Vipassana Meditation

Lectures on Insight Meditation

by Chanmyay Sayadaw | 22,042 words

Vipassana Meditation: English lectures on Insight Meditation By venerable Chanmyay Sayadaw U Janakabhivamsa....

The Omniscient Buddha pointed out that by being mindful of this dual process as it really is, we are able to rightly understand its really intrinsic nature. When we want to understand something as it really is, we should observe it, watch it, be mindful of it as it really occurs without analyzing it, without logical reasoning, without philosophical thinking and without pre conceptions. We should be very attentive and mindful of it as it really is.

For example - look at a watch. When we do not observe a watch attentively and carefully we cannot understand it as it is. When we observe it very attentively and closely, then we see its brand, its design and the figures on it. We come to understand that this is a watch; its brand name is Seiko; it has an international time chart etc. However if we do not observe it as it is, if our observation is combined with such preconceived ideas as, "I have seen such a watch before and its brand name is Omega", then, as soon as we see this watch, we will take it to be an Omega. Why? Because we do not observe it attentively and closely. We have used the preconceived idea when we saw it, so the preconceived ideas lead us to the wrong conclusion regarding the watch. If we put the preconceived idea aside and just observe it attentively and closely, we will understand it as it is - this is a Seiko, it is made in Japan, it also has an international time chart. We will understand it as it is because we had put aside our preconceived idea of "Omega" when we observed it.

In the same way, when we want to rightly understand the mind body processes in their true nature or as they really are, we must not analyze them or think about them. We must not reason or use any intellectual knowledge, or any preconceived idea. We must leave them aside and pay bare attention to what is happening to the mind body phenomena as they really are. The, we can see our mind body processes as they really are. When our body feels hot, we should note that feeling of heat as heat. When the body feels cold, we should note it as cold. When we feel pain, we should note it as pain. When we feel happy, we should note that happiness. When we feel angry, we should note that anger as anger. When we feel sorrow, we should be mindful of it as sorrow. When we feel sad or disappointed, we should be aware of our emotional state of sadness or disappointment as it is.

Each and every mental and physical process must be observed as it really occurs so that we can rightly understand it in its true nature. That right understanding will lead us to remove ignorance. When ignorance has been removed, then we do not take the mind body processes to be a person, a being, a soul or a self. If we take these mind body processes to be just natural processes, then there will not arise any attachment. When the attachment has been destroyed, we are free from all kinds of suffering and have attained the cessation of suffering. So, mindfulness of mind body processes in their nature is the way leading to the cessation of suffering. That is way the Omniscient Buddha delivered a discourse on "The Four Foundation of Mindfulness".

In this discourse, the Omniscient Buddha teaches us to be mindful of mental and physical phenomena as they really are. There are many ways by which we have to be mindful of the mind body processes but they can be summarized as follows:

  1. Mindfulness of bodily process (Kayanupassana Satipatthana)
  2. Mindfulness of feeling or sensation (Vedananupassana Satipatthana)
  3. Mindfulness of Consciousness (Cittanupassana Satipatthana)
  4. Mindfulness of mind objects (Dhammanupassana Satipatthana)
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