is more concentration than mindfulness the mindfulness is mainly used to suppress unwanted shifts such as to worry and to redirect the concentration to the object of focus - like to a calm mind, empty of worry:

Bhante Gunaratana wrote:If you have focused the mind on a stone, concentration will see only the stone. Mindfulness stands back from this process, aware of the stone, aware of the concentration focusing on the stone, aware of the intensity of that focus and instantly aware of the shift of attention when concentration is distracted. It is mindfulness which notices the distraction which has occurred, and it is mindfulness which redirects the attention to the stone.



You could be well be right that there can be unconscious manipulation, but this how I've been instructed and the results match my experience.


Yes. Looks like even the dry insight Method teaches concentration practice - especially at retreats :smile:

Bhante Gunaratana wrote:One of the most difficult things to learn is that mindfulness is not dependent on any emotional or mental state. We have certain images of meditation. Meditation is something done in quiet caves by tranquil people who move slowly. Those are training conditions. They are set up to foster concentration and to learn the skill of mindfulness. Once you have learned that skill, however, you can dispense with the training restrictions, and you should. You don't need to move at a snail's pace to be mindful. You don't even need to be calm. You can be mindful while solving problems in intensive calculus. You can be mindful in the middle of a football scrimmage. You can even be mindful in the midst of a raging fury. Mental and physical activities are no bar to mindfulness. If you find your mind extremely active, then simply observe the nature and degree of that activity. It is just a part of the passing show within.


Also I found this - it is not directly about balancing concentration and mindfulness but it describes the effects of what happens when they become imbalanced:

Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw wrote:In short, whatever thought or reflection occurs should be noted. If you imagine, note as `imagining'. If you think, `thinking'. If you plan, `planning'. If you perceive, `perceiving'. If you reflect, `reflecting'. If you feel happy, `happy'. If you feel bored, `bored'. If you feel glad, `glad'. If you feel disheartened, `disheartened'. Noting all these acts of consciousness is called cittanupassana.
...
That is why we have to note these acts of consciousness and know them for what they are. That is why we have to note each and every act of consciousness as it arises. When so noted, it tends to disappear. We then go back to noting the rising and falling of the abdomen.
http://www.tathagata.org/DhammaTalks/In ... ction.html


Each act of consciousness (thought, image, memory) arises, stays and disappears again. Each thought of worry, each memory of worry, each imagination about possible future bad things arises, stays and disappears again. When they disappear completely due to an increase of concentration one has to go back to establish again the pure mindfulness that does not interfere with the observed.

This is also interesting:

In the same way, the noting in vipassana meditation should be continual and unremitting, without any resting interval between acts of noting whatever phenomena may arise. For instance, if a sensation of itchiness intervenes and the yogi desires to scratch because it is hard to bear, both the sensation and the desire to get rid of it should be noted, without immediately getting rid of the sensation by scratching.

If one goes on perseveringly noting thus, the itchiness generally disappears, in which case one reverts to noting the rising and falling of the abdomen.


Here again one can see that the itchiness goes away due to an increase of concentration. In fact there are two concentrations used: one has to concentrate to suppress the habitual movement and one has to fix the concentration to one or a few objects (the itching and the desire to get rid of it) instead of it flowing with whatever comes up. It works the same with worry.

If you don't want to do that just let the impulse to scratch do it's thing and let the movement happen. It will reduce the concentration for a moment but it will keep mindfulness stable.

If the itchiness does not in fact disappear, one has of course to eliminate it by scratching. But first, the desire to do so should be noted. All the movements involved in the process of eliminating this sensation should be noted,


It is a delicate thing, this balance of mindfulness and concentration, but it is worth the time and effort :smile:
Freawaru
 
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