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I'm novice to meditation and Buddhism. Apologies if this is silly question

I've been practicing antipasti meditation for few months. While I watch/understand my breath, when a thought arise I use 6 Rs and let it go and come back to breath.

However when meditation gets bit deep while the mind is somewhat still, I come to a deep realization. It's like everything's zoomed in. - Is this an early levels of Vipassana?

Then I get confused that this is a call from my monkey mind so I go back to 6Rs.

Is my practice correct? Bit confused over my approach. Also I don't have a meditation teacher.

Appreciate your feedback :)

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The word 'vipassana' means 'to see clearly'. It refers to seeing clearly the liberating truths of Buddhism, such as:

  1. Craving & attachment cause stress/suffering.

  2. Non-craving & non-attachment cause de-stressing/peace.

  3. Conditioned things are impermanent therefore cannot be attached to.

  4. Things are not-self, i.e., they are natural phenomena or elements.

Therefore, if in Anapanasati practise, the mind clearly sees the above, this is vipassana.

For example, if the mind clearly sees 'the body breathes' rather than the 'self' breathes, this is vipassana.

Or if the mind clearly sees craving, attachment & other monkey-mindedness cause disturbing agitated vibrations in the breathing, this is vipassana.

Or if the mind clearly sees equanimity of mind causes the breathing to become calm and the body to feel relaxed, this is vipassana.

Or if the mind clearly sees each breath appears, stays, then disappears, this is vipassana.

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    Thanks so much for the clarification. Does that mean tranquility (samatha) and vipassana happens concurrently? Should I look closely when the deep realisation happens? Or should I go back to breath? Also is there any good source regarding early Buddha’s teaching of meditation that I can refer to? – Explorer Feb 28 at 8:34
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    When the mind (concentration) is balanced, tranquility (samatha) and vipassana happens concurrently. – Dhammadhatu Feb 28 at 9:13
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    There is no need to "look closely". When the deep realisation happens (as you have experienced) it happens by itself. If you make an effort to look more closely, that very effort & ambition will probably result in a loss of mental clarity. Just sit back and watch the view. Keep the mind as equanimous as possible. Kind regards – Dhammadhatu Feb 28 at 9:16
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OP: Is my practice correct? Bit confused over my approach. Also I don't have a meditation teacher.

The 6Rs seams like a valid technique to develop vitakka-vicāra.

It is similar to:

When, bhikshu, this samadhi has been cultivated, well cultivated by you, then you should train yourself thus:

“I will dwell exertive, clearly aware, mindful,

observing [contemplating] [body | feeling | mind | dhamma] the in the [body | feeling | mind | dhamma],

removing covetousness and displeasure [discontent] in regard to the world.”

Thus, bhikshu, you should train yourself.

When, bhikshu, this samadhi has been cultivated, well cultivated by you, then, you, bhikshu,

THE 1 ST DHYANA:

should cultivate this samadhi with initial application, with sustained application;

should cultivate this samadhi without initial application, with only sustained application;

THE 2 ND DHYANA:

should cultivate this samadhi without initial application, without sustained application;

should cultivate this samadhi with zest;

THE 3RD DHYANA:

should cultivate this samadhi zest-free;

should cultivate this samadhi attended by comfort;

THE 4 TH DHYANA:

should cultivate this samadhi attended by equanimity.

Saṅkhitta Dhamma Sutta

OP: Then I get confused that this is a call from my monkey mind so I go back to 6Rs.

6Rs will help you keep focus.

OP: However when meditation gets bit deep while the mind is somewhat still, I come to a deep realization. It's like everything's zoomed in. - Is this an early levels of Vipassana?

This can be actually happening in which cases it is Vipassana. Many practitioners tend to imagine things by giving meaning to experiances which can be wrong. If this is the case it is not. One has to check one's condition of the mind to determine but having said that do not dwell on this too much and continue the practice.

Following is an interesting sutta to highlight something similar:

"Suppose that there is a foolish, inexperienced, unskillful cook who has presented a king or a king's minister with various kinds of curry: mainly sour, mainly bitter, mainly peppery, mainly sweet, alkaline or non-alkaline, salty or non-salty. He does not take note of[1] his master, thinking, 'Today my master likes this curry, or he reaches out for that curry, or he takes a lot of this curry, or he praises that curry. Today my master likes mainly sour curry... Today my master likes mainly bitter curry... mainly peppery curry... mainly sweet curry... alkaline curry... non-alkaline curry... salty curry... Today my master likes non-salty curry, or he reaches out for non-salty curry, or he takes a lot of non-salty curry, or he praises non-salty curry.' As a result, he is not rewarded with clothing or wages or gifts. Why is that? Because the foolish, inexperienced, unskillful cook does not pick up on the theme of his own master.

"In the same way, there are cases where a foolish, inexperienced, unskillful monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. As he remains thus focused on the body in & of itself, his mind does not become concentrated, his defilements[2] are not abandoned. He does not take note of that fact.[3] He remains focused on feelings in & of themselves... the mind in & of itself... mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. As he remains thus focused on mental qualities in & of themselves, his mind does not become concentrated, his defilements are not abandoned. He does not take note of that fact. As a result, he is not rewarded with a pleasant abiding here & now, nor with mindfulness & alertness. Why is that? Because the foolish, inexperienced, unskillful monk does not take note of his own mind.[4]

"Now suppose that there is a wise, experienced, skillful cook who has presented a king or a king's minister with various kinds of curry: mainly sour, mainly bitter, mainly peppery, mainly sweet, alkaline or non-alkaline, salty or non-salty. He takes note of his master, thinking, 'Today my master likes this curry, or he reaches out for that curry, or he takes a lot of this curry or he praises that curry. Today my master likes mainly sour curry... Today my master likes mainly bitter curry... mainly peppery curry... mainly sweet curry... alkaline curry... non-alkaline curry... salty curry... Today my master likes non-salty curry, or he reaches out for non-salty curry, or he takes a lot of non-salty curry, or he praises non-salty curry.' As a result, he is rewarded with clothing, wages, & gifts. Why is that? Because the wise, experienced, skillful cook picks up on the theme of his own master.

"In the same way, there are cases where a wise, experienced, skillful monk remains focused on the body in & of itself... feelings in & of themselves... the mind in & of itself... mental qualities in & of themselves — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world. As he remains thus focused on mental qualities in & of themselves, his mind becomes concentrated, his defilements are abandoned. He takes note of that fact. As a result, he is rewarded with a pleasant abiding here & now, together with mindfulness & alertness. Why is that? Because the wise, experienced, skillful monk picks up on the theme of his own mind."

  1. Lit.: "pick up on the theme of."

  2. Comy: the five Hindrances (niivara.na).

  3. Or: "does not pick up on that theme."

  4. Or: "does not pick up on the theme of his own mind."

Suda Sutta: The Cook

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  • Thanks so much for this. Really appreciate 🙏 – Explorer Feb 28 at 21:34
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The 6rs come from banthe Vimalaramsi who claims that craving means there is a physical contraction at the top of the head, more precisely the meninges, and letting go means relaxing this contraction, which is a unsual claim, but the 6rs themselves are harmless.

Anyway the usual way to get into samadhi is through ''pāmojjaṃ'', ie joy, https://suttacentral.net/an11.4/en/sujato and this stuff comes from ''yoniso anucintaya'', ie cultivating what the buddha calls a good behavior all the time https://suttacentral.net/sn9.11/en/sujato and this is hard. To live ''diligently'' means this https://suttacentral.net/sn35.97/en/sujato and of course the condition for joy is faith https://suttacentral.net/sn12.23/en/sujato and having faith in the buddha when there is no buddha is hard.

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