Satipatthana Vipassana Meditation in Daily Life

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.
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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Satipatthana Vipassana Meditation in Daily Life

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sun May 02, 2010 5:42 pm

It is often asked is how to practise insight meditation in daily life — outside of the intensive and very supportive retreat environment. In response to a private message, I will answer the questions here for the benefit of all.

Vipassanā means insight, while Satipaṭṭhāna means to set up and establish mindfulness. Since insight won't arise until one successfully establishes mindfulness and deep concentration, it is more accurate to talk about practising mindfulness meditation (Satipaṭṭhāna) than practising insight meditation (Vipassanā).

The essential feature of insight meditation is that it relies on gaining knowledge of ultimate realities. Much of what we do in daily life relies on skill in handling concepts, not on understanding ultimate realities. There is a conflict of interests — to do a job of work, much of your time will be spent dealing with concepts. Even writing a post on a Dhamma forum is all about dealing with concepts (i.e. words and ideas), not realities. Unless your job of work involves some repetitive practical skill, it may be difficult to practise the kind of mindfulness that can understand and penetrate realities.

Nevertheless, there are many things that we must do every day that do lend themselves to practising mindfulness of the right kind — the bare awareness that can lead to knowledge of phenomena as mental and physical processes. Those daily chores, and commuting to and from work, can often be a good opportunity to cultivate mindfulness of realities.

A lay meditator especially, must learn to make the mind very flexible, very adaptable, and quickly switch attention between handling concepts and knowing realities.

Other meditation techniques, such as the divine abidings, will make social interaction much less abrasive, and keep the mind soft and pliable, yet also tough and resilient. When interacting with other beings, whether humans or animals, bare awareness may not be the appropriate method.
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Re: Satipatthana Vipassana Meditation in Daily Life

Postby bodom » Sun May 02, 2010 6:25 pm

Thank you Bhante.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah

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Re: Satipatthana Vipassana Meditation in Daily Life

Postby Cittasanto » Sun May 02, 2010 10:47 pm

:anjali:

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"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."

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Re: Satipatthana Vipassana Meditation in Daily Life

Postby Virgo » Mon May 03, 2010 2:20 am

Good post Bhante.

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Re: Satipatthana Vipassana Meditation in Daily Life

Postby Stephen K » Mon May 03, 2010 7:19 am

Thank you, Bhante. :anjali:
With metta,
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Re: Satipatthana Vipassana Meditation in Daily Life

Postby Sanghamitta » Fri May 14, 2010 8:28 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:It is often asked is how to practise insight meditation in daily life — outside of the intensive and very supportive retreat environment. In response to a private message, I will answer the questions here for the benefit of all.

Vipassanā means insight, while Satipaṭṭhāna means to set up and establish mindfulness. Since insight won't arise until one successfully establishes mindfulness and deep concentration, it is more accurate to talk about practising mindfulness meditation (Satipaṭṭhāna) than practising insight meditation (Vipassanā).

The essential feature of insight meditation is that it relies on gaining knowledge of ultimate realities. Much of what we do in daily life relies on skill in handling concepts, not on understanding ultimate realities. There is a conflict of interests — to do a job of work, much of your time will be spent dealing with concepts. Even writing a post on a Dhamma forum is all about dealing with concepts (i.e. words and ideas), not realities. Unless your job of work involves some repetitive practical skill, it may be difficult to practise the kind of mindfulness that can understand and penetrate realities.

Nevertheless, there are many things that we must do every day that do lend themselves to practising mindfulness of the right kind — the bare awareness that can lead to knowledge of phenomena as mental and physical processes. Those daily chores, and commuting to and from work, can often be a good opportunity to cultivate mindfulness of realities.

A lay meditator especially, must learn to make the mind very flexible, very adaptable, and quickly switch attention between handling concepts and knowing realities.

Other meditation techniques, such as the divine abidings, will make social interaction much less abrasive, and keep the mind soft and pliable, yet also tough and resilient. When interacting with other beings, whether humans or animals, bare awareness may not be the appropriate method.

Bump.

:anjali:
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

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Re: Satipatthana Vipassana Meditation in Daily Life

Postby PeterB » Mon May 17, 2010 3:26 pm

Bumpity bump.

:thumbsup:

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Re: Satipatthana Vipassana Meditation in Daily Life

Postby samadhi_steve » Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:12 pm

:namaste:
Buddho is something cool and calm. It's the path for giving rise to peace and contentment — the only path that will release us from the suffering and stress in this world.

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Re: Satipatthana Vipassana Meditation in Daily Life

Postby Hoo » Fri Aug 27, 2010 10:34 pm

:smile: Thank you Bhante! Your post is very helpful.

Hoo

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Re: Satipatthana Vipassana Meditation in Daily Life

Postby jcsuperstar » Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:38 am

still liking this :anjali:
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat

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Re: Satipatthana Vipassana Meditation in Daily Life

Postby lonewolf » Mon Nov 03, 2014 5:10 am

Thank you Bhante.

Bumping this, as this is very beneficial.


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