Manasikara in sweeping

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Manasikara in sweeping

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:22 am

Greetings,

May I ask a question to our resident meditators who use "sweeping" in their practice?

When you sweep, do you ever pay attention to the quality of the volitional action of sweeping, or put another way, the deliberate act of changing the focus of attention?

I hope the question was clear, but feel free to ask for clarification if not.

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: Manasikara in sweeping

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:34 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

May I ask a question to our resident meditators who use "sweeping" in their practice?

When you sweep, do you ever pay attention to the quality of the volitional action of sweeping, or put another way, the deliberate act of changing the focus of attention?

I hope the question was clear, but feel free to ask for clarification if not.

Metta,
Retro. :)
I cannot speak for sweeping practice, but noting, as in the Mahasi Sayadaw practice, has a volitional aspect to it which helps keep the awareness directed and increases the concentration, but in time the noting is dropped.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Manasikara in sweeping

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:39 am

Hi Retro,
retrofuturist wrote:When you sweep, do you ever pay attention to the quality of the volitional action of sweeping, or put another way, the deliberate act of changing the focus of attention?

Do you mean paying attention to intention? Seeing the intention to make a certain motion before doing it? That's a standard instruction from Mahasi-style teachers.

Not that I sweep much, but that's what I do when walking... And on retreat what I attempt to do with every intentional action. Not that I succeed in the latter...

Mike

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Re: Manasikara in sweeping

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:46 am

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:Do you mean paying attention to intention?

Yes.

mikenz66 wrote:Seeing the intention to make a certain motion before doing it?

I was specifically thinking "during" rather than before.

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: Manasikara in sweeping

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:57 am

retrofuturist wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Seeing the intention to make a certain motion before doing it?

I was specifically thinking "during" rather than before.

In my experience it's much easier to see the intention before the action starts. The "during" part tends to happen fairly automatically and it's not so easy to perceive the intention once the action is happening, until there is an intention to change direction. However, when enough concentration is built up it is possible to perceive all kinds of stuff going on.

Mike

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Re: Manasikara in sweeping

Postby Ben » Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:06 am

Hi Retro,

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

May I ask a question to our resident meditators who use "sweeping" in their practice?

When you sweep, do you ever pay attention to the quality of the volitional action of sweeping, or put another way, the deliberate act of changing the focus of attention?


Vedana is my primary focus and during some sessions and frequently during retreats other phenomenology comes into focus. It sounds simple but its difficult to articulate the actual experience. And Mike's point is good. Intention is easier to pick up when there is a change in direction of one's attention.
kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: Manasikara in sweeping

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:24 am

Greetings everyone,

Thanks for sharing your experiences... should you ever attempt to observe the volition that operates concurrently with the sweeping, I'd be interested to hear those experiences too.

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: Manasikara in sweeping

Postby Ben » Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:27 am

retrofuturist wrote:Thanks for sharing your experiences... should you ever attempt to observe the volition that operates concurrently with the sweeping, I'd be interested to hear those experiences too.

It was actually what I was referring to.
kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
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Re: Manasikara in sweeping

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:29 am

Greetings Ben,

OK, cool... sorry, I thought you meant it in a pre-emptive "intention to move this way" like what Mike was describing.

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: Manasikara in sweeping

Postby Sanghamitta » Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:41 am

I think to some extent its self reinforcing..in my experience. By which i dont mean that it is automatic. Rather that it provides its own momentum.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

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Re: Manasikara in sweeping

Postby Ben » Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:44 am

retrofuturist wrote:OK, cool... sorry, I thought you meant it in a pre-emptive "intention to move this way" like what Mike was describing.

No problem Retro. Its definitely easier to see intention when one intends to change direction or move somewhere else but it can be seen at other times as well. It happens when there is a 'depth' of mental stillness and an absence of papanca and self-identification with anything. I apologise if I'm being cryptic.
kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia
e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com

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Re: Manasikara in sweeping

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Oct 15, 2010 10:54 am

No dramas Ben... it's hard to use worldly parlance for things which aren't so worldly.

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: Manasikara in sweeping

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 7:19 pm

Ben wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:OK, cool... sorry, I thought you meant it in a pre-emptive "intention to move this way" like what Mike was describing.

No problem Retro. Its definitely easier to see intention when one intends to change direction or move somewhere else but it can be seen at other times as well. It happens when there is a 'depth' of mental stillness and an absence of papanca and self-identification with anything. I apologise if I'm being cryptic.

Yes, that's exactly what I meant. There is some very subtle stuff there that for a dullard like me takes years of practise to see with any clarity.

Mike

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Re: Manasikara in sweeping

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Oct 15, 2010 7:38 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings everyone,

Thanks for sharing your experiences... should you ever attempt to observe the volition that operates concurrently with the sweeping, I'd be interested to hear those experiences too.

Metta,
Retro. :)
Out of curiosity, why are you asking this?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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Re: Manasikara in sweeping

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Oct 15, 2010 8:23 pm

Greetings Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:Out of curiosity, why are you asking this?

Specific to the question.... avoiding self perception of a "sweeper" through seeing the characteristics of it.

More generally... seeing the volitional nature of manasikara, and again, its characteristics.

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: Manasikara in sweeping

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:04 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:Out of curiosity, why are you asking this?

Specific to the question.... avoiding self perception of a "sweeper" through seeing the characteristics of it.

More generally... seeing the volitional nature of manasikara, and again, its characteristics.

Metta,
Retro. :)

Fair enough. That's a standard approach, though I'd be cautious of "trying" too hard to "avoid self perception". My impression is that such insight arises from careful attention to the mental and physical phenomena.

Chanmyay Sayadaw
http://buddhanet.net/vmed_4.htm
Yesterday, I explained to you how a meditator can observe twelve parts of a step, including intention before every action as mentioned in the Commentary to the Pali text. But it depends on you how many of the actions you should note. You should watch some objects as comfortably as you feel. If you have to exert or endeavour your utmost to be aware of any number of objects uncomfortably, you should not do that. If you do that you feel tense on your neck or your back, and sometimes you feel a headache. Sometimes you feel dizzy because you have to strain too much to be aware of each part of the step. So it depends on you; you yourself know. Normally for a meditator it should be adequate to note four or five objects of a step comfortably without strains with your relaxation: intending, lifting, moving, dropping, or touching. If you are able to observe these four or five objects precisely and very attentively then you can attain a deep concentration on the movement of the foot.

To be aware of these four or five objects very precisely and attentively you have to slow down your stepping. Unless your step is slow you cannot catch each individual part of the step very well. It's indispensable for you to slow down your step so that you can note all these four or five objects very precisely and attentively. Now when you are able to note all these four objects very well, your concentration gradually becomes better and better. You can note intention very concentratedly. Then the lifting movement you can note with diligent mindfulness. Then the pushing movement and putting movement and touching sensation you can know very well without looking here and there. In this way when you practice walking meditation for about three or four days you can attain a deep concentration.

When I conducted a meditation retreat in England at the Manjusri Tibetan Monastery, the Manjusri Institute in northern England near the border of Scotland, one of the meditators had put much effort into his practise both sitting as well as walking, and awareness of the activities too. So after about four days meditation he came to me and asked a question. ''Venerable Sir, my meditation is getting worse and worse,' he said. 'Now what happen to your meditation?' I asked him. Then he said, 'When I am walking one day, Venerable Sir, then gradually I am not aware of myself. The foot itself had lifted, and it itself pushed forward, and then dropped down by itself. There's no I or no me, no self, no myself. Sometimes though I control my foot, the foot doesn't stay with the ground. It lifted by itself. Sometimes it pushed forward very long. I couldn't control it. Then sometimes it's getting down by itself. So my meditation is getting worse and worse. What should I do?' Then eventually he said, 'I think I have gone mad.' Such an experience was very amazing.

This is a benefit of walking meditation. First of all he said, 'I don't know myself. I'm not aware of myself. I don't know my body, my leg.' That means the realisation of the movement of the foot. The movement of the foot has destroyed the idea of an 'I' or a 'you', a 'self' or a 'soul', a 'person' or 'being'. Here what he was realising was the impersonal nature of our bodily process called Anatta. No soul, non-ego, non-self nature of our bodily phenomena.

When he said, 'The foot is automatically lifted up by itself. It's automatically pushed forward by itself', that means there's no person or no being, no self who lifted the foot, who pushed it forward, who dropped it down. It's the realisation of the impermanent nature of physical processes or physical phenomena: Anatta. Before he didn't realise the physical process of the rising-falling movement and the other parts of the body in sitting, he realised the processes of rising, lifting movement, pushing movement, the falling movement of the phenomena as it really is. So he has destroyed the false idea of an I or a you, a person or a being, a self or a soul - Anatta.

It was very interesting. Not only this yogi but also many yogis in Burma experienced it in this way. And sometimes before you experience this stage of insight knowledge you feel you are walking on waves of the sea. Or you are standing on a boat which was floating on the waves of the sea. Sometimes you may feel you are walking on a heap of cotton. Sometimes you feel you are walking in the air. That is also one of the insight knowledge which penetrates into the true nature of material process, material phenomena.

Mike

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Re: Manasikara in sweeping

Postby Viscid » Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:14 pm

Do Mahasi method meditators ever note that they're noting?
"What holds attention determines action." - William James

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Re: Manasikara in sweeping

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:21 pm

Viscid wrote:Do Mahasi method meditators ever note that they're noting?

Noting is just a way of putting attention on phenomena. It's not an end in itself, and gets dropped when the phenomena come too rapidly. If you got lost in conceptualizing that noting (which is quite the opposite of what is intended) then that would be thinking. Which you could note as "thinking"... :tongue:

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Re: Manasikara in sweeping

Postby Viscid » Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:25 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Viscid wrote:Do Mahasi method meditators ever note that they're noting?

Noting is just a way of putting attention on phenomena. It's not an end in itself, and gets dropped when the phenomena come too rapidly. If you got lost in conceptualizing that noting (which is quite the opposite of what is intended) then that would be thinking. Which you could note as "thinking"... :tongue:

Mike


Was just being intentionally obtuse, but your response was excellent and useful. Thanks!
"What holds attention determines action." - William James

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Re: Manasikara in sweeping

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:07 am

Greetings Mike,

Thanks for sharing the above quotes.

Further to the explanation above about why this interests me, I think it's because when I falsely identify "myself", I associate it in terms of volition or will... and manisikara is a subtle aspect of will or volition.

Therefore, for me at least, the ti-lakkhana aspects of volition are arguably more worth penetrating than the ti-lakkhana aspects of the feeling or body aggregates.

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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