Mindfulness

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
DCM
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Mindfulness

Post by DCM » Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:51 pm

Ven. Nyanamoli says that we should be mindful of the general situation, ie posture. I am mindful of my posture, and then the particulars within the general situation crop up, and they pull my mind away. It seems almost impossible to pay attention to particulars (ie, my job is technical and I always ‘forget’ about my posture when giving attention to detail in my job), whilst being mindful of say, posture.

By practising does it get to a point where less effort is needed to be mindful of the posture while still doing particular activities as mindfulness gets stronger?

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aflatun
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Re: Mindfulness

Post by aflatun » Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:48 pm

DCM wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:51 pm
Ven. Nyanamoli says that we should be mindful of the general situation, ie posture. I am mindful of my posture, and then the particulars within the general situation crop up, and they pull my mind away. It seems almost impossible to pay attention to particulars (ie, my job is technical and I always ‘forget’ about my posture when giving attention to detail in my job), whilst being mindful of say, posture.

By practising does it get to a point where less effort is needed to be mindful of the posture while still doing particular activities as mindfulness gets stronger?
Yes with time it starts to require less effort, less and less, to the point where you might catch yourself wondering if you're doing anything at all :). In my opinion what he is advocating is a very relaxed approach, and its important to keep that in mind. We're not trying to pounce after things, catch them the moment they arise, catch them the moment they cease, retain awareness of particular tactile phenomena, etc. And if you notice in his talks and writings he will emphasize slightly different aspects of the approach which center around a few common things:

1) Experience as a whole: 99% of your attention can be on your technical task (in his philosophical language this will amount to foreground/particular), but keep 1% on the background/peripheral (in your example it would be the seated body). Don't worry if you lose a tactile sense of your position, that doesn't necessarily mean you've lost your mindfulness IMO. Just know that whatever you're doing body is just there in such and such position.

2) Self: You keep an eye on "I am doing X", or "while seated I am doing X". The sense of self lurks is the background/peripheral of whatever we are attending to, and it is this that most importantly must be noticed. While it is inevitable at first, you do not have to go looking for it, as it is already there, no matter how subtle or vague it is. He compares this to watching something out of the corner of your eye in at least one of his talks. You want to keep a soft, gentle and peripheral focus on this as you go about your day. If you try to whip around and look at it directly, you won't see it, because its always in the background of whatever you're engaged with. But no matter how vague or peripheral this is, what you're striving to understand is that this too appears, it is phenomenologically on the same ground as anything else that appears, and as such cannot be some kind of ground or that because of which there is appearance:
Venerable N. Ñāṇamoli wrote:What he has to see is that this notion of 'Self', despite its independent character, also appears. No matter how elusive or ambiguous it might be—it has to be seen as such: as an elusive thing. Only after this is it is possible for a puthujjana to see that the order of things imposed by the presence of an assumed ‘extra-temporal’ phenomena in his experience is the wrong order. Based on things' appearance, and based on the sense of the experience as a whole, there is no justifiable reason for him to assume any primacy of the sense of unchangeability any longer. There is 'the sense of unchangeability' and that too appears. Thus, the unchanging '(sense of) being' was, in a wholly gratuitous manner, given priority over the appearance of things by being assumed as something which does not appear.The reason for this was simply because this notion of priority was never noticed.
Appearance and Existence

3) Dependency/determination. In one of his talks, perhaps sensing some confusion from the student, he recommends an approach that amounts to putting an image of the body, subject to destruction, in your mind and just leaving it there as you go about your tasks. The point is learning to see the dependence of anything you could possibly experience, no matter how grand, or vast, no matter how painful, no matter how far it goes...on that six sense base body, subject to destruction.
Venerable Ariyavaṃsa wrote:Rather than focusing on the situation of breathing in or sitting down or eating food, he finds that he can attend to an even more general situation. The situation that he finds himself in—whether he breathes this way or that, whether he is sitting, standing or walking, whether he is sweeping leaves or chopping firewood—is that “There is body”. Any perception of body, any feeling that arises dependent upon body, anything he does with or because of that body—all of that can only be there because body is already given. All that can be said is “There is body”, for to say anything more than this would be to say too much. It is there, already given, having arisen of its own accord. And since it has arisen all on its own, so too it must pass away all on its own, at any moment. Therefore, body is aniccā. The noble disciple recognises that any other phenomenon simultaneously present within this situation of “There is body” is bound up with it, fully dependent upon it, and cannot possibly remain standing without it. Since the situation-as-a-whole is discerned as impermanent, so too anything more particular that is found within it—whether past, future or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near—must also be impermanent.
setting up mindfulness

One last bit of advice: If this starts to get to heady or confusing, I recommend keeping Ven. Nanavira's words in mind:
Ven. Nanavira wrote:And how does one practise this awareness for the purpose of release? It is really very simple. Since (as I have said) all action is conscious, we do not have to undertake any elaborate investigation (such as asking other people) to find out what it is that we are doing so that we can become aware of it. All that is necessary is a slight change of attitude, a slight effort of attention. Instead of being fully absorbed by, or identified with, our action, we must continue, without ceasing to act, to observe ourselves in action. This is done quite simply by asking ourselves the question 'What am I doing?' It will be found that, since the action was always conscious anyway, we already, in a certain sense, know the answer without having to think about it; and simply by asking ourselves the question we become aware of the answer, i.e. of what we are doing. Thus, if I now ask myself 'What am I doing?' I can immediately answer that I am 'writing to Mr. Dias', that I am 'sitting in my bed', that I am 'scratching my leg', that I am 'wondering whether I shall have a motion', that I am 'living in Bundala', and so on almost endlessly.

If I wish to practise awareness I must go on asking myself this question and answering it, until such time as I find that I am automatically (or habitually) answering the question without having to ask it. When this happens, the practice of awareness is being successful, and it only remains to develop this state and not to fall away from it through neglect. (Similar considerations will of course apply to awareness of feelings, perceptions, and thoughts—see passage (b). Here I have to ask myself 'What am I feeling, or perceiving, or thinking?', and the answer, once again, will immediately present itself.)
emphasis added

[L. 2 | 2] 27 March 1962

Hopefully that helps, sorry if its unclear, kind of written in a rush in the context of sleep deprivation :toilet:
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

binocular
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Re: Mindfulness

Post by binocular » Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:06 pm

DCM wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:51 pm
By practising does it get to a point where less effort is needed to be mindful of the posture while still doing particular activities as mindfulness gets stronger?
For starters, you could also make a point of observing your posture while doing more physical things, such as when cleaning the house, ironing clothes, washing the dishes, driving, brushing your teeth.

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Dhammarakkhito
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Re: Mindfulness

Post by Dhammarakkhito » Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:33 pm

"And further, O bhikkhus, when he is going, a bhikkhu understands: 'I am going'; when he is standing, he understands: 'I am standing'; when he is sitting, he understands: 'I am sitting'; when he is lying down, he understands: 'I am lying down'; or just as his body is disposed so he understands it.

"Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body internally, or he lives contemplating the body in the body externally, or he lives contemplating the body in the body internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination-things in the body, or he lives contemplating dissolution-things in the body, or he lives contemplating origination-and-dissolution-things, in the body. Or indeed his mindfulness is established with the thought: 'The body exists,' to the extent necessary just for knowledge and remembrance, and he lives independent and clings to naught in the world." Thus, also, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating the body in the body."

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .soma.html
"Just as the ocean has a single taste — that of salt — in the same way, this Dhamma-Vinaya has a single taste: that of release."
— Ud 5.5

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bodom
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Re: Mindfulness

Post by bodom » Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:38 pm

Keep this short, very important sutta, in mind:
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was living among the Sumbhas. Now there is a Sumbhan town named Sedaka. There the Blessed One addressed the monks, "Monks!"

"Yes, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said, "Suppose, monks, that a large crowd of people comes thronging together, saying, 'The beauty queen! The beauty queen!' And suppose that the beauty queen is highly accomplished at singing & dancing, so that an even greater crowd comes thronging, saying, 'The beauty queen is singing! The beauty queen is dancing!' Then a man comes along, desiring life & shrinking from death, desiring pleasure & abhorring pain. They say to him, 'Now look here, mister. You must take this bowl filled to the brim with oil and carry it on your head in between the great crowd & the beauty queen. A man with a raised sword will follow right behind you, and wherever you spill even a drop of oil, right there will he cut off your head.' Now what do you think, monks: Will that man, not paying attention to the bowl of oil, let himself get distracted outside?"

"No, lord."

"I have given you this parable to convey a meaning. The meaning is this: The bowl filled to the brim with oil stands for mindfulness immersed in the body. Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will develop mindfulness immersed in the body. We will pursue it, hand it the reins and take it as a basis, give it a grounding, steady it, consolidate it, and undertake it well.' That is how you should train yourselves."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ati/tip ... .than.html

:namaste:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

DCM
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Re: Mindfulness

Post by DCM » Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:35 am

binocular wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:06 pm
DCM wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:51 pm
By practising does it get to a point where less effort is needed to be mindful of the posture while still doing particular activities as mindfulness gets stronger?
For starters, you could also make a point of observing your posture while doing more physical things, such as when cleaning the house, ironing clothes, washing the dishes, driving, brushing your teeth.
Hi Binocular, yes I can do this, but it’s too hard at the moment to do it whilst paying particular attention to very technical aspects of my job, i was just wondering if or when this would become more achievable, perhaps after long practise as Aflatun has said.

DCM
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Re: Mindfulness

Post by DCM » Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:38 am

bodom wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:38 pm
Keep this short, very important sutta, in mind:
I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was living among the Sumbhas. Now there is a Sumbhan town named Sedaka. There the Blessed One addressed the monks, "Monks!"

"Yes, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said, "Suppose, monks, that a large crowd of people comes thronging together, saying, 'The beauty queen! The beauty queen!' And suppose that the beauty queen is highly accomplished at singing & dancing, so that an even greater crowd comes thronging, saying, 'The beauty queen is singing! The beauty queen is dancing!' Then a man comes along, desiring life & shrinking from death, desiring pleasure & abhorring pain. They say to him, 'Now look here, mister. You must take this bowl filled to the brim with oil and carry it on your head in between the great crowd & the beauty queen. A man with a raised sword will follow right behind you, and wherever you spill even a drop of oil, right there will he cut off your head.' Now what do you think, monks: Will that man, not paying attention to the bowl of oil, let himself get distracted outside?"

"No, lord."

"I have given you this parable to convey a meaning. The meaning is this: The bowl filled to the brim with oil stands for mindfulness immersed in the body. Thus you should train yourselves: 'We will develop mindfulness immersed in the body. We will pursue it, hand it the reins and take it as a basis, give it a grounding, steady it, consolidate it, and undertake it well.' That is how you should train yourselves."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ati/tip ... .than.html

:namaste:
Hi Bodom, I am familiar with this Sutta and it is a great simile, but I’m afraid I would be decapitated by now! I would be mindful carrying the oil walking I think, but not doing my job as of yet.

DCM
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Re: Mindfulness

Post by DCM » Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:39 am

Dhammarakkhito wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 10:33 pm
"And further, O bhikkhus, when he is going, a bhikkhu understands: 'I am going'; when he is standing, he understands: 'I am standing'; when he is sitting, he understands: 'I am sitting'; when he is lying down, he understands: 'I am lying down'; or just as his body is disposed so he understands it.

"Thus he lives contemplating the body in the body internally, or he lives contemplating the body in the body externally, or he lives contemplating the body in the body internally and externally. He lives contemplating origination-things in the body, or he lives contemplating dissolution-things in the body, or he lives contemplating origination-and-dissolution-things, in the body. Or indeed his mindfulness is established with the thought: 'The body exists,' to the extent necessary just for knowledge and remembrance, and he lives independent and clings to naught in the world." Thus, also, O bhikkhus, a bhikkhu lives contemplating the body in the body."

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .soma.html
I do try and be mindful in these situations and will just build up until it can spill over into more attentive activities, thanks.

DCM
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Re: Mindfulness

Post by DCM » Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:59 am

aflatun wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:48 pm
DCM wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:51 pm
Ven. Nyanamoli says that we should be mindful of the general situation, ie posture. I am mindful of my posture, and then the particulars within the general situation crop up, and they pull my mind away. It seems almost impossible to pay attention to particulars (ie, my job is technical and I always ‘forget’ about my posture when giving attention to detail in my job), whilst being mindful of say, posture.

By practising does it get to a point where less effort is needed to be mindful of the posture while still doing particular activities as mindfulness gets stronger?
Yes with time it starts to require less effort, less and less, to the point where you might catch yourself wondering if you're doing anything at all :). In my opinion what he is advocating is a very relaxed approach, and its important to keep that in mind. We're not trying to pounce after things, catch them the moment they arise, catch them the moment they cease, retain awareness of particular tactile phenomena, etc. And if you notice in his talks and writings he will emphasize slightly different aspects of the approach which center around a few common things:

1) Experience as a whole: 99% of your attention can be on your technical task (in his philosophical language this will amount to foreground/particular), but keep 1% on the background/peripheral (in your example it would be the seated body). Don't worry if you lose a tactile sense of your position, that doesn't necessarily mean you've lost your mindfulness IMO. Just know that whatever you're doing body is just there in such and such position.

2) Self: You keep an eye on "I am doing X", or "while seated I am doing X". The sense of self lurks is the background/peripheral of whatever we are attending to, and it is this that most importantly must be noticed. While it is inevitable at first, you do not have to go looking for it, as it is already there, no matter how subtle or vague it is. He compares this to watching something out of the corner of your eye in at least one of his talks. You want to keep a soft, gentle and peripheral focus on this as you go about your day. If you try to whip around and look at it directly, you won't see it, because its always in the background of whatever you're engaged with. But no matter how vague or peripheral this is, what you're striving to understand is that this too appears, it is phenomenologically on the same ground as anything else that appears, and as such cannot be some kind of ground or that because of which there is appearance:
Venerable N. Ñāṇamoli wrote:What he has to see is that this notion of 'Self', despite its independent character, also appears. No matter how elusive or ambiguous it might be—it has to be seen as such: as an elusive thing. Only after this is it is possible for a puthujjana to see that the order of things imposed by the presence of an assumed ‘extra-temporal’ phenomena in his experience is the wrong order. Based on things' appearance, and based on the sense of the experience as a whole, there is no justifiable reason for him to assume any primacy of the sense of unchangeability any longer. There is 'the sense of unchangeability' and that too appears. Thus, the unchanging '(sense of) being' was, in a wholly gratuitous manner, given priority over the appearance of things by being assumed as something which does not appear.The reason for this was simply because this notion of priority was never noticed.
Appearance and Existence

3) Dependency/determination. In one of his talks, perhaps sensing some confusion from the student, he recommends an approach that amounts to putting an image of the body, subject to destruction, in your mind and just leaving it there as you go about your tasks. The point is learning to see the dependence of anything you could possibly experience, no matter how grand, or vast, no matter how painful, no matter how far it goes...on that six sense base body, subject to destruction.
Venerable Ariyavaṃsa wrote:Rather than focusing on the situation of breathing in or sitting down or eating food, he finds that he can attend to an even more general situation. The situation that he finds himself in—whether he breathes this way or that, whether he is sitting, standing or walking, whether he is sweeping leaves or chopping firewood—is that “There is body”. Any perception of body, any feeling that arises dependent upon body, anything he does with or because of that body—all of that can only be there because body is already given. All that can be said is “There is body”, for to say anything more than this would be to say too much. It is there, already given, having arisen of its own accord. And since it has arisen all on its own, so too it must pass away all on its own, at any moment. Therefore, body is aniccā. The noble disciple recognises that any other phenomenon simultaneously present within this situation of “There is body” is bound up with it, fully dependent upon it, and cannot possibly remain standing without it. Since the situation-as-a-whole is discerned as impermanent, so too anything more particular that is found within it—whether past, future or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near—must also be impermanent.
setting up mindfulness

One last bit of advice: If this starts to get to heady or confusing, I recommend keeping Ven. Nanavira's words in mind:
Ven. Nanavira wrote:And how does one practise this awareness for the purpose of release? It is really very simple. Since (as I have said) all action is conscious, we do not have to undertake any elaborate investigation (such as asking other people) to find out what it is that we are doing so that we can become aware of it. All that is necessary is a slight change of attitude, a slight effort of attention. Instead of being fully absorbed by, or identified with, our action, we must continue, without ceasing to act, to observe ourselves in action. This is done quite simply by asking ourselves the question 'What am I doing?' It will be found that, since the action was always conscious anyway, we already, in a certain sense, know the answer without having to think about it; and simply by asking ourselves the question we become aware of the answer, i.e. of what we are doing. Thus, if I now ask myself 'What am I doing?' I can immediately answer that I am 'writing to Mr. Dias', that I am 'sitting in my bed', that I am 'scratching my leg', that I am 'wondering whether I shall have a motion', that I am 'living in Bundala', and so on almost endlessly.

If I wish to practise awareness I must go on asking myself this question and answering it, until such time as I find that I am automatically (or habitually) answering the question without having to ask it. When this happens, the practice of awareness is being successful, and it only remains to develop this state and not to fall away from it through neglect. (Similar considerations will of course apply to awareness of feelings, perceptions, and thoughts—see passage (b). Here I have to ask myself 'What am I feeling, or perceiving, or thinking?', and the answer, once again, will immediately present itself.)
emphasis added

[L. 2 | 2] 27 March 1962

Hopefully that helps, sorry if its unclear, kind of written in a rush in the context of sleep deprivation :toilet:
Hi Aflatun, that’s encouraging, and yes, I see his approach is one that eases you in so to speak. His instructions are very clear in his writings and talks and for the first time I have an approach to the Dhamma that fits me well.
1. This is the same as just bringing your mindfulness back to your object I assume.
2. I never thought of approaching the sense of self the way he explains, I’ve always denied it. But evidently that sense is there, and he says we must approach it from another angle, indirectly, ie, look at the other phenomena that this sense of self is determined by and see that they are impermanent and arise and cease, thus indicating the impermanence of this sense of self.
3. He seems to say that although things are fully dependent, they arise simultaneously with the things they are determined with. How can this be? Am I right that he says Paticcasamuppada is not temporal? Is Paticcasamupadda then dependent both ways? I have read all his notes but may have missed something,I’m confused by this.

DCM
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Re: Mindfulness

Post by DCM » Fri Mar 30, 2018 10:30 am

Sorry, gone off topic, but just seen an answer to my question, read this in Nanavira’s CTP; he is asserting that Paticcasamuppada is structural, visible here and now.
“paticcasamuppada has nothing to do with temporal succession (cause-and- effect). Precedence in pañiccasamuppàda is structural, not temporal: paticcasamuppada is not the description of a process. For as long as paticcasamupadda is thought to involve temporal succession (as it is, notably, in the traditional ‘three-life’ interpretation), so long is it liable to be regarded as some kind of hypothesis (that there is re-birth and that it is caused by avijjà) to be verified (or not) in the course of time (like any hypothesis of the natural sciences), and so long are people liable to think that the necessary and sufficient criterion of a ‘Buddhist’ and is the acceptance of this hypothesis on trust (for no hypothesis can be known to be certainly true, since upon the next occasion it may fail to verify itself).”

Too much to go into but he is saying that the traditional Kammavipaka account of Paticcasamuppada is incorrect;
“With sakkàyanirodha there is no longer any ‘somebody’ (or a person—sakkàya, q.v.) to whom the words birth and death can apply. They apply, however, to the puthujjana, who still ‘is somebody’. But to endow his birth with a condition in the past—i.e. a cause—is to accept this ‘somebody’ at its face value as a permanent ‘self’; for cessation of birth requires cessation of its condition, which, being safely past (in the preceding life), cannot now be brought to an end; and this ‘somebody’ cannot there- fore now cease.”

binocular
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Re: Mindfulness

Post by binocular » Fri Mar 30, 2018 12:09 pm

DCM wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:35 am
Hi Binocular, yes I can do this, but it’s too hard at the moment to do it whilst paying particular attention to very technical aspects of my job, i was just wondering if or when this would become more achievable, perhaps after long practise as Aflatun has said.
One suggestion is to do it where you currently can do it (for example, when washing the dishes). In my experience, it does spread into areas in time.

paul
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Re: Mindfulness

Post by paul » Sat Mar 31, 2018 4:16 am

DCM wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:51 pm
Ven. Nyanamoli says that we should be mindful of the general situation, ie posture. I am mindful of my posture, and then the particulars within the general situation crop up, and they pull my mind away. It seems almost impossible to pay attention to particulars (ie, my job is technical and I always ‘forget’ about my posture when giving attention to detail in my job), whilst being mindful of say, posture.
When the situation allows you can practice concentrated mindfulness on the one subject, the body, and that exercise is what strengthens mindfulness as a faculty.
Your observation of when you are in a mindful state and when your mind is scattered externally proceeds from the third foundation, mindfulness of the state of mind. This is an example of the direct connection between exercises focused on the body and the activities described in the other frames of reference.
Thanissaro recommends the second (posture) and third ( alertness) exercises in mindfulness of the body as "an excellent opportunity for strengthening the momentum of your concentration throughout the day, and also for making you more sensitive to when the mind is not in a concentrated state." ---"Right Mindfulness".
So practising mindfulness of the body when possible and then being aware of when the mind is not concentrated fulfils the intention of the second exercise.
He says," The third exercise is directly helpful in fostering right speech and right action as factors of the path, for only when you are alert to what you are doing can you successfully exercise restraint over your words and deeds. Because the development of the path comes under the fourth frame of reference, this is an example of how exercises in this first frame of reference relate directly to exercises in the other frames of reference."

"The topic of the body in and of itself covers six exercises: (1) the first four steps of breath meditation; (2) the practice of discerning whatever posture the body is in; (3) the practice of making yourself alert in all your physical activities; (4) the analysis of the body into 31 parts; (5) the analysis of the body into the four physical properties in every posture; and (6) the practice of visualizing a corpse in nine stages of decomposition, and reflecting that your body will unavoidably meet with the same fate. MN 117 lists all six of these exercises under the term, “mindfulness immersed in the body” (kayagatasati)."
Last edited by paul on Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:12 am, edited 6 times in total.

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Re: Mindfulness

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:19 am

DCM wrote:
Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:51 pm
By practising does it get to a point where less effort is needed to be mindful of the posture while still doing particular activities as mindfulness gets stronger?
I think it's fine to focus mindfulness on the activity you are currently engaged in, and with some jobs this is very necessary. You can return to mindfulness of the body at regular intervals, this has a "grounding" effect.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

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aflatun
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Re: Mindfulness

Post by aflatun » Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:38 pm

DCM wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:59 am
Hi Aflatun, that’s encouraging, and yes, I see his approach is one that eases you in so to speak. His instructions are very clear in his writings and talks and for the first time I have an approach to the Dhamma that fits me well.
I'm really glad :heart:
DCM wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:59 am
1. This is the same as just bringing your mindfulness back to your object I assume.
Yes, with the caveat that the goal is keep an eye on it (peripherally) and leave it in the background as one goes about their business. This is a little different from the usual drop everything else and return to a singular object approach. Think broad, wide open, inclusive. In this tradition, there is no such thing as a singular object as such, said object always occurs against a background, and the instruction is to keep both (experience as a whole) in mind.
DCM wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:59 am
2. I never thought of approaching the sense of self the way he explains, I’ve always denied it. But evidently that sense is there, and he says we must approach it from another angle, indirectly, ie, look at the other phenomena that this sense of self is determined by and see that they are impermanent and arise and cease, thus indicating the impermanence of this sense of self.

Yes. And denial seems to be what most of us do, at least at a certain stage. IMO it only reinforces the problem. Again, my opinion: You don't need to deny or get rid of anything, you simply need to see what is already there as undeniably empty and not yours from the beginning, i.e. dependently arisen:
And how, bhikkhus, should one know, how should one see, for the immediate destruction of the taints to occur? Here, bhikkhus, the uninstructed worldling, who is not a seer of the noble ones and is unskilled and undisciplined in their Dhamma, who is not a seer of superior persons and is unskilled and undisciplined in their Dhamma, regards form as self. That regarding, bhikkhus, is a formation. That formation—what is its source, what is its origin, from what is it born and produced? When the uninstructed worldling is contacted by a feeling born of ignorance-contact, craving arises: thence that formation is born.

Thus, bhikkhus, that formation is impermanent, conditioned, dependently arisen; that craving is impermanent, conditioned, dependently arisen; that feeling is impermanent, conditioned, dependently arisen; that contact is impermanent, conditioned, dependently arisen; that ignorance is impermanent, conditioned, dependently arisen. When one knows and sees thus, bhikkhus, the immediate destruction of the taints occurs.
SN 22.81
DCM wrote:
Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:59 am
3. He seems to say that although things are fully dependent, they arise simultaneously with the things they are determined with. How can this be? Am I right that he says Paticcasamuppada is not temporal? Is Paticcasamupadda then dependent both ways? I have read all his notes but may have missed something,I’m confused by this.
Looks like you answered your own question in the subsequent post! :twothumbsup:
"People often get too quick to say 'there's no self. There's no self...no self...no self.' There is self, there is focal point, its not yours. That's what not self is."

Ninoslav Ñāṇamoli
Senses and the Thought-1, 42:53

"Those who create constructs about the Buddha,
Who is beyond construction and without exhaustion,
Are thereby damaged by their constructs;
They fail to see the Thus-Gone.

That which is the nature of the Thus-Gone
Is also the nature of this world.
There is no nature of the Thus-Gone.
There is no nature of the world."

Nagarjuna
MMK XXII.15-16

Amanaki
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Re: Mindfulness

Post by Amanaki » Sun Apr 08, 2018 7:45 pm

In my experieance of Mindfulness meditation, mindfulness meditation is not only when you sitting down in lotus position, mindfulness meditation can be done all the time because even it last only two second of mindful observation it is meditation. But the best effect is when you sitting down yes.

Personally i focus on the notion of the breath ( not the breath it self, but the sensation of the breath) then after some minutes the "noise" of the toughts start to fade away. they will be there but one should not focus on them or stop on one thought, Look at the thought what does it do to you? if it is not important to the moment in meditation, just let it go.

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