Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.
I attempted Vip. Med. by trying to observe just about everything in and around me - the thoughts inside, sounds outside, and so on. And every time I felt some strain in the legs, I simply made a verbal note 'strain'. Or, if some anxiety sprang up regarding some issue, I noted that too. Or if I suddenly started daydreaming, I noted that. I did it for over fifteen minutes, and it feels ... I don't know how to describe the experience. It's neither positive nor negative. It just is.
Is this common? I'd appreciate some insights from experienced practitioners, especially.
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Yep. It is common.
Additionally, Buddhist meditation isn't supposed to be a means of making you feel good, though feeling good can happen.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Sounds like a good start. Now note that each sound is made up of the five aggregates- the same for each sight, sensation, smell etc. Now note that the five aggregates arise and pass away- is impermanent.
Then if you are feeling brave, note that these rapidly arising and passing away bit of experience also incorporate anything which you could define as your Self. Good luck!
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