being aware, of being aware!

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
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ganegaar
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being aware, of being aware!

Postby ganegaar » Mon Dec 26, 2016 1:05 am

I am trying to practice "Sati-sampajanno" in my daily life, as described in Satipattana sutta.
Now, when am I in the right level of awareness: Is it correct to say, I am in the right level of awareness, when ever I am aware of the fact that I am aware?
If I loose this subtle quality of being aware of being aware, I suppose I am no longer aware, am I right ( as long as meditation practice is concerned i mean) ?
Sīlepatiṭṭhāya naro sapañño, cittaṃ paññañca bhāvayaṃ;
Ātāpī nipako bhikkhu, so imaṃ vijaṭaye jaṭanti.

paul
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Re: being aware, of being aware!

Postby paul » Mon Dec 26, 2016 9:58 am

There are two words there, sati and sampajanna and sati is defined as:

“And what is the faculty of sati? There is the case where a disciple of the noble ones has sati, is endowed with excellent proficiency in sati, remembering and recollecting what was done and said a long time ago. He remains focussed on the body in and of itself- ardent, alert and having sati...” —SN 48:10

Sati is one of three mental factors that should accompany the activity of remaining focussed in this way. The other two are alertness and ardency.
The Canon defines alertness (sampajanna) as knowing both events in the mind and activities of the body as they are happening. —SN 47:35

This means that for sati to be properly established, it must not only remember far into the past, but also be coupled with a clear awareness of what’s going on in the present.

Ardency (atappa) is closely connected with Right Effort.
“Right Mindfulness”, Thanissaro Bikkhu.

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ganegaar
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Re: being aware, of being aware!

Postby ganegaar » Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:56 am

There are two words there, sati and sampajanna and sati


Thank you for the kind comments, I looked the words up in sutta's and how its described by many meditation masters, but still I feel I have something missing, something i really do not get :(

Lets take another example,
say I am working out a mathematical problem, my mind has to be concentrated on it to solve it. And, this task of solving, can I do while at the same time watching my mind? I have not tried it, but i think it would be difficult for me to solve the problem that way!.
Say I am playing a game of chess, now at the start, I can watch my mind thinking, but after few moves I will be totally lost in the game. At this point, I know (by inference) that my mind is concentrated on the game and calculating and evaluating chess to win, though i am not aware of it!.

So, if we take being mindful (as instructed by Buddha), and applying the mind in a task as in above examples, the key difference is, "I need to be aware, that I am being aware", is it not?
Sīlepatiṭṭhāya naro sapañño, cittaṃ paññañca bhāvayaṃ;
Ātāpī nipako bhikkhu, so imaṃ vijaṭaye jaṭanti.

SarathW
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Re: being aware, of being aware!

Postby SarathW » Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:33 am

HI G
It appears you mis-understood what Sati means.
Generally Sati means Samma Sati taught in Satipatthana.
That is being mindful of four frame of reference.
Please listen to the following Satipatthana series by Joseph Goldsteine.

http://dharmaseed.org/teacher/96/talk/6162/
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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ganegaar
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Re: being aware, of being aware!

Postby ganegaar » Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:08 am

It appears you mis-understood what Sati means

Thank you for your kind comments and pointing to resources.
I did listen to the satipattana talks from JG sometime back, but definitely should listen again.

I believe, the contentious issue i am facing is, not in "sati", but in "sampajanno". What is "sampajanno" after all? Is it merely an act of knowing that i am in the "knowing"? Rather than the words meaning, I am after its applied use - in being mindful in day to day tasks.
Sīlepatiṭṭhāya naro sapañño, cittaṃ paññañca bhāvayaṃ;
Ātāpī nipako bhikkhu, so imaṃ vijaṭaye jaṭanti.

ToVincent
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Re: being aware, of being aware!

Postby ToVincent » Tue Dec 27, 2016 2:52 pm

ganegaar wrote:What is "sampajanno" after all? Is it merely an act of knowing that i am in the "knowing"? Rather than the words meaning, I am after its applied use - in being mindful in day to day tasks.

When you are contemplating (ānupassī), you must be ātāpī sampajāno satimā (ardent, discerning, and mindful).

Here are some suttas' extracts from the Saṃyutta:

SAMPAJĀNO
------------
Sampajāno - pajānāti - paññā ; my take is that all these have to do with "discernment".
Like in "I discern an in breath" (body/kāya), "I discern a pleasant feeling" (vedanā), "I discern a non-greedy mind" (citta), I discern sensual interest in me" (dhamma-phenomena-hindrance), "I discern 'mindfulness is present'" (dhamma-phenomena-enlightenment factor), etc.
Dwelling thus mindfully, he discriminates that Dhamma with discernment.
Yasmiṃ samaye ānanda, bhikkhu tathā sato viharanto taṃ dhammaṃ paññāya pavicināti.
SN 54.13

I say, Ananda that there is no development of concentration by mindfulness of breathing for one who is muddled and who lacks discernment.
nāhaṃ, ānanda, muṭṭhassatissa asampajānassa ānāpānassatisamādhibhāvanṃ vadāmi.
SN 54.13


Sn 12.84 states that you should practice mindfulness AND discernment.

SATI
-----
Suppose, bhikkhu, a king had a frontier city with strong ramparts, walls, and arches, and with six gates. The gatekeeper posted there would be wise, competent, and intelligent; one who keeps out strangers* and admits acquaintances.
*For those who still think that we should let everything in.
---
The gatekeeper’: this is a designation for mindfulness.
SN 35.245


“Having seen a form with mindfulness muddled" (idem w/ the six senses).
SN 35.95

And what, bhikkhus is right mindfulness?
Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu dwells contemplating the body in the body (feeling in feeling, mind in mind, phenomena in phenomena), ardent, discerning, mindful, having removed covetousness and displeasure in regard to the world. This is called right mindfulness.
SN 45.8 (partial parallel in SA 784)
Right mindfulness: ''being mindful, following mindfulness, neither unaware nor vain."
SA 784

Mindfulness muddled, unalert, unconcentrated, his mind distracted, loose in his sense faculties
SN 22.80

For one of right effort, right mindfulness springs up. For one of right mindfulness, right concentration springs up.
SN 45.1

“I have gone forth out of faith
From the home to the homeless life.
My mindfulness and discernment are mature,
Sati paññā ca me buddhā,
And my mind well concentrated.
cittañca susamāhitaṃ;
Conjure up whatever forms you wish,
Kāmaṃ karassu rūpāni,
But you will never make me tremble.”
neva maṃ byādhayissasī”ti.
Then Mara the Evil One, realizing, “The bhikkhu Samiddhi knows me,” sad and disappointed, disappeared right there.
SN 4.2

“Its qualities of faith and discernment
Are always yoked evenly together.
Shame is its pole, mind (mano) its yoke-tie,
Mindfulness the watchful charioteer.
SN 45.4

“Well then, Bahiya, purify the very starting point of wholesome states. And what is the starting point of wholesome states? Virtue that is well purified and view that is straight. Then, Bahiya, when your virtue is well purified and your view is straight, based upon virtue, established upon virtue, you should develop the four establishments of mindfulness.
SN 47.15

“‘I will protect myself,’ bhikkhus: thus should the establishments of mindfulness be practised. ‘I will protect others,’ bhikkhus: thus should the establishments of mindfulness be practised. Protecting oneself, bhikkhus, one protects others; protecting others, one protects oneself.”
SN 47.19

“That foolish, incompetent, unskilful bhikkhu does not gain pleasant dwellings in this very life, nor does he gain mindfulness and discernment. For what reason? Because, bhikkhus, that foolish, incompetent, unskilful bhikkhu does not pick up the sign of his own mind (citta).
SN 47.8

SN 47.42 & SN 22.82 are also food for thoughts.

Mudita
We are all possessed - more or less.

ToVincent
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Re: being aware, of being aware!

Postby ToVincent » Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:44 pm

Continued from the above:

My take from the above suttas, is that mindfulness/sati is the gate keeper in SN 35.245 ( https://suttacentral.net/en/sn35.245/15 ).
That the gates are the internal spheres of senses (ajjhatikani āyatanāni), as in SN 35.245 - and that what reinforce the gates (and the gate keepers), are the right efforts (my take)- SN 45.8 ( https://suttacentral.net/en/sn45.8/9 ).

Note on "right effort":
1. The partial parallel of SN 45.8 (viz. SA 784,) has the following definition:
Right effort: "arousing will and making effort, applying effort to keep aloof, being energetically capable, constantly cultivating and not backsliding. "

2. MN 117 (parallel = MA 189) have the following definition:
One makes an effort to "abandon wrong view" and to enter upon right view: this is one’s right effort. (idem for "abandon wrong intention", "abandon wrong speech", "abandon wrong action", "abandon wrong livelihood".
MN 117
"What is right effort? A monk cultivates desire for the abandoning of already arisen unwholesome states, he seeks means, is energetic and diligent in arousing the mind towards cessation. He cultivates desire for the non-arising of not yet arisen unwholesome states, he seeks means, is energetic and diligent in arousing the mind towards cessation. He cultivates desire for the arising of not yet arisen wholesome states, he seeks means, is energetic and diligent in arousing the mind towards cessation. He cultivates desire for the stabilizing of already arisen wholesome states without loss or regress, for their increase and expansion, for their development and full implementation, he seeks means, is energetic and diligent in arousing the mind towards cessation. This is reckoned right effort.
MA 189

So strangely enough, "right effort" as stated in SN 45.8, has its perfect counterpart parallel in MA 189 and not in SA 784. And despite the fact that the Akanuma considers MA 189 as a perfect parallel of MN 117.

Mudita
We are all possessed - more or less.

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mikenz66
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Re: being aware, of being aware!

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:08 pm

HI ganegaar,

Are you starting from the instructions of a teacher, or trying to do this simply from the sutta? There is so much in that sutta that can be interpreted in so many different ways, as you'll see from discussions here. My advice would be to listen or read something from someone experienced at teaching. Personally, I follow the Mahasi approach, but there are plenty of alternatives out there.
I compiled a list of resource here a while ago: viewtopic.php?f=41&t=341#p6695
I quite like Patrick Kearney's retreat talks, linked there, which give examples (and audience discussion) of how to approach various contemplations.

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: being aware, of being aware!

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Dec 27, 2016 9:52 pm

Hi again ganegaar,
ganegaar wrote:I am trying to practice "Sati-sampajanno" in my daily life, as described in Satipattana sutta.
Now, when am I in the right level of awareness: Is it correct to say, I am in the right level of awareness, when ever I am aware of the fact that I am aware?
If I loose this subtle quality of being aware of being aware, I suppose I am no longer aware, am I right ( as long as meditation pr actice is concerned i mean) ?

Since my last post, I see that you mention having done a Goenka retreat in another post, so you're certainly not a novice.

Awareness in daily life is a tricky thing. On a retreat you can be very measured and detailed about your awareness. In daily life you can't function efficiently being aware of every movement, for example, so it has to pull back to a more general level. I think "being aware of being aware", i.e. not "lost in what you are doing" is a reasonable way of putting it.

:anjali:
Mike

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ganegaar
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Re: being aware, of being aware!

Postby ganegaar » Wed Dec 28, 2016 9:58 am

Thank you all for your comments and resources. It is a wonderful community at Dhamma Wheel here.

so you're certainly not a novice

Yes, I am not a novice, but I am not that advanced either.., I should say, I do try to walk the path, and probably at the very begining, but yet I am happy to have started!.

i.e. not "lost in what you are doing" is a reasonable way of putting it.

Great, so I know that I did not imagine it up. All others who commented here also have not said anything contrary to this as well.

so in summary, "I watch the watcher" or "Observe the observer"!, but from all the resources in sutta's and comments here, its not a mere "Passive" activity as well, since it also involves keeping out bad stuff and allowing only good stuff !.

But it is also not a deep deep analysis as well, since there is also in satipattana sutta, the following upper limit:
‘atthi kāyo’8 ti vā panassa sati paccupaṭṭhitā hoti. Yāvadeva ñāṇamattāya paṭissatimattāya

I would prefer to apply above (in practice) as maintaining the mindfulness/awareness, up to the extent neccessary for the continuation of mindfulness and the knowledge.
Not very sure what was meant "ñāṇamattāya" in exact terms, but yet it is not a hindrance to practice as at now for me.
Sīlepatiṭṭhāya naro sapañño, cittaṃ paññañca bhāvayaṃ;
Ātāpī nipako bhikkhu, so imaṃ vijaṭaye jaṭanti.

R1111
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Re: being aware, of being aware!

Postby R1111 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 4:25 am

you can note knowing, probably arises with thinking about and judging ur ability to be mindful. mindfulness itself is not dependant on that "subtle quality" i think.
How to Enlightenment, Vipassana Method based on The Four Foundations of Mindfulness as taught by Venerable Mahasi Saydaw (Burmese):
http://www.sirimangalo.org/text/how-to-meditate/
Dhamma videos categorized by topic, Ven. Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu following Ven. Pra Brahmamangala Vi ( Vi for Vipassana) Ajahn Tong's(Thai) Lineage.
http://video.sirimangalo.org/

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ganegaar
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Re: being aware, of being aware!

Postby ganegaar » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:04 am

you can note knowing, probably arises with thinking about and judging ur ability to be mindful


What I felt was, as soon as I try to "think" or "label" or do anything of judginf "knowing", i am no longer in present moment, but just "thinking" of the moment that i was just being aware of, which will cause the current moment to missout!.
Sīlepatiṭṭhāya naro sapañño, cittaṃ paññañca bhāvayaṃ;
Ātāpī nipako bhikkhu, so imaṃ vijaṭaye jaṭanti.

R1111
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Re: being aware, of being aware!

Postby R1111 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:13 pm

I think there is a lesson here that many people learn, you cant hold on to reality, its always changing before u catch it. Reality is fleeting you will never be able to hold on to any of it while u study it. So its a totally normal observation imo. Afaik there is personality type described as one who sees reality cease before he can grasp it, one of the Nyanas.

I also think that trying to be in present moment doesnt really describe the practise comperhensively, its not a very good simplification even, mostly because its technically impossible. There are maybe billions of moments every second, somehow trying to be in one of them is kind of non sense.
How to Enlightenment, Vipassana Method based on The Four Foundations of Mindfulness as taught by Venerable Mahasi Saydaw (Burmese):
http://www.sirimangalo.org/text/how-to-meditate/
Dhamma videos categorized by topic, Ven. Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu following Ven. Pra Brahmamangala Vi ( Vi for Vipassana) Ajahn Tong's(Thai) Lineage.
http://video.sirimangalo.org/


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