Vipassana Meditation Course

by Chanmyay Sayadaw | 28,857 words

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Part 2 - The Noble Eight-fold Path

So this is the way you are following which leads you to the cessation of suffering. This is the fourth truth. And when you note the lifting movement, pushing movement, dropping movement, touching sensation of the foot, then you have to make a mental effort to be aware of the movement. That mental effort or energy is one of the eight mental factors of the noble path. Its called Right Effort, or Right Energy or Samma vayama in Pali.

Because of that right effort you are aware of the lifting movement, pushing movement, dropping movement of the foot. That awareness is sammasati. Right Mindfulness. When you are aware of the movement of the foot precisely and attentively your mind is concentrated on the movement momentarily. That concentration is known as samma samadhi, Right Concentration. Why is it right? Because it causes the right insight, penetrating insight, to arise. Or because its the cause of realisation of the mental and physical phenomena and their true nature, and eradication of all mental defilements. So that samadhi, is samma samadhi, right concentration.

Though you put enough effort in the practise, in the noting, or in awareness, the mind doesnt stay with the object always. Sometimes the mind goes out, wanders. Then one of the mental factors which arises together with mindfulness directs the mind to the object of meditation, to the movement of the foot. That mental factor is called Right Thought, samma sankhappa.

In this way, whenever you observe the movement of the foot these four mental factors are working on the movement and gradually right concentration becomes deeper and deeper. Then you come to realise the movement of the foot without conscious awareness of your bodily form or yourself. When you are realising these movements very clearly you are not aware of yourself, your body. What you are realising at that moment is just movement. Then with the deeper concentration you come to the higher state of insight which penetrates into the movement and realises its rising and passing away.

When you note the lifting movement then you know you come to realise a series of many broken movements one after another, arising and passing away. Before you come to realise this state you think the movement is only one and the same. Before that you think, my foot, I lifted, I am pushing it forward, I dropped it down. There you have I or me. You think, who does lifting, pushing, dropping, and so on. But when you are able to realise a series of broken movements rising and passing away one after another, then you don"t have that idea of I or you, myself or a person, a being.

What you are understanding is a series of broken movements which are arising and passing away in an ever changing process. Then that realisation or that right understanding destroys the false idea of an I or a you, a person, a being, which is the seat of all kinds of mental defilement. When you have done with this false idea of a person there wont arise any defilement because mental defilements arise depending on this false idea of a person, a being, a self or a soul. When that idea has been exterminated you wont have any mental defilement, because its seat has been destroyed. Then when you do not have mental defilements there wont arise any suffering at all.

So you have attained the cessation of suffering by way of cultivating the Noble Eight fold Path by being aware of the movement of your foot. If you are able to realise, this is not me, this is not my foot, this is just a natural process of movement which is rising and passing away, that understanding is Right Understanding, samma ditthi, one of the eight mental factors of the Noble Path.

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