Mettajhana wrote: Ben wrote:
U Ba Khin has some excellent advice in his talk: The Essentials of Buddha Dhamma in Meditative Practice
Concentrate on your daily sittings and you will find that mindfulness during mundane activities will occur naturally. Don't try and force it - just let it happen naturally.
Thanks Ben. I have heard that talk a few times now. They play a recording of U Ba Khin giving it on the last day at my centre. Is it this paragraph you are referring to specifically?
For progress in Vipassana Meditation, a student must keep knowing Anicca as continuously as possible. The Buddha's advice to monks is that they should try to maintain the awareness of Anicca, Dukkha or Anatta in all postures, whether sitting, standing, walking or lying down. Continuous awareness of Anicca and so of Dukkha and Anatta, is the secret of success. The last words of the Buddha just before He breathed His last and passed away into Maha-parinibbana were: "Decay (or Anicca) is inherent in all component things. Work out your own salvation with diligence." This is in fact the essence of all His teachings during the forty-five years of His ministry. If you will keep up the awareness of the Anicca that is inherent in all component things, you are sure to reach the goal in the course of time.
That advice is excellent for when one is on retreat/course.
What I was referring to is here:
The experience of Anicca, when properly developed, strikes at the root of ones physical and mental ills and removes gradually whatever is bad in him, i.e., the causes of such physical and mental ills. This experience is not reserved for men who have renounced the world for the homeless life. It is for the householder as well. In spite of drawbacks which make a householder restless in these days, a competent teacher or guide can help a student to get the experience of Anicca activated in a comparatively short time. Once he has got it activated, all that is necessary is for him to try and preserve it; but he must make it a point, as soon as time or opportunity presents itself for further progress, to work for the stage of Bhangañana — the third level of knowledge in Vipassana. If he reaches this level, there will be little or no problem because he should then be able to experience Anicca without much ado and almost automatically. In this case Anicca will become his base, to which all his physical and mental activities return as soon as the domestic needs of daily life for such activities are over. However, there is likely to be some difficulty for one who has not reached the stage of Bhanga. It will be just like a tug-of-war for him between Anicca within, and physical and mental activities outside. So it would be wise for him to follow the motto of work while you work, play while you play. There is no need for him to be activating the experience of Anicca all the time. It should suffice if this could be confined to a regular period, or periods, set apart in the day or night for the purpose. During this time, at least, an attempt must be made to keep the attention focused inside the body, with awareness devoted exclusively to Anicca; that is to say, his awareness of Anicca should go on from moment to moment so continuously as not to allow for the interpolation of any discursive or distracting thoughts which are definitely detrimental to progress.
“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 3.725Compassionate Hands Foundation
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