Questions about noting

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Questions about noting

Postby ohnofabrications » Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:30 pm

Hello,

Does Mahasi teach that at some stage in one's practice one should drop the mental labels and stay with just the sensations? Clearly mental labels can help focusing and can cause disassociation and multi-faceted equanimity (nanatta-uppekha) which is helpful to a certain extent. It seems however that attamaya-uppekha remains out of reach of noting because noting is an interference, a fabrication. I know some noters I talk to say that they have dropped noting at a certain point in their practice, personally if I try to implement noting at the current stage in my practice it is simply not possible for me to keep up with everything that is noticed. Two noters who's accounts I have read said that they reached an endpoint in their practice and so assumed that there was nothing more to be done even though it didn't resemble a lack of the 10 fetters or even a lack of 5, noting no longer brought development of any kind and they believed that they had become arahants and that arahantship wasn't all that great. I haven't done much noting, mostly just noticing (wordless noting basically), and I haven't read Mahasi's writings, so I ask people who have:

Does mahasi teach that eventually one should switch from noting to noticing?

In your practice have you found it to be necessary to do so?

Does anything I have mentioned here sound familiar?

Thanks
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Re: Questions about noting

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:43 pm

I'm not a practitioner of the Mahasi technique but I know that many in his tradition have stated that noting can be dropped once a certain degree of skill has been acquired.

Others, however, like Ajahn Tong, say that noting is essential for all meditators and should never be relinquished. He is the minority, however.
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: Questions about noting

Postby Billymac29 » Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:46 pm

I think the Venerable Yuttadhammo may be of assistance. Here are a couple videos addressing this ind of question.

http://youtu.be/AGmakyhY6Wo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gacWdRZdAzs

see if these help..

with metta
:anjali:
"whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon will be the inclination of one's mind"
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Re: Questions about noting

Postby Goofaholix » Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:59 pm

I think you are confused between noting and labelling.

Noting is noticing.

Labelling is adding a word in ones mind in addition to the noting, like an aid or training wheels.

Labelling should eventually be dropped but can be helpful in future at times when concentration is poor or muddled.

It's common for people to think noting is a process of labelling because of the way it's taught in terms of labels, rising-falling etc, this is just a function of language.
"Whenever we feel that we are definitely right, so much so that we refuse to open up to anything or anybody else, right there we are wrong. It becomes wrong view. When suffering arises, where does it arise from? The cause is wrong view, the fruit of that being suffering. If it was right view it wouldn't cause suffering." - Ajahn Chah
"Remember you dont meditate to get anything, but to get rid of things. We do it, not with desire, but with letting go. If you want anything, you wont find it." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Questions about noting

Postby James the Giant » Thu Sep 06, 2012 11:45 pm

Yes, he says to drop the labelling eventually. At some stage, what arises comes way too fast to label, just it just has to be noticed. I can't find where he says that though.
If you'd like to read Mahasi's instructions yourself, he gave nice compact instructions here:
http://www.buddhanet.net/m_part1.htm

ohnofabrications wrote:Two noters who's accounts I have read said that they reached an endpoint in their practice and so assumed that there was nothing more to be done even though it didn't resemble a lack of the 10 fetters or even a lack of 5...
.... they believed that they had become arahants and that arahantship wasn't all that great.

Hehe, classic! :rolleye: People will believe all sorts of dumb stuff.
I should introduce them to my Nigerian friends, they have an uncle who was a general in the military, he has about fifty million dollars he needs to move out of the country, and he needs a friendly westerner to help, and in return he'll give them a couple of million.
Then,
saturated with joy,
you will put an end to suffering and stress.
SN 9.11
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Re: Questions about noting

Postby ohnofabrications » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:45 am

Goofaholix wrote:I think you are confused between noting and labelling.

Noting is noticing.

Labelling is adding a word in ones mind in addition to the noting, like an aid or training wheels.

Labelling should eventually be dropped but can be helpful in future at times when concentration is poor or muddled.

It's common for people to think noting is a process of labelling because of the way it's taught in terms of labels, rising-falling etc, this is just a function of language.


Ah ok, I hadn't heard this before. Does mahasi say in his writings - that one drops the label-noting? or are you saying that using labels is something he simply doesn't teach?


billymac29 wrote:I think the Venerable Yuttadhammo may be of assistance. Here are a couple videos addressing this ind of question.


Yes those certainly addressed the question. The videos intrigued me and I read some of his stuff. It is clear that one's practice of labeling won't necessarily lead to the 'trap' i mentioned. However, I disagree that the 'breaking up' of stuff and seeing the 3Cs is impossible without the labels, it is unquestionable in my own experience that direct wordless observation leads to dispassion, perhaps noting enhances the process and perhaps it is what the buddha taught, i am not sure. I think I will experience with noting a bit.

James the Giant wrote:Yes, he says to drop the labelling eventually. At some stage, what arises comes way too fast to label, just it just has to be noticed. I can't find where he says that though.
If you'd like to read Mahasi's instructions yourself, he gave nice compact instructions here:
http://www.buddhanet.net/m_part1.htm


Ok, if you ever find where he says that (it does seem controversial as I have gotten 4 answers ;P) let me know. Thank you for the instructions, I will ask the noters if they are interested in your nigerian friends. :)


LonesomeYogurt wrote:I'm not a practitioner of the Mahasi technique but I know that many in his tradition have stated that noting can be dropped once a certain degree of skill has been acquired.

Others, however, like Ajahn Tong, say that noting is essential for all meditators and should never be relinquished. He is the minority, however.


Okay, I am getting the sense it is controversial, if anyone has a source of mahasi saying noting should be dropped i'd appreciate it.
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Re: Questions about noting

Postby Goofaholix » Fri Sep 07, 2012 12:55 am

ohnofabrications wrote:Ah ok, I hadn't heard this before. Does mahasi say in his writings - that one drops the label-noting? or are you saying that using labels is something he simply doesn't teach?


I don't know what mahasi says in his writings, I just know how I've been taught and practised the technique.
"Whenever we feel that we are definitely right, so much so that we refuse to open up to anything or anybody else, right there we are wrong. It becomes wrong view. When suffering arises, where does it arise from? The cause is wrong view, the fruit of that being suffering. If it was right view it wouldn't cause suffering." - Ajahn Chah
"Remember you dont meditate to get anything, but to get rid of things. We do it, not with desire, but with letting go. If you want anything, you wont find it." - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Questions about noting

Postby Modus.Ponens » Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:15 am

Isn't noting dropped in the 2nd vipassana jhana?
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: Questions about noting

Postby Billymac29 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:59 pm

I'm not sure if there is a definite time frame when labeling should be dropped. Some have dropped it after concentration was well established, some never drop it. People have had progress in both ways. I would say, do what feels best for you... What would be even better is to get a teacher that can lead you through their linage with this tradition.

all be well :anjali:
"whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon will be the inclination of one's mind"
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Re: Questions about noting

Postby Billymac29 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:04 pm

If you read the Venerable U Pandita's book On the Path to Freedom or In This Very Life, I believe he talks about when labeling can be dropped. However I also believe he makes a distinction between noting and labeling.

You can find a copy of both free online.
One is here:
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/path-free.pdf

the other maybe be here:
http://www.panditarama.net/ebooks/inthisverylife.pdf

be well :anjali:
"whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon will be the inclination of one's mind"
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Re: Questions about noting

Postby Ytrog » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:39 pm

I find labeling a very distracting practice myself. I started out that way and it is great if your concentrations is really weak, but I prefer just trying bare attention to what feelings (bodily and mentally) arise and cease during meditation and the rest of the day.
Suffering is asking from life what it can never give you.


mindfulness, bliss and beyond (page 8) wrote:Do not linger on the past. Do not keep carrying around coffins full of dead moments


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