Letting observation choose its focus

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.
SamKR
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Letting observation choose its focus

Postby SamKR » Tue Apr 24, 2012 6:48 pm

Hi,

I have recently realized that during meditation I have tendency to pinpoint and focus (spatially, and perhaps temporally too) the object of meditation (sensations usually), and such tendency is causing stress and probably lesser penetration (?) into the phenomena.

So while scanning the body systematically (or even randomly), how about letting observation take care of its focus on its own (instead of trying hard to focus)? That is, to be objective not only towards sensations but also towards the focus of observation, and allow the "peripheral vision" too. If I let it be so, the "natural focus" is more diffuse but less stressful, and I think My mind becomes sensitive to more sensations (but I need to experiment it more to be sure).

I would like to get your ideas and suggestions about this.

Sameer

(edited for more clarity)
Last edited by SamKR on Wed Apr 25, 2012 12:31 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Letting observation choose its focus

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Apr 24, 2012 7:50 pm

SamKR wrote:I have recently realized that during meditation I have tendency to pinpoint and focus (spatially, and perhaps temporally too) on object of meditation (sensations usually), and such tendency causing stress and probably lesser penetration (?) to the phenomena.
So while scanning the body systematically (or even randomly), how about letting observation take care of its focus on its own (instead of trying hard to focus)? It's like being objective not only on sensations but also on the focus of observation, and allow the "peripheral vision" too. If I let it be so, the "natural focus" is rather more diffuse but less stressful, and I think I become more sensitive to more sensations (but I need to experiment it more to be sure).


That's how you should be doing it, the mind is naturally capable of being aware so just let it do it's job without trying to force it.
"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: Letting observation choose its focus

Postby SamKR » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:23 am

Goofaholix wrote:That's how you should be doing it, the mind is naturally capable of being aware so just let it do it's job without trying to force it.

Thanks, Goofaholix. That's true. But the meditator could be unknowingly trying to force it.

I think any phenomenon we observe is just an aggregate (and that's why it is constantly changing). So its useless to try to pinpoint it or to try to find its unit (when there might be no such thing). If the mind does this on its own (that is becomes automatically sensitive to subtler and subtler realities) while observing objectively, then that's fine.

I am actually not so much experienced meditator, and I could be wrong. So, I am curious to know what other vipassana meditators/teachers think about this.

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Re: Letting observation choose its focus

Postby DarwidHalim » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:43 am

One of the trick when you have focus on something is to ask yourself, is there actually something to focus to? Once you can see there is no self in your object of focus, you will realize that actually there is nothing you can focus to, because there is no core you can focus to.

Let say you focus on your body or a stone in front. Because your mind has this stone or body, you then unconsciously focus on that. You have some objects that can anchor you.

So, you need to ask further, is it true there is a body or a core of stone?

The job of scanning systematically of the body is to find out whether there is this body or not. It is not just moving your focus, but to find out the answer is there a core or not?

Once you slowly see there is no core, you will lost your anchor of focus. You will then be able to focus without object. In other words, you can just aware aimlessly.

Although you don't focus at a single point anymore, but because your awareness is already strong, you will naturally realize many things surrounding you very clearly.

You know vividly what is moving in your head, in your surrounding vividly, but there is no sense at all there is an observer. There is also no sense of core in whatever moves.

Although you are very aware at that moment, there is also no sense of awareness. You just aware without awareness.

It may sound contradicting. How can we aware without awareness?

Awareness is just a label. At that state, you will just aware, but you know there is no core of awareness that you can pin point. You absolutely know you cannot find any awareness that you can pin point. It left you with just aware nakedly.

You will the ask yourself at this point, for billion billion years we believe there is this awareness, where are they? You will find none.

You don't have object to focus at all.

The key is you need to slowly find is there a core or not. This coreness is the one that magnetized your focus. Once you realize there is no core, nothing can magnetize your focus.

Open and aware without any awareness. Knowing vividly whatever happening without any core moving around.

Many things may move aroun like a tornado, but you always fell there is nothing in this tornado. Because you know there is nothing, you just feel there is nothing happening althoughy so many things are happening.

You observe vividly with absolute certainty the non-arising of so many tornados.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!

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Re: Letting observation choose its focus

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:06 am

Greetings,

DarwidHalim wrote:Once you slowly see there is no core, you will lost your anchor of focus. You will then be able to focus without object.

Yeah, an object requires objectification.

ob·jec·ti·fy (b-jkt-f)
tr.v. ob·jec·ti·fied, ob·jec·ti·fy·ing, ob·jec·ti·fies
1. To present or regard as an object: "Because we have objectified animals, we are able to treat them impersonally" (Barry Lopez).
2. To make objective, external, or concrete: thoughts objectified in art.

Source: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/objectification

Sam wrote:I would like to get your ideas and suggestions about this.

Hi Sam... from my perspective, how you're discerning whatever is experienced is the key. If you're objectifying experience, discern that. If you're not, discern that too.

MN 10 wrote:His mindfulness that 'There are feelings' is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, unsustained by (not appropriating) anything in the world

You may be following a "technique" for which my advice may be irrelevant, so feel free to not pick it up, if it does not align with what you're trying to do.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Letting observation choose its focus

Postby DarwidHalim » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:18 am

What I mean is you just aware.

You no longer have focus. But although you don't have focus, it doesn't mean you don't know what is happening. You know.

You aware without focus.

Once you are used to it, you can start the meditation without focusing on breathing anymore. Right from the start you can just aware without being knocked down by tornado of thought. Because you know that tornado is not tornado.

It is quite difficult however for others, because they see tornado as tornado. So, normally you have to go to Samantha focus on 1 object absolutely. This process will calm down the thoughts. At that state, you are in the better state to see who is that tornado.

Basically it is like this, as long as you still believe there is a core, you will focus unconsciously whether on this or that. You cannot run away.

Some people even focus on the mind so hard, because the vividness of mind rise a self of mind which try think it has a self. What happen is they will have headache.

Initially when we don't know meditation is tiring. But slowly slowly it is very relaxing. Because there is no work, no focus, and no aware.

But you aware without awareness.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!

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Re: Letting observation choose its focus

Postby DarwidHalim » Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:40 am

One of Buddhist master wrote this:

If thoughts arise, remain present in that state.
If no thoughts arise, remain present in that state.
There is no different in the presence of either state.


The last sentence is the one that will make you able to meditate without any focus.

Another Buddhist master said this:
Things appear without really existing.

That is the one that you need to prove in vipassana. Once you get that, you will get that there is no difference whether you have thoughts or no thoughts, because both state are same. Both are without really existing.

Blue glass and red glass are different, but they are same, just glass.

Diamond and a brick are different, but both are same. Both are transient, without any core. Both appear without real core.

If you can eliminate the strong believe of core by witness it and prove it for yourself that actually there is no core, you will be able to meditate without any object or any focus.

Sometime you may feel that oh today my meditation is excellent. No thoughts and so smooth.

Next day, oh my meditation is so bad. So many thoughts.

This will occur if don't realize that actually those two state - having thoughts and no thoughts - are exactly same.

How can both be the same? The key is in your witness of no core or no self in whatever things you are witnessing.

Once you get it, there is no sih thing called bad meditation, even a meditation with million of thoughts are perfect. Because you know vividly those million thoughts are transient, exactly same with the state of no thoughts.

If you can know the no core,
Meditation with million of thoughts, millions of feeling are just same with meditation without any thoughts (the meditation that you always think is ideal).
Both are transient without any core.

So, whether you have thoughts and no thoughts, where is the problem?

Million thoughts are transient, no core, no self.
No thoughts are ALSO transient, no core, no self.

Why meditation with no thoughts are something special?
There is nothing special in it. There is no reason why this state is ideal. Both state are just same thing, transient, no core, no self.

Hollow.

You are actually always and always in te perfect state of meditation, only if you can understand both are actually just same - transient without any core or self.

Perfect without any effort.

Please prove this with yourself Experientally whether this is true or not.
I am not here nor there.
I am not right nor wrong.
I do not exist neither non-exist.
I am not I nor non-I.
I am not in samsara nor nirvana.
To All Buddhas, I bow down for the teaching of emptiness. Thank You!

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Re: Letting observation choose its focus

Postby daverupa » Wed Apr 25, 2012 11:52 am

DarwidHalim wrote:Once you are used to it, you can start the meditation without focusing on breathing anymore. Right from the start you can just aware without being knocked down by tornado of thought.


This sounds like a conflation of sampajanna and sati. They combine but they aren't coextensive.

But perhaps I've misunderstood.
    "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: Letting observation choose its focus

Postby Alex123 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:55 pm

Hello SamKR,

I understand the practice of vipassana is to be aware with wisdom the presently arisen phenomena. Do not "pick" an object to be aware of. Trying to pick something can in some cases be due to greed (lobha) or aversion (dosa). You can see without looking, and hear without listening. Even without deliberately picking, there is plenty to be aware of each waking moment.

In all or most of our waking time the 5 aggregates and 4 objects for satipatthana already occur. Be silently aware of them. Try to have as much uninterrupted observation as you can. Eventually the characteristics of phenomena will be seen rather than conceptualized about.
"dust to dust...."

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Re: Letting observation choose its focus

Postby SamKR » Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:48 am

Hello DarwidHalim,

Thanks for your interesting post. I also do not believe that there is a core and I believe that ultimately everything is utterly transient and without any "core".
But until we realize that "ultimate" truth, or the "coreless" state, isn't the mind automatically looking for such a core on the object of meditation? So the question now is: should we "try" to make our mind not look for the core, or should we just let it do whatever it does and just watch what happens?

SamKR

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Re: Letting observation choose its focus

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:52 am

Greetings Sam,

SamKR wrote:Thanks for your interesting post. I also do not believe that there is a core and I believe that ultimately everything is utterly transient and without any "core".
But until we realize that "ultimate" truth, or the "coreless" state, isn't the mind automatically looking for such a core on the object of meditation? So the question now is: should we "try" to make our mind not look for the core, or should we just let it do whatever it does and just watch what happens?

In light of that, I'd be interested to know what you make of the four-point satipatthana model I posted here - viewtopic.php?f=13&t=12178&start=100#p185252 - as I feel it provides a possible answer to your question.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Letting observation choose its focus

Postby SamKR » Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:01 am

Sam wrote:I would like to get your ideas and suggestions about this.

Hi Sam... from my perspective, how you're discerning whatever is experienced is the key. If you're objectifying experience, discern that. If you're not, discern that too.

Thanks retro. So this means we should not try to objectify at all? And just discern the very process of objectifying or non-objectifying (clinging) too?

retrofuturist wrote:
MN 10 wrote:His mindfulness that 'There are feelings' is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, unsustained by (not appropriating) anything in the world

You may be following a "technique" for which my advice may be irrelevant, so feel free to not pick it up, if it does not align with what you're trying to do.

Yes, I am following the method of observing sensations (Goenkaji's method). I am trying to figure out what is compatible with this method. In this method (as you already know) we watch sensations, and then based on the understanding of anicca nature of these sensations we "try" not to generate raga and dosa. In other words, we objectify (?) the sensations.
Last edited by SamKR on Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Letting observation choose its focus

Postby SamKR » Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:04 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Sam,
In light of that, I'd be interested to know what you make of the four-point satipatthana model I posted here - http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 00#p185252 - as I feel it provides a possible answer to your question.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Thanks retro, I will read that post now.


Alex123 wrote:Hello SamKR,

I understand the practice of vipassana is to be aware with wisdom the presently arisen phenomena. Do not "pick" an object to be aware of. Trying to pick something can in some cases be due to greed (lobha) or aversion (dosa). You can see without looking, and hear without listening. Even without deliberately picking, there is plenty to be aware of each waking moment.

In all or most of our waking time the 5 aggregates and 4 objects for satipatthana already occur. Be silently aware of them. Try to have as much uninterrupted observation as you can. Eventually the characteristics of phenomena will be seen rather than conceptualized about.

Thanks Alex for your input. While I am currently following the method of using an object of meditation (sensations), but your suggestion is very interesting, and I am trying to figure what would be the best thing for me to do (as I believe for different people different methods will work better).

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Re: Letting observation choose its focus

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:38 am

Greetings Sam,

SamKR wrote:Yes, I am following the method of observing sensations (Goenkaji's method). I am trying to figure out what is compatible with this method.

Whilst it's worth considering what people here say, I suggest you'd want to seek advice on the compatibility of (what one might call) "choiceless awareness" with an AT or experienced Goenka practitioner. To me, it seems inconsistent with sweeping and the way in which sensations are to be regarded via the sweeping. They might well tell you that what you thought was choiceless, was really subconscious liking and disliking tricking you into thinking it was choiceless, but I don't really know.

What aspects of the technique are the proverbial "sacred cows" never to be compromised, and what parts are amenable to variation and customisation, I don't know... I only know the teachings as they're given on the 10-day intro.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Letting observation choose its focus

Postby SamKR » Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:53 am

retrofuturist wrote:
"And how does a monk remain focused on feelings in & of themselves? There is the case where a monk, when feeling a painful feeling, discerns, 'I am feeling a painful feeling.' When feeling a pleasant feeling, he discerns, 'I am feeling a pleasant feeling.' When feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he discerns, 'I am feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling.'

"When feeling a painful feeling of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a painful feeling of the flesh.' When feeling a painful feeling not of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a painful feeling not of the flesh.' When feeling a pleasant feeling of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a pleasant feeling of the flesh.' When feeling a pleasant feeling not of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a pleasant feeling not of the flesh.' When feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling of the flesh.' When feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling not of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling not of the flesh.'

"In this way he remains focused internally on feelings in & of themselves, or externally on feelings in & of themselves, or both internally & externally on feelings in & of themselves. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to feelings, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to feelings, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to feelings. Or his mindfulness that 'There are feelings' is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, unsustained by (not clinging to) anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on feelings in & of themselves.

... I would regard these four differently coloured sections as progressively more advanced means of "remain[ing] focused on feelings in & of themselves". In that regards, they are a progressive advancement of four steps, parallel to the Buddha's sixteen steps on anapanasati. Here they constitute:

1. The initial awareness of x
2. The deconstruction of x into constituent components (i.e. analysis of the parts)
3. The removal of the support underpinning the constituent components
4. The conscious non-appropriation of x

Hello Retro, this is an interesting analysis, and I find it to be true (if I understand it correctly)! I think they are "progressively more advanced means" of "remain[ing] focused on feelings in & of themselves". So, the fourth (The conscious non-appropriation of x: "Or his mindfulness that 'There are feelings' is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, unsustained by (not clinging to) anything in the world.") is possible for the advanced practitioners. This does seem to be in parallel with the method I follow.

By the way, the word "remembrance" in the above quote seems somewhat odd. Is the the usual translation for sati?

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Re: Letting observation choose its focus

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:02 am

Greetings Sam,

SamKR wrote:This does seem to be in parallel with the method I follow.

:thumbsup:

SamKR wrote:By the way, the word "remembrance" in the above quote seems somewhat odd. Is the the usual translation for sati?

Ah, the subject of many debates... see here...

Pali Term: Sati
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=4299

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Letting observation choose its focus

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:30 am

DarwidHalim wrote:What I mean is you just aware.
...
Once you are used to it, you can start the meditation without focusing on breathing anymore.

My experience is that I can do this after a couple of days on retreat, once the mind-chatter has calmed down and mindfulness and concentration has built up a bit. At that stage there is less need to have an "anchor" like the breath/abdominal motion/motion of the feet/ or whatever. Whatever arises the mind can "lock onto".

I do find I need to be a little careful at this stage not to get lazy and just drift off in a pleasant state...

retrofuturist wrote:
"And how does a monk remain focused on feelings in & of themselves? There is the case where a monk, when feeling a painful feeling, discerns, 'I am feeling a painful feeling.' When feeling a pleasant feeling, he discerns, 'I am feeling a pleasant feeling.' When feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he discerns, 'I am feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling.'

"When feeling a painful feeling of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a painful feeling of the flesh.' When feeling a painful feeling not of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a painful feeling not of the flesh.' When feeling a pleasant feeling of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a pleasant feeling of the flesh.' When feeling a pleasant feeling not of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a pleasant feeling not of the flesh.' When feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling of the flesh.' When feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling not of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling not of the flesh.'

"In this way he remains focused internally on feelings in & of themselves, or externally on feelings in & of themselves, or both internally & externally on feelings in & of themselves. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to feelings, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to feelings, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to feelings. Or his mindfulness that 'There are feelings' is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, unsustained by (not clinging to) anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on feelings in & of themselves.

... I would regard these four differently coloured sections as progressively more advanced means of "remain[ing] focused on feelings in & of themselves". In that regards, they are a progressive advancement of four steps, parallel to the Buddha's sixteen steps on anapanasati. Here they constitute:

1. The initial awareness of x
2. The deconstruction of x into constituent components (i.e. analysis of the parts)
3. The removal of the support underpinning the constituent components
4. The conscious non-appropriation of x

A common alternative interpretation of:
Or his mindfulness that 'There are feelings' is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance.

Is that it describes just keeping enough attention on feelings/or whatever/ to maintain a good level of mindfulness. Related to what I commented above on Darwid's comment, once one has the mind a little calmed, mindful, and concentrated, that level can be maintained by keeping up a certain amount of attention --- it's not so necessary to be ferreting out all of the details. This is useful when one is having to do various activities and cannot devote full attention to all the details.

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: Letting observation choose its focus

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Apr 27, 2012 7:57 am

Greetings,

mikenz66 wrote:Is that it describes just keeping enough attention on feelings/or whatever/ to maintain a good level of mindfulness. Related to what I commented above on Darwid's comment, once one has the mind a little calmed, mindful, and concentrated, that level can be maintained by keeping up a certain amount of attention --- it's not so necessary to be ferreting out all of the details. This is useful when one is having to do various activities and cannot devote full attention to all the details.

:thumbsup:

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

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Re: Letting observation choose its focus

Postby Alex123 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 2:43 pm

Hello all,

Satipatthana sutta does not seem to tell "you have to deliberately focus only on this first, then focus on 2nd, then on 3rd, etc" .

At every normal waking conscious moment in our daily life one can be aware of all five aggregates and all four satipatthanas. It depends more on depth and breadth of awareness to know which satipatthana one will be aware of. I believe in developing "panoramic view" where one can see more, not less, of what is happening including impermanence. By seeing impermanence one can see anatta as well. I understand that when you naturally let bare observation to happen, anatta is seen better. There is no feeling of "self choosing something".

When for example it says:
    when walking, the monk discerns, 'I am walking.' When standing, he discerns, 'I am standing.' When sitting, he discerns, 'I am sitting.' When lying down, he discerns, 'I am lying down.' Or however his body is disposed, that is how he discerns it.MN10

Unless one is paraplegic, one will have to change postures regardless if one wants to or not. Personal effort is not required to change postures.
The sutta doesn't tell us that one should deliberately take this or that posture. Naturally the human body will have to take them. And when you are aware of posture that the body is in, you are also aware of the body (kāya) through feelings (vedanā), perception (saññā) and consciousness (viññāṇa). Also when there is deeper mindfulness, one can see one's reaction (saṅkhārā) toward the bodily position that one is in. So all four frames of reference can be noticed when one pays full attention to taking postures and minor bodily movements as well. One just needs to develop the depth and breadth awareness.

When one is continuously mindful without a break, seeing state after state after state occur, one will notice the impermanence. From seeing impermanence, anatta can be seen.

    "He should develop the perception of inconstancy so as to uproot the conceit, 'I am.' For a monk perceiving inconstancy, the perception of not-self is made firm. One perceiving not-self attains the uprooting of the conceit, 'I am' — Unbinding in the here and now." Ud4.1
"dust to dust...."

SamKR
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Re: Letting observation choose its focus

Postby SamKR » Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:51 am

mikenz66 wrote:Is that it describes just keeping enough attention on feelings/or whatever/ to maintain a good level of mindfulness. Related to what I commented above on Darwid's comment, once one has the mind a little calmed, mindful, and concentrated, that level can be maintained by keeping up a certain amount of attention --- it's not so necessary to be ferreting out all of the details. This is useful when one is having to do various activities and cannot devote full attention to all the details.


To me this:
Or his mindfulness that 'There are feelings' is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, unsustained by (not clinging to) anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on feelings in & of themselves.

seems to be similar instruction as this:
"[...]In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized. That is how you should train yourself. When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bahiya, there is no you in terms of that. When there is no you in terms of that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress."

And the latter instruction (quintessence of Buddha's meditative teachings?) is targeted for advanced meditator like Bahiya. So, for the beginners that could be too advanced thing to do. Instead they could focus on the other three steps of the " progressively more advanced means" (retro's words) until they reach the fourth.
(I still don't think that "remembrance" is the correct translation there. It must be "awareness". Just my opinion, and not being an expert I could be very wrong.)
Last edited by SamKR on Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:08 am, edited 1 time in total.


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