If when you are practicing vipassana and your object is sensation, just be aware, just be equanimous. After awhile, with some sensations, you will begin to notice its changing nature. Some gross sensations like pressure or pain may dissolve into finer sensations which have a shimmering quality. Just be aware of it. Try not to relish the pleasure, indifferent to the neutral, or recoil from the unpleasant. Be aware that the old habit pattern of the mind is to react with craving for the pleasant and aversion to the unpleasant - just be aware of that and be aware of the mind attempting to respond to the different types of sensation with aversion, indifference (as opposed to equanimity) and craving.
In the beginning, other mental 'stuff', treat as muzak - background noise. Don't try to block it out nor engage with it.
With samatha, the thing is to maintain unbroken bare awareness of the object for longer and longer periods. Trying to maintain unbroken awareness is like trying to grab an eel so don't get despondent nor angry if you feel you're not making much headway. It takes, sometimes, a long time. But every effort is well spent.
All the best,
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725
(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •
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