Abiding as "that which knows"

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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P Chaudhuri
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Abiding as "that which knows"

Post by P Chaudhuri » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:53 am

I was reading some teaching of Ajahn Chah on dependent origination.

At one point he said that the Buddha told to abide as "that which knows" or witness the sankharas arising. If we train the mind in such way then we will see that the mind is not-self ( anatta ).

My question is, if I am trying to be mindful all the time , then should I act as witness of the thoughts, feelings arising in the mind? Like now the mind is like this, now the mind is like that?

I tried but I sensed some fear. It might be due to attachment with the view of mind and self.

Should I continue like this...being the witness?

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DooDoot
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Re: Abiding as "that which knows"

Post by DooDoot » Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:55 am

P Chaudhuri wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:53 am
Should I continue like this...being the witness?
Hello P C. The arising of fear is an ordinary occurrence when mere watching or witnessing is practised; because the self-instinct is reducing or threatened. The fear is also something to be witnessed. Whether you can continue like this probably depends on your mental disposition. If you have a history of mental instability or mental illness, you probably should not continue. If you are confident your mind is sound and stable enough, you can continue. Kind regards. :)
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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P Chaudhuri
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Re: Abiding as "that which knows"

Post by P Chaudhuri » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:04 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:55 am
P Chaudhuri wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:53 am
Should I continue like this...being the witness?
Hello P C. The arising of fear is an ordinary occurrence when mere watching or witnessing is practised; because the self-instinct is reducing or threatened. The fear is also something to be witnessed. Whether you can continue like this probably depends on your mental disposition. If you have a history of mental instability or mental illness, you probably should not continue. If you are confident your mind is sound and stable enough, you can continue. Kind regards. :)
Thank you for your reply. What do I do when I feel tired mentally while practicing and training the mind?
I am trying to refrain from watching movies etc but when I feel tired I start watching them. Then later I regret.

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DooDoot
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Re: Abiding as "that which knows"

Post by DooDoot » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:15 pm

P Chaudhuri wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:04 pm
What do I do when I feel tired mentally while practicing and training the mind? I am trying to refrain from watching movies etc but when I feel tired I start watching them. Then later I regret.
Sensual desire & sloth are probably related to each other as hindrances probably because the tendency to sensual desire also creates boredom & mental heaviness as a side-effect. If you feel tired and wish to continue training the mind, you can do walking meditation or even lay down, rest & meditate. Even if you lie down & happen to fall asleep, this is probably better than feeding the tendency towards sensual desire. Even laying down meditation can allow stored hindrances/sankharas to rise up, dissolve & cleanse. Kind regards. :)
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/paticcasamuppada
https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati

P Chaudhuri
Posts: 8
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2019 1:25 pm

Re: Abiding as "that which knows"

Post by P Chaudhuri » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:06 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:15 pm
P Chaudhuri wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:04 pm
What do I do when I feel tired mentally while practicing and training the mind? I am trying to refrain from watching movies etc but when I feel tired I start watching them. Then later I regret.
Sensual desire & sloth are probably related to each other as hindrances probably because the tendency to sensual desire also creates boredom & mental heaviness as a side-effect. If you feel tired and wish to continue training the mind, you can do walking meditation or even lay down, rest & meditate. Even if you lie down & happen to fall asleep, this is probably better than feeding the tendency towards sensual desire. Even laying down meditation can allow stored hindrances/sankharas to rise up, dissolve & cleanse. Kind regards. :)
Thank you so much. That sounds really helpful. I will do that from now on.

pegembara
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Re: Abiding as "that which knows"

Post by pegembara » Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:22 am

Our practice and mental cultivation in this life is to observe the way things are: suffering and the arising of suffering.

We should understand and acknowledge what suffering is, not just react to it.

In the second Noble Truth is the insight is to let go of desire.

The third Noble Truth is the realization of cessation. Cessation doesn't mean annihilation. It's not the end of everything, a kind of total destruction, but when we let go of desire it ceases. It's natural for whatever arises to cease. That's just Dhamma, the way of things. All conditions are impermanent, so whatever comes into being, falls away.

The focus of the third Noble truth is to realize the cessation of things. This is quite subtle and if we don't set our minds on practising for that realization, then we miss it all the time . Who notices how things end or cease?

We're much more interested in the arising conditions of life. Like sexual activities, delicious flavours and beautiful sights. We want pleasurable experience, an exciting lifetime with romantic relationships and adventures. So the arising of desire is what we tend to become dazzles and fascinated with.

But when it reaches its peak. We can't stay fascinated, inspired and interested forever, can we? We can only stay that way for a while: it reaches its peak and then we seek another exciting object to follow. This is what samsara is about. The endless seeking after rebirth, some kind of new, absorbing condition to become . And then we get bored, disillusioned, depressed and uncertain.

That's the cessation; what we don't notice and what we tend to ignore. How many of us, whenever we're bored, try to find something interesting to do to distract ourselves? We don't like to be bored, do we? Nobody wants to be bored. The thing is, when we live a life of just one exciting adventure after another, we get incredibly bored. We get bored with excitement.

What was exciting yesterday is boring today, so we have to think of something even more exciting than that. There are endless experiments with sex and drugs and rock'n'roll. Just to be reborn into something fascinating, because yesterday's fascination is boring.

Understand and acknowledge that freedom is not from external but turning within , the Mind itself. This is where we need to see what grasping is and letting go, and the cessation that follows.

Because it's not a rejection in consciousness of anything. It's a realization, where desire, based on ignorance, is let go of.

We can actually see desire, then it ceases and there is the realization of cessation of desire - when there is no more desire, what is our mind like? This we have to really observe.

Mindfulness is the way to the deathless. We sit and watch, being able to observe desire - not suppressing or trying to get rid of it, not following it blindly. We turn towards that cool, calm position knowing and seeing, witnessing and recognizing the way things are.
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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