Practice Ven . Mahasi Sayadaw tradition meditation

I have had two incidents recently .

  1. Said something that should not have said

  2. Stopped happening an argument that my mind really wanted to do

Now when I do mindfulness meditation following happens

  1. Haunting "bad feeling" , so I make a mental note of "thinking, thinking"

  2. Mentally "imagining" that I'm performing that argument " ,so I make a mental note of "Imagining , Imagining"

But above two process keep happening even I do relevant mental note for many times (around 20 times )

Eventually they stop but later again pop up ( so I continue the same mental noting)

Should I keep continue mental noting or try to surpass those ? Is it OK to keep going such imagining / thinking for long time while keeping mental notes ?

  • 2
    From "Practical Vipassana Meditation Exercises" by Mahasi Sayadaw is this: "An additional rule is not to speak with contempt, in jest, or with malice to or about any of the noble ones who have attained states of sanctity. If you have done so, then personally apologize to him or her or make an apology through your meditation instructor. If in the past you have spoken contemptuously to a noble one who is at present unavailable or deceased, confess this offense to your meditation instructor or introspectively to yourself." So depending on what you said....
    – Robin111
    May 18, 2015 at 12:19

2 Answers 2


I would advise three things:

First, given that you experience the thoughts as bad, it is possible that you are ignoring the emotions surrounding the thoughts. If you are upset by the thoughts that arise, it is also important to acknowledge that as "disliking" or "upset", etc.

According to the satipaṭṭhāna suttaṃ, Buddha had stated that any consciousness, thought or impression associated with lust must be recognized and mentally noted as such. One must recognize and be aware of Citta (consciousness, thought or impression) which is associated with or dissociated from (a) lust or craving: (b) anger or hatred; and (c) ignorance or delusion.

-- Mahasi Sayadaw, Vipassana

Second, the practice of insight meditation isn't to make thoughts or memories go away; what you are experiencing is the characteristic of non-self - that you can't control your mind, no matter how you try. Insight meditation helps you to see this, so you are less affected by the experiences.

Next, the yogī will become convinced that all these psycho-physical phenomena are occurring of their own accord, following nobody's will and subject to nobody's control. They constitute no individual or ego-entity. This realization is anattānupassanā-ñāṇa.

-- Mahasi Sayadaw, Practical Vipassana Meditation Excercises

Third, meditation is a gradual training; just like any training, it takes time to become proficient. As the Mahasi Sayadaw says:

As the yogī goes on noting thus, he will be able to note more and more of these happenings. In the beginning, as his mind wanders here and there, the yogī may miss noting many things. But he should not be disheartened. Every beginner in meditation encounters the same difficulty, but as he becomes more practised, he becomes aware of every act of mind wandering till eventually the mind does not wander any more.

-- Ibid


If you are a beginner I would suggest that you start with samatha (calm) meditation first and then when your mind is strong in mindfulness and concentration then practice insight. The strength of mindfulness and concentration also burns (jhanneti) up the 5 hinderances.

This is the usual path of practice for most mediators. There are some who want to take short cuts and do insight (vipassana) only. If you're lucky enough to have been born with strong mindfulness and concentration like Dipa Ma then you'll succeed else.. we all know how sometimes short cuts end up.

This Paper: the Origins of Insight written by a renown abhidhamma scholar goes to great length to trawl through all the Buddhist cannon to work out when the Buddha recommended the practice of insight.

It is much better to follow the path recommended by the Buddha to reach the end he promised.

  • Hello Samadhi and welcome to Buddhism.SE. We've put together some useful tips on getting started here.
    – Robin111
    May 18, 2015 at 10:33
  • 1
    I've down voted this post because it does not answer the question.
    – Robin111
    May 18, 2015 at 10:34
  • I'll try to answer the question directly next time, thanks.
    – Samadhi
    May 18, 2015 at 11:52

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