Well, the Buddha “Bhavana” is described as follows. Anyone can benefit from instructions below.
The mind finds gratification in 3 ways.
- Judging : It's comparing, measuring things, situations and people. i.e. Mana
- Pleasure : One possible outcome of the above is that one finds a person or situation soothing, happy and delightful.
- Displeasure : The other outcome is one finds the person or situation depressing, sad and
The 3 things occurs at the same time although one event takes a lead. For example:
You smell a warm cup of coffee - The delightful gratification takes a lead. Although the reason you are happy is because in the background you have measured and found something else unsatisfactory.
You see someone dead on TV - The unpleasant thought takes a lead. Although the reason you find it depressing is because you have measured living a delightful thing.
You see someone driving a nice car - The judging takes a lead. You find your own car does not measure up than the pleasing new other car.
You are given 4 weapons to combat these emotions.
The 4 Weapons
You cannot stop sadness soon even if you wanted. You cannot maintain happiness because it never lasts. The kind of gratification cannot be maintained the way you wish. Things always ends and vanishes and brings suffering in the end. The cup of coffee always cools down and become stale. The dead man on the road is soon forgotten. The nice car gets old and ends up in a junk yard one day. There would not be a need for the Buddhist path had mind constructs (Sankatha) weren't fickle. This principle scales well to all things you establish in your mind whether it is yourself, your parents, children and your possessions.
Infinite compassion. Begin from having compassion for your self first. Then imagine all living beings regardless who they are, live a content life without suffering and find Buddha's path of renunciation. You want others to get the same benefit as you have.
All things are composed of things thus decay. The pretty girl or boy you find lovely gets old and die. Nice things also gets old. All things deteriorates and vanishes because they are compositions. They break down into its component parts and re-joins nature.
Ensure the cycling in the mind stops straight away. Conjure -> (Things always ends and decays. As a result brings suffering in the end.). Do not keep re-visiting but ensure the thought is uprooted for good.
So re-visiting 3 kinds of gratifications above.
- When your mind does 1 (Judging) -> use weapons 1 followed by 4.
- When your mind does 2 (Pleasure) -> use weapons 3 followed by 1 and 4.
- When your mind does 3 (Displeasure) -> use weapons 2 followed by 1 and 4.
Imagine your mind is a wild horse. Putting a harness and controlling newly emerged judgemental, pleasurable and displeasurable thought is Samatha. Steps 2 and 3 are Samatha steps.
Uprooting the newly emerged judgemental, pleasurable and displeasurable thought requires step 1. The subsequent step 4 ensures it never recurs. This is Vipassana.
This you can do while lying down, walking, taking a shower, eating and even while in the toilet.