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I'm am completely new to meditation, and I have really been wanting to start it. The past few days, I've been doing Vipassana sessions for the first time; however, I hear people say that it doesn't matter if you mediate if you do not carry the practice into daily life.

But, how can I continue to be mindful in daily life? Any tips for a newbie?

Thanks!

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Follow the following basic steps in integrate meditation to daily life:

  • Pay attention to fabrication and how they are created, i.e., when you react to sensations. Train to be equanimous to sensations. Understand the cause and effect with relation to what causes misery. Understand that to the reaction to sensations cause new fabrications. Actively clam the creation of fabrications.
  • Try to understand the 3 marks of existance / characteristics with regard to the 5 aggregates and the mind matter phenomena. Starting the process by seeing the impermanence of sensations. (Even when looking at impermanence of a body part, how you sense the body part of the sensation when you bring your attention to the particular body part. Also seeing impermanence is easier and lead to seeing the other two characteristics of existance - corelessness and unsatisfactoriness.)

In more detail:

  • Physical
    • Bodily fabrications
      • Actively look at sensations in the body - especially areas tied to sense faculties i.e. skin, eyes, ear, head, mouth - when they come in contact something
      • Understand that the normal tendency is to react. Try to ensure you do not react and maintain equanimity to what ever sensation.
      • Try to look at the breathing process and the sensation it create. Sensation of touch around your nostrils. Feeling of oxygen spreading in the in breath and sensation in your body in the out breath. Expansion and contraction it causes in the body. The speed and length of the in and out breath.
      • Contemplate on the sensation on you body part by part. (How you sense a body part is by looking at the sensation aground it when you move you attention to the body part. This not any verbalisation or visualisation.)
      • Contemplate on you bodily posture. The sensation associated in staying in a particular posture and sensation when changing your bodily posture (like when walking)
      • Also the vibrations is the body cased by your heart beat when breath is not predominant
      • You should investigate phenomena with a view to understand phenomena at the experiential and empirical level. Through this investigation you should eventually see the at 3 characteristics of all physical form at the experiential level. This is not a concept or verbalisation but at the experiential level.
      • Further investigate the make up of the corporal structure: solidity, liquidity, gaseous nature, and heat. Investigate how sensation related to these states. Investigate the changes of the states. E.g. numb leg, rumbling stomach, etc. Investigate the relationship of fabrication and these states. E.g. how numbness comes and goes, headache comes and goes, etc.
  • Mental
    • Verbal fabrications
      • Look at applied thoughts or mental verbalisations or visualisation and sensations it creates
      • When you your sense doors cones in contact this cause a sensation in recognising and giving evaluation to the contact and a perception created. E.g. This is my friend. Associated with this again feeling comes into play.
      • Look at the change of mental state and associated sensations when you get distracted. E.g. if you think about dinner you will get a sensation throughout your body but predominant around your belly. If you are not equanimous this will lead to to more through proliferation with verbalisation or visualisation of food mental state change
      • Proliferation of thought from any contact. E.g. a smell cause to remember some previous incident. You should investigate the sense doors in involved.
      • You should actively calm the chartering mind which would lead to concentration.
      • Look at 3 characteristics of all mental form
    • Mental fabrications
      • Look for moods and mental states, perception forming
      • When you your sense doors cones in contact this cause a sensation in recognising and giving evaluation to the contact and a perception created. E.g. This is my friend. Associated with this again feeling comes into play.
      • Look at changes in mood and mental state when it comes in contact with any sense objects. First this arises around the organ e.g. around the ear followed by the head when you give evaluation and perceive
      • Look at 3 characteristics of all mental state
  • In any of the above if any uneasy or tense sensation / feeling arise bring your attention to it for a short while. At higher stages when something comes to your attention it dissolves. Use this to release your tension. Initially the sensation will be physical but as you go on physical sensation become pleasant and neutral much of the sensation would be linked to thoughts and mental states which generally dominant around the head area. At some state all sensations will be pleasant. Keep dissolving even pleasant sensations until it is neutral by moving your attention to the sensation. At this point where there is neutral feeling all over and you are not creating any new fabrication is an important point. You have the leave the results to time.
  • You should actively investigate cause and effect and through this understand the cause and effect misery and how to eliminate it. Contact > Recognise / Register > Evaluation Through Perception > Sensation > Craving > Clinging > Fabrications. Through this understand the root cause of misery is the clinging to sensations and this sensation is caused by your perception and giving evaluation as wanted or unwanted and reacting to it with craving or aversion. When you stop giving evaluation and be equanimous than reactive then the fabrication stops as well as the pain due to your attachment or expectation of the outcome.
  • Acrobats, dancers, etc, have to be really mindful of what they do otherwise there would be disaster. With an exception of Uggasena, acrobats are far away from enlighten. The main thing is to practice the right type of mindfulness. The right type is to be mindful of the the sensations without reaction understanding it true nature. With each contact we have a choice. To react to the sensation the contact brings and be miserable or not to react and be at peace.
  • Investigate the sources from which sensations arise. External form coming in contact with a faculty resulting in contentiousness followed by sensation. You crave to prolong, get rid of be in situation where certain sense input is available (at a show) or situation where certain sense input is unavailable (get out of prison and go to the Caribbean). You have no absolute control over the form. Even you eat the same dish it might not be the same. You do not have absolute control over the faculty as your eyesight may deteriorate. You have no absolutely no control over the sensation as it just arise and passes away. Investigation of physical / material form of the organ would show they are also arising and passing away. At least at the logical level if not seeing arising and passing away externally see that external form is impermanent as well.
  • Then investigate what we are made of:
    • We have physical form with physical sense faculties. Investigation of physical form my brining your attention and sensing the sensations arising and passing on those parts.
      • We have faculties. These faculties come in contact with external form and you register this contact. I say this. I heard that. I read that.
    • We have a way to recognise and register external form and stimulus. This recognition is what makes our faculties useful. Investigate you your mind recognise something on contact and what following and sensations that arise when recognising.
    • We have a mental form
      • We views and outlook of the world and we analyse things against this perceptions. From this you analyse and build you take or view on the matter. This taste good. What a great story.
      • We have habits and reactions. When we get a sensation resulting from a contact we have build a habitual response and reaction to it.
      • We have mental images of what we have come in contact.
    • We have feels and sensations. May it be happiness, sadness, heat, cold, touch, etc. When we get and input from out faculties we analyse against our perception or view we conclude that this is wanted or unwanted. Being in contact and registering the input on its own gives rise to sensation but burning is the sensations through your take on the matter and longing for more or less and to be in situation which might bring more or less of the input.
    • Investigation on all physical and mental form will reveal all this is changing, cannot be fully controlled and or worthy of being identified as me and any expectation or exertion of control any of these things which are part of us result in misery.
  • In our minds we created a universe of our own with yourself as the centre. This universe is mainly of different perceptions which differ from reality. It can be perception about one self, view and beliefs, habits, etc. Many off these perceptions results in misery when reality is different. For different inputs you give evaluation and identify a gap which is positive (linked to pleasant sensation - craving as the base), negative (linked to unpleasant sensation - as aversion as the base) or neutral (linked to neutral sensation - as lack of wisdom as the base). Through you meditation you should note the arising of these sensation and straiten your views such that you are not attached to perceptions which cause misery and cultivate perceptions which help get over misery. (Girimananda Sutta mentions 10 of them.)
  • Also when analysing your mental and physical processors you will see that any mental action will have physical manifestation and vice versa. With regard to both you will that some sensation are linked with the characteristics of matter (since we are sensing this through a sense faculty what we see is the associated sensations). Namely, solidity / hardness, liquidity / flowing nature, gaseous nature, temperature / vibrations, space between the quantum of elements and conciousness. Without conciousness you cannot feel anything. Feeling has some characteristics of matter (solid, gas, ...). When you are angry you will also feel a bit hot. Also when you have a numbness there will be a solid feeling around the area. The make up of you body also will have these characteristics. Also food and environmental influences have similar manifestations.
  • The 3 poisons and all defilements and linked to sensation and perception. Identify as defilements come and go. What sensation they create. When you transgress morality also the same thing happens (unpleasant sensations). When you do do good the opposite happens (pleasant sensations). Also your thoughts and mental actions are similarly. Be mindful of all actions and thoughts which cause sensations (what ever the nature - generally pleasant [craving as the root] or unpleasant [aversion as the root]) and contribute to building perceptions (generally neutral [delusion as the root])
  • In all cases we should be
    • Mindful of the arising and passing away of sensation while maintain equanimity
    • Investigative of the causes of sensations
    • Develop concentration to be able to and do finer analysis of any mental / physical form and input
    • Exert effort to be mindful and maintain equanimity, develop concentration and calm the fabrications and crating of fabrications
    • Be investigative of phenomena.
    • Actively calm the fabrication process
    • Be mindful and attentive to sensation until painful sensation subside and you are left with pleasant sensations. When any pain comes to your mind it will just pass away at some stage. Exercise appropriate effort of be mindful. Be investigative of what cause the pain and what makes it dispensary. Investigate keeping you attention on the whole body that there is not place without pleasantness
    • Similarly be mindful and attentive to pleasantness until it is no more.

In summary there are 4 thing you should look out for:

  1. Cause and effect and the impact on rising and passing away of misery
  2. Actively calm the fabrications. (Bodily, verbal and mental)
  3. Get right of unwholesome perceptions and out look of the world and replace it with a more conducive out look towards your mental well being
  4. Understand the 3 characteristics of all phenomena

See:

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    @Harshani Updated the answer. Let me know if this is better. Also you can edit if you think you can improve. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Dec 19 '14 at 18:24
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    Hi Suminda:) Well i think you improved an already great answer. I think the last part about the dependent origination and how to stop reacting is of great importance. I imagine a picture where one throws rocks into a lake and how it create ripples. Reacting to phenomena is like the ripple effect but if one stops reacting then the ripple effect stops too. – Lanka Dec 19 '14 at 19:51
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    Yes. Any contract is like throwing a stone. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Dec 20 '14 at 4:23
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    Wow, you made the answer even more profound. Great. – Lanka Dec 23 '14 at 18:50
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    This is by far one of the longest answers I have written. I generally keep things as short as possible. Please you can proof read it to see if there is something out of place. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Dec 24 '14 at 11:53
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While I agree that it's important to incorporate meditation into your "active" life, I think sitting meditation is useful and its effects will find its way into your daily life. Actively practicing meditation while living yields best results however.

With that said, here are some suggestions.

  1. Incorporate some meditative movement (walking meditation, Yoga, Tai Chi) as a "bridge" between your meditative practice and "active" life.

  2. Prior to engaging in your affairs, take a moment to remind yourself that your "goal" is to be mindful.

  3. When being mindful, simple may be best. Perhaps restrict your practice to bare, non-judgmental awareness to anything that arises in your experience.

  4. Try a timer or mindfulness reminder app that will chime at regular intervals to "bring you back" and remind you of your mindfulness goals.

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Bare attention, without getting caught up in analyzing thoughts and images seems helpful. I think of it as if I were an auditor for a museum. I've been hired to simply audit the paintings there. I walk through the museum simply counting the paintings. I don't care if they are Rembrandts, Miros, Picassos or Aunt Sally down the street. All I'm interested in is "the painting", not what it is OF.

The content doesn't interest me at all. Just the painting. Just the thought or image that arises. It could be a painting/image/thought of any thing at all. There is no good/bad in any painting/image/thought. I just move from one to another. Or, I could say, they just move in the mind as clouds move through the sky. I don't try to control them, comment on them, judge them.

Ah, then comes a thought/image that I react to. I hop on the train, get involved in the thought/image, engage it, ride on the thought train for awhile and then hop off! This almost always happens! When I've jumped off the thought train and am again simply doing bare attention, any judgment I have re "I lost it, I shouldn't have jumped on the train"...that then becomes the focus of awareness. I try to "bare attention" that judgement and....so on!

I hope this is appropriate. If not, let me know. Thanks, Steve.

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While vipassana can be beneficial on its own without any other instruction than how to achieve it and what to look for, it is suggested that one should follow the Threefold Training: (1) develop sila (virtue, morality) in order to effectively practice (2) samadhi (concentrated meditation), in order to effectively practice (3) vipassana (insight, panna).

protected by Lanka Feb 25 '17 at 11:36

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