Mahasi Noting for main practice

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
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Ryan95227
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Mahasi Noting for main practice

Post by Ryan95227 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:30 am

I just started practicing Mahasi Noting style and I was wondering how one should go about noting throughout the day in the busy modern life?
Is noting all day possible? People say to ease it down but I found out that counter productive because you just get into habit of not noting and just noting when theres like a moment you can note easily... Some teacher has said I should note constantly, noting just about everything. I was wondering if anyone succeeded with this?

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: Mahasi Noting for main practice

Post by JamesTheGiant » Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:54 am

It's possible only if you don't do any task that requires close attention and thought.
But for a weekend where you don't need to do anything difficult, sure.

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Mahasi Noting for main practice

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:56 am

It is not practical to note precisely throughout the entire day while engaged in a typical lay life. If you're doing a job that entails discursive thinking then just pay attention to doing that job well.

If you're laying bricks, working in a factory, cutting grass, or doing any kind of work that is repetitive and needs very little planning or reflection, then it would be much easier to practice the Mahāsi style noting. Before I ordained, I had the perfect job as a life-guard in swimming pool with very few customers, so I could meditate pretty much uninterrupted for the whole day.
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Ryan95227
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Re: Mahasi Noting for main practice

Post by Ryan95227 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:29 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:56 am
It is not practical to note precisely throughout the entire day while engaged in a typical lay life. If you're doing a job that entails discursive thinking then just pay attention to doing that job well.

If you're laying bricks, working in a factory, cutting grass, or doing any kind of work that is repetitive and needs very little planning or reflection, then it would be much easier to practice the Mahāsi style noting. Before I ordained, I had the perfect job as a life-guard in swimming pool with very few customers, so I could meditate pretty much uninterrupted for the whole day.
Is it only practical to note all day only during retreat? I just do not have time to schedule a 10 day retreat unfortunately and was wondering if there were any venues as to how I could note all day. Was wondering if i should just find time to note? Obviously I will set aside 1-2 hour for formal noting meditation. How about when one is driving, eating, washing, etc?

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Volo
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Re: Mahasi Noting for main practice

Post by Volo » Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:34 pm

Such things are better to see by yourself. If you find noting useful then do it as much as you feel comfortable, but if it is not helpful, then I wouldn't do it even during retreats.

Caodemarte
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Re: Mahasi Noting for main practice

Post by Caodemarte » Fri Sep 06, 2019 5:20 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:56 am
.....If you're doing a job that entails discursive thinking then just pay attention to doing that job well....
If you this throughly this may become a continuation of your “formal” meditation practice or, rather, the same thing done at different times in superficially different ways depending on what is appropriate to the situation.

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Mahasi Noting for main practice

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:45 pm

Ryan95227 wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:29 pm
Is it only practical to note all day only during retreat? I just do not have time to schedule a 10 day retreat unfortunately and was wondering if there were any venues as to how I could note all day. Was wondering if i should just find time to note? Obviously I will set aside 1-2 hour for formal noting meditation. How about when one is driving, eating, washing, etc?
As I said, it is only practical to note all day if you're doing something that does not require a lot of discursive thought. If you work as an Architect, Engineer, Computer Programmer, Physician, or even as a Bus/Train driver, you must pay attention to the task in hand most of the time. During breaks, you can, of course, stop thinking and just watch your breath, bodily movements, thoughts, etc. While driving, you can note while sitting in traffic jams or waiting at lights, but while driving you should pay attention to what other road users are doing. Mindfulness of the breath or touching the controls, is only going to be superficial momentary awareness, not the deep or continuous awareness. While eating in silence, washing, etc., it is practical to note precisely and in detail as long as you're not in a rush to go somewhere.

If you can you should attend one 10-day retreat every year. I hold one-day retreats in East London, but one-day (actually one 12 hours) is insufficient to gain deep insights. See the Sacetana Suttaṃ.
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Ryan95227
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Re: Mahasi Noting for main practice

Post by Ryan95227 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:16 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:45 pm
Ryan95227 wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:29 pm
Is it only practical to note all day only during retreat? I just do not have time to schedule a 10 day retreat unfortunately and was wondering if there were any venues as to how I could note all day. Was wondering if i should just find time to note? Obviously I will set aside 1-2 hour for formal noting meditation. How about when one is driving, eating, washing, etc?
As I said, it is only practical to note all day if you're doing something that does not require a lot of discursive thought. If you work as an Architect, Engineer, Computer Programmer, Physician, or even as a Bus/Train driver, you must pay attention to the task in hand most of the time. During breaks, you can, of course, stop thinking and just watch your breath, bodily movements, thoughts, etc. While driving, you can note while sitting in traffic jams or waiting at lights, but while driving you should pay attention to what other road users are doing. Mindfulness of the breath or touching the controls, is only going to be superficial momentary awareness, not the deep or continuous awareness. While eating in silence, washing, etc., it is practical to note precisely and in detail as long as you're not in a rush to go somewhere.

If you can you should attend one 10-day retreat every year. I hold one-day retreats in East London, but one-day (actually one 12 hours) is insufficient to gain deep insights. See the Sacetana Suttaṃ.
Thank you. This is much more clear

Ryan95227
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Re: Mahasi Noting for main practice

Post by Ryan95227 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:19 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:45 pm
Ryan95227 wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:29 pm
Is it only practical to note all day only during retreat? I just do not have time to schedule a 10 day retreat unfortunately and was wondering if there were any venues as to how I could note all day. Was wondering if i should just find time to note? Obviously I will set aside 1-2 hour for formal noting meditation. How about when one is driving, eating, washing, etc?
As I said, it is only practical to note all day if you're doing something that does not require a lot of discursive thought. If you work as an Architect, Engineer, Computer Programmer, Physician, or even as a Bus/Train driver, you must pay attention to the task in hand most of the time. During breaks, you can, of course, stop thinking and just watch your breath, bodily movements, thoughts, etc. While driving, you can note while sitting in traffic jams or waiting at lights, but while driving you should pay attention to what other road users are doing. Mindfulness of the breath or touching the controls, is only going to be superficial momentary awareness, not the deep or continuous awareness. While eating in silence, washing, etc., it is practical to note precisely and in detail as long as you're not in a rush to go somewhere.

If you can you should attend one 10-day retreat every year. I hold one-day retreats in East London, but one-day (actually one 12 hours) is insufficient to gain deep insights. See the Sacetana Suttaṃ.
Sorry for asking you question again. Is it even worth it to practice mahasi style if one is just busy with studying/working all day and only have 1-2 hours to practice? Woudln't samatha practice be better in these cases, supported by mahasi mindfulness throughout the day?

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Mahasi Noting for main practice

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Sep 12, 2019 6:20 am

Use whatever free time you have to practise. If you have one hour, walk for 20 minutes noting each part of the steps in detail, then sit for 40 minutes noting the rising/falling movements.

During the day, practise during quiet moments. I meditate regularly when going out for alms, sitting on the bus or train, etc.

When you're busy working, just pay attention to the job in hand. If I get stuck at some point while writing or translating, I practise mindfulness of respiration for a minute or less as it focuses the mind quickly.
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sentinel
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Re: Mahasi Noting for main practice

Post by sentinel » Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:52 pm

One thing good about focusing on one spot when have little time is that it quickly calm down the mind . Mobile mindfulness is useful and practical for simple movement not with complicated process . Lay people unable to live like a monk .

Best wishes
:buddha1:

Ryan95227
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Re: Mahasi Noting for main practice

Post by Ryan95227 » Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:03 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
Thu Sep 12, 2019 6:20 am
Use whatever free time you have to practise. If you have one hour, walk for 20 minutes noting each part of the steps in detail, then sit for 40 minutes noting the rising/falling movements.

During the day, practise during quiet moments. I meditate regularly when going out for alms, sitting on the bus or train, etc.

When you're busy working, just pay attention to the job in hand. If I get stuck at some point while writing or translating, I practise mindfulness of respiration for a minute or less as it focuses the mind quickly.
I have done this for 2 days now. It seems keeping the momentum is the key. It also seems like the real momentum can only be maintained during retreat. Am I doing this to prepare myself for eventual retreat or do these practices help at all to gain insight even without retreat?

If I meditate 1 hour of sitting and 1 hour walking meditation everyday, supported by superficial noting during washing,eating,and etc would it even be close to the level of depthness that one can experience during retreat? Does it ever get better in terms of noting? I'm honestly struggling a lot at the moment. There are so many competing distractions.

Caodemarte
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Re: Mahasi Noting for main practice

Post by Caodemarte » Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:13 am

Do whatever you can to the best degree you can for however long you can do it. After all, what else can we do?

Laurens
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Re: Mahasi Noting for main practice

Post by Laurens » Sat Sep 21, 2019 2:15 pm

I don't practise noting, but I think this applies to any practise:

Try not to worry about everything too much. 'Am I noting the right things? Did I note everything I should have done? How much should I be noting?' etc etc. This is just creating stress out of your practise. If you find noting helps you, do it as often as you find it useful and the degree to which it works. If you are trying to do it constantly, but you forget, just do it again once you remember.

For me, this kind of thing is precisely why I can't do noting. Because it takes me out of the experience rather than brings me closer to it. I worry if I chose the right word to note something with, I worry if I ought to have noted more steps in a process than I actually did, I would stress myself because things seems to occur to fast for my noting to keep up, I worry that I missed something during the time I was noting something else etc. etc. I'm sure it works for some people, but for me it makes literally every moment more stressful than it needs to be.

It could be that it just doesn't work for you. That's alright too. But if you want to do it, you shouldn't worry too much about it, do it as much or as little as helps you.
"If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

sunnat
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Re: Mahasi Noting for main practice

Post by sunnat » Sun Sep 22, 2019 3:41 am

also, it helps very much to try to scrupulously maintain the silas, precepts in between periods of serious meditation

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