Vipassana Meditation Course

by Chanmyay Sayadaw | 28,857 words

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Part 3 - Sitting Meditation

To prepare for sitting meditation, let the body and the mind relax as much as possible. Maintain the body in a well balanced posture. Do not change the posture abruptly or unmindfully during the sitting, if you are about to move, note the intention to move before actually moving.

To give balance to the practice, every sitting should be preceded by an hour of walking meditation.

In the changeover from walking to sitting practice, or vice versa, be careful to keep your mindfulness and concentration continuous.

The starting point in the sitting practice is to establish the attention on the sensation of the abdomen caused by the rise and fall movement. This is done by synchronising the mental noting or labelling of the movement when repeating "rising, rising", "falling, falling" with the actual experience of those sensations.

As the movement of the abdomen become steady and clear, increase the number of notings. If the movements are complicated, note them in a general way.

If there is gap between the rising and falling movement of the abdomen, insert the noting of "sitting" and/or "touching" (noting "sitting" is awareness of the characteristic of support of the wind element).

Do not disturb the natural breathing by taking sharp or deep breaths. This will make you tired. The breathing should be just normal.

When secondary objects predominate, such as sounds, thoughts, sensations, etc., note "hearing, hearing", "thinking, thinking","feeling, feeling" and so on. At first, it is not easy to note such a variety of objects, but with increased mindfulness one is able to do so. So, when secondary objects have passed, then one goes back to noting the primary object, ie.the rising and falling movements of the abdomen.

Although one is taught to begin with watching the rising and falling movement of the abdomen, one must not get attached to it. For it is not the only object, but one of the many varieties of objects in Vipassana meditation.

Mindfulness of the movement of the abdomen leads to the direct experience of the wind element. That is, to its specific characteristics of motion, vibration and support. It is then that one can rightly know the real nature of the wind element. Thereby destroying the false view of self.

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