I have been trying to read while being conscious about myself or breathe but it seems impossible: I can think about only one thing at a time, and even if I do it "consciously" then I have to go through that thing over again.

So how do I practice the iOS Development (coding takes your entire attention), Which seems impossible to do consciously?

In other words, how do I focus while being aware of myself or breathing etc.


3 Answers 3


Oh no, you are totally lost in your body as the "I"!

How to Focus consciously?

That is when you are doing that thing, you are totally lost yourself in the thing you're doing, the-thing-you-are-doing and you become one, that is Chan/Zen. This way, your Mind (Citta) is closer to 100% viable. Most of the time our Citta is few % here, few there, few in the past and few the future... If you could have your Citta unattached to anything you are doing but still "alive", that you are Chan/Zen master-the-great! Therefore, breathe is not you, limbs skin not, sensation cold or hot is not you... However if you recognize these, that means your Citta is not 100% together but divided, hence less the your focus. When you are 100% focus, i.e., the Citta is 100% in one thing absorbed, your breathe will cease... but don't worry, you will still be alive, not die, for human doesn't really sustain on oxygen by the breathe passing only through the nostril... medical has more to learn from the wise ancient people.

It's almost impossible for the Citta to focus on one thing 100%, so is not possible to be unattached in anything. Can you stop the mind from thinking, or observing, or aware of the self?


However, after the training of 100% in grasp of the Citta completed, in this time you are raised to the Bodhisattva in quality, not just by the vow, to a certain level (there are roughly 10 grades in the ladder of qualification), than you can focus in many things at the same time yet each focus get 100%; thus you are multi-tasks capable and could have many vijnana-created-bodies (意生身). By that time, you could have many Ritesh(s), one is doing the coding, one training the breathe, one observing the body... one making a refreshing lassi for the coding one... etc. ;))

  • Thanks for the answer, could you elaborate the last line you said, Actually i was looking for exactly what you said in last line, How do i practice to attain this kind state
    – Ritesh.mlk
    Feb 6, 2017 at 7:11

I'm not entirely sure why you'd want to do that. When you code, really code. When you chop vegetables, really chop vegetables. When you walk, really walk. I know that may sound easy, but pay attention to all the times your mind gets sidetracked when you try to give your full awareness to one activity. I can almost guarantee you that your focus on say, coding, is not nearly as good as you think. Even within your development process, I'll bet that your mind is venturing to other parts of a program rather than the function you are currently working on. Don't let it wander.

The important part of "work" meditation is to notice when your mind becomes unmoored; just the act of noticing is often enough to bring your attention back to the task you are working on. To really work, you have to do it wholeheartedly. When you try to hold two objects in your mind at the same time, all you are doing is fragmenting your attention. Awareness is a limited resource. You are absolutely right by saying that you cannot apply your mind to two things at the same time. Almost by definition, attention cannot be parsed. It has to be unified in its purpose. If you find that your mind is becoming too scattered, remove yourself from the activity, calm your mind through a samatha practice (like breath awareness), then reapply yourself to the task at hand.

(Note: Zen answer, not Vipassana)

  • Thanks for the answer, I was looking for vipassana answer because concentrating our mind on anything doesn't makes our mind pure
    – Ritesh.mlk
    Feb 6, 2017 at 7:07
  • Actually, according to the suttas, "purity of mind" is almost synonymous with the suspension of the five hindrances. That's generally the goal of concentration meditation. Of course, the goal of Buddhism isn't purity of mind - it's wisdom. For that you need concentration and insight. :-)
    – user698
    Feb 6, 2017 at 13:27

How to Focus consciously?

The Right Mindfulness is being equanimous towards the pleasant and unpleasant, which prevents craving and aversion from arising, while free from corruption of insight (free from Vipallasa, i.e., seeing the Three marks of existence), which prevents ignorance arising, within the 4 Frames of Reference. If unwholesome roots arise, deluded (with Vipallasa), hence creating fabrications or based on external objects or conceptual objects hence not within the 4 frames of reference it is not right mindfulness.

If you are not equanimous and there is a pleasant sensation this leads to attachment and if there is an unpleasant sensation this leads to aversion and if neutral sensation, without insight into the 3 Universal Characteristics, this leads to ignorance. Hence, unwise attention is attention corrupted by Vipallasa and the experienced sensation is leading to the unwholesome roots. See commentary of Yoniso Manasikāra Sampadā Sutta & Vipallasa Sutta by Piya Tan and Kīta,giri Sutta

For, one who perceives impermanence, Meghiya, establishes the perception of non-self. One who perceives non-self eliminates the ‘I am’ conceit. He attains nirvana here and now.”

Meghiya Sutta

Similarly of the other opposites of Vipallasa (3 universal characteristics) can be understood through, impermanence, or seeing arising and passing.

So simply put it what needs to be done is:

  • stay with the sensation in the body
  • be equanimous - displaces craving and aversion
  • know what ever experience is impermanent, i.e., arising and passing - displaces ignorance

Also see this answer.

If you mind wanders away and you lose attention get in touch with the sensation than are prevalent in the body and mind and establish your attention on the 4 Foundations of Mindfulness.

Once you experience a gross (easy to penetrate) sensation try to experience its subtleness (had to penetrate) by strongly focussing on it and trying to divide and dissecting it.

(coding takes your entire attention), Which seems impossible to do consciously?

Generally when doing something like this your attention will be lost. Thinking creates sensation in the head and chest regions. If you cannot figure something you the frustration means you hear rate increases and breathing becomes heavy. Similarly when exited. Sometimes thinking too much gives a headache. If your figure something out, or your code works, you will feel happy, which gives a pleasant sensation. It is these sensation you should be looking at. This will require extra practice, but what is essential is you are mindful when you do you daily work. The training on the cushion or chair is just a booster or pre training for this.

Also additional information can be found in:

  • So when i am writing code and my entire focus is in thinking the logic, should i try to observe sensation in body ? equanimous in only difficult situation ?
    – Ritesh.mlk
    Feb 3, 2017 at 9:11

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