how importent is continued awareness ?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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purple planet
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how importent is continued awareness ?

Postby purple planet » Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:51 pm

I saw several places that every moment matters and every moment we are improving our karma

on the other hand i read in places thats its important to be mindful continuously with no break i just read what Sayadaw U Silananda says about this subject

The practice of mindfulness meditation can be compared to boiling water. If one wants to boil water, one puts the water in a kettle, puts the kettle on a stove, and then turns the heat on. But if the heat is turned off, even for an instant, the water will not boil, even though the heat is turned on again later. If one continues to turn the heat on and off again, the water will never boil. In the same way, if there are gaps between the moments of mindfulness, one cannot gain momentum, and so one cannot attain concentration.


so this made me think about the subject -

to get to first insight do i need the continuous practice ?
can some of you share about their first insight - like how much time they practiced and especially :

when did you have your first insight ? did this happen when you did a continuous effort with no "breaks" of awareness ? or was it when you did meditation with breaks ?
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance

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daverupa
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Re: how importent is continued awareness ?

Postby daverupa » Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:39 pm

What does it mean to have a first insight (or a second one)? I'm not sure what's being referred to.
    "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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purple planet
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Re: how importent is continued awareness ?

Postby purple planet » Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:53 pm

First insight :
Knowledge of the distinction between mental and physical states
Please send merit to my dog named Mika who has passed away - thanks in advance

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mikenz66
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Re: how importent is continued awareness ?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:07 pm

Hi Purple Planet,

First of all, let me say that mindfulness (sati) is a factor of the eight-fold path, and is therefore extremely important. The continuity instructions you quote are therefore common to many meditation teachers as a way to build up mindfulness. Not only "vipassana" teachers but also "jhana oriented" teachers such as Ajahn Brahm stress it's importance:
About Mindfulness

Mindfulness-- Mindfulness lies at the heart of skilful meditation. Mindfulness is about “being aware, being awake, or being fully consciousness of what’s occurring around you.” But it is more than just that. “ Mindfulness also guides the awareness to specific areas, remembers the instructions and initiates a response.” At each stage of meditation in this course we aim to remember to be aware, to know what to be aware of, and to know when the mind has wandered from the instructions.

Mindfulness in Day To Day Life

There is a general rule: what we do in our meditation practice affects what we do in our day to day life and what we do in our day to day life affects our meditation. If we value and practise mindfulness in our daily life, we will find it easier to practise mindfulness when we meditate. And as our mindfulness strengthens in our meditation practice, mindfulness becomes easier in our daily life. Daily mindfulness and meditation mindfulness reinforce each other. Sustained mindfulness is not that easy though! Mindfulness means remembering to be aware and how often we forget! When we remember again, we need to re-establish our mindfulness with a gentle, kind and non-judgemental persistence. Again remember, careful patience is the fastest way!
http://www.dhammaloka.org.au/articles/i ... brahm.html


Having got that out of the way, let's move on to your rather more technical question. Your question is based on the classical "progress of insight" described in the Visuddhimagga http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... index.html and used by many teachers, but most particularly the Burmese Sayadaws.

I'm not sure that it is particularly useful to worry about where one is in these insights. I would encourage you to work on your practice diligently. If you read the description below you'll see that what is being talked about is not trivial, and will probably take quite a lot of development.

If you do wish to know more details, you can read Mahasi Sayadaw's summary here:
http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Mahasi/Pro ... Analytical
...
Thus, when seeing a visual object with the eye, the meditator knows how to distinguish each single factor involved: "The eye is one; the visual object is another; seeing is another, and knowing it is another." The same manner applies in the case of the other sense functions.
...
When that knowledge has come to maturity, the meditator understands thus: "At the moment of breathing in, there is just the rising movement of the abdomen and the knowing of the movement, but there is no self besides; at the moment of breathing out, there is just the falling movement of the abdomen and the knowing of the movement, but there is no self besides."
...

This stage is about being able to clearly distinguish phenomena into the categories discussed in the suttas such as the aggregates (form, feeling, perception, volitional formations, conciousness)
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
and the sense bases (eye and forms, ear and sound, etc)
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Furthermore, these are seen as as empty of self, as also described in the suttas:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.html

:anjali:
Mike


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