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Consciousness watching mind

Tony_A_SimienTony_A_Simien Veteran
edited October 2015 in Meditation


The practice methods of Shwe Oo Min Sayadaw

"The watching of the mind by the mind.’ With all practices, in all postures: Standing, walking, sitting, lying down, eating etc. Watch the mind. Look into the mind, don’t worry about the body so much. With daily activities watch the mind’s reactions to objects. (the outside world and the inside world, so to speak, always react they are in a cause and effect relationship)."

"In sitting meditation stay with that which knows everything. Don’t try to go to objects. Let the objects come to you. Try not to react to objects. Whatever arises — greed, aversion, pain, itchiness, metta, likes or dislikes etc. — watch with equanimity, without getting involved, without clinging to it. Stay in the middle path. As the watching mind looks directly at the noting mind, passing by objects are seen as if they are being looked by the corner of the eye — not directly — Watch the quality of the mind as it goes to objects. If you see any kind of tension in the mind relax immediately. Tension is excessive energy."

"Don’t fix your attention on the object of the knowing mind but look at what that mind knows next, as you let the objects come to the mind."

"Note the mind constantly but silently, without labelling. At all times don’t worry about the body. Try to see the observer, the one who watches that mind. Be mindful at all times, continuously. Don’t fix the mind on anything at all. Let the mind do the job and just watch."

"Do not do any labelling — labelling is a  hindrance to this practice."

"Look into the mind moment to moment. When “‘I’-ness” is there it’s because of delusion."

"The more you try to see the harder it becomes. Remember the Burmese four-fold saying: not too forcefully, not controlling or manipulating, not trying to make it happen and not causing tension: observe it as it is."

"Emphasizing the mind is most important. If you know your mind then you use the mind to look at your kaya (body) and vedana (feelings). The kaya you know with your mind, the vedana you also know with your mind. If you get skilful with  Cittanupassana then you can do Dhammanupassana. The basics of Vipassana meditation requires that you know both the body and mind,  but the mind is more important. So that is why it is emphasised here. When we meditate, we use our minds — that is why we should look at our mind. Cittanupassana is part of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness; therefore we should know the mind. When you observe anything, all four foundations of Mindfulness (Satipatthana) are already there anyway."

~Bhikkhu Khemavamsa

Title: Contemplation of Mind
          Practicing Cittanupassana

Direct link to PDF:

http://www.abuddhistlibrary.com/Buddhism/B - Theravada/Teachers/Bhikkhu Khemavamsa/Contemplationof the Mind/cittanupassana2.pdf



  • Let's see - By watching the mind you will never find the mind
    By observing the actions of the mind, you will achieve some delusion of control
    To observe the mind, we must be firmly grounded in your Mindfulness
    We must know the mind and the body
    The mind is key, therefore, we should know the mind..

    Now back to my coffee.

  • Tony_A_SimienTony_A_Simien Veteran
    edited October 2015

    By observing the actions of the mind, you will achieve some delusion of control


    In this practice, the key point is observing reactions and emotions as a result of objects appearing in awareness.

    For example:

    When a mosquito bites the average person, their normal reaction might be to kill it. No second thoughts about that. Just smash. Along with a few irritated type mental commentaries associated with that event.

    In this practice, when the mosquito bites you, instead of reacting, your attention would not be focused on the mosquito. But instead on the intention to kill it. And any feelings of irritation or annoyance related to the incident. There by preventing that conditioned reaction. And all unnecessary commentaries.

    In other words, we are practicing to recognize how objects which appear to consciousness cause defilements to arise. By doing so we learn from doing, how not to react. We become more aware of how objects affect us.

    Once we understand from knowing directly we can observe more closely our conditioned reactions and emotions to objects and train until they diminish.

    Anger for example. If someone curses you, the normal reaction of most people would be to become enraged. In this practice the focus would be on the feeling of anger arising as a result of the curse. By observing it immediately, we can back off before it overtakes us.

    Eventually, this observing of reactions and emotions becomes habitual. It happens automatically. No need to make effort. Once we see the root cause of that anger, through observation continuously whenever it occurs, it May eventually diminish or never arise again in regard to that particular situation. And even if it does, it's known so quickly and let go of it's like it has never occurred.

    A brief glimpse as though you were seeing something at the furthest corner of your eyes. So brief that it does not leave any impressions in mind.

    This is the practice of consciousness (The one who knows) watching mind (conditioned reactions and emotions; mental activity etc.)

  • @Tony_A_Simien said: This is the practice of consciousness (The one who knows) watching mind (conditioned reactions and emotions; mental activity etc.)

    I prefer the practice of mindfulness. Equating consciousness with "the one who knows" is potentially tricky because it can lead to a subtle reification of consciousness.

  • Tony_A_SimienTony_A_Simien Veteran
    edited October 2015

    Equating consciousness with "the one who knows" is potentially tricky because it can lead to a subtle reification of consciousness.

    Yes. Very good point.

    However, usage of the phrase the one who knows is as much reification as referring to it as consciousness.

    In both cases we make it an object. Which it is not.

    The one who knows gives the impression that there is someone or a self there that knows.

    Just as the word consciousness assumes the presence of an object which is something tangible that has knowing power.

    So both terms are equal in that respect. But there is no way around using terms and such to have meaningful discussions.

    It would seem the best expression might be simply to refer to consciousness and the one who knows as simply, knowing. As that seems to more precisely describe this without creating something tangible. It is basically Just knowing.

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran
    edited October 2015

    "Knowing" is better, but I prefer mindfulness ( sati ), not least because the OP text is describing the 3rd foundation of mindfulness, as per the Satipatthana Sutta.

  • yagryagr Veteran

    We have two computers. One works well and the other one has an internal modem. I spent thirty-five minutes trying to open a page here last night before giving up on both opening the page and equanimity. The computer almost went out the window.

    Anyway, the point of this post in the middle of this thread is to say that it is rare (2-3%)that I can successfully click 'awesome' or 'insightful' on this computer and there's only about a 30% chance that typing this out will result in it being posted - but I sure do appreciate this thread (and many other threads that I am trying to follow). Thanks.

  • @yagr

    The computer almost went out the window.

    Here are two people who can definitely relate to that.

  • pegembarapegembara Veteran
    edited October 2015

    Try to see the observer, the one who watches that mind.

    But who is trying to see the observer?
    Our original face is never seen, only its reflection or image.

  • @Tony_A_Simien said:

    Definitely folks who aren't observing their reactions or their minds.
    You are very thorough in your presentations. While we all have our differences, it's

    Well, that train of thought got derailed post haste.. :p

    It's almost enough to be driven to tolerate a Starbucks double latte..almost. :3

    I'm off to fine me. If I get back before I return, keep me here until I return.

    Peace to all

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