on Mindfulness or Vipassana Meditation
Venerable Saddhammaransi Sayadaw
translation by Sayamagyi Daw Hnin Yi
All those who have come to practice
Vipassana Meditation want to gain Insight very quickly. Those who have not experienced any
Insight yet would like to gain Insight very quickly. Those who have experienced some
Insights would like to gain further Insights very quickly. Everyone wants to gain Insights
very quickly. To reach these goals, one must first listen very attentively and closely to
the "Basic Exercises on Vipassana Meditation" so that one will remember each and
every word of the instruction thoroughly when you practice. One must read and study them
diligently. Only then will one be able to reach the goal.
Vipassana Meditation practice is not
something that has to do with physical effort or verbal recitations. It has to do with the
mental faculty or mind.
Thus, it is absolutely crucial that one
knows how to:
- keep the mind on the object of
meditation with pinpoint precision
- train the mind so that it does not wander to outside objects
- train the mind so that it will wander for long, if and when it wanders to outside
To be able practice in such a way, one
must read, study, memorize, listen and pay close attention to the details of the Basic
Exercises in a diligent and meticulous manner. Thus all those who want to practice
Vipassana Meditation effectively should read and study the Basic Exercises with special
care and attention.
This is the first lecture on Basic
Exercises or Basic Principles of Mindfulness Meditation by the most Venerable Sayadaw of
Saddhamma Ransi Yeiktha (Meditation Center) for those yogis who have come to practice
Vipassana Meditation at Saddhamma Ransi Yeiktha (Meditation Center).
Of those who have come to practice
Vipassana Meditation, those who have not experienced any Insight would like to gain
Insight as quickly as possible. Those who have already experienced some Insight would like
to gain further Insights more quickly. To be able to reach the highest goal quickly, you
must listen with utmost care and attention to the following discourse "Basic
Exercises on Mindfulness Meditation" and practice accordingly.
To mention briefly, there are three kinds
of "Basic Exercises on Mindfulness Meditation". They are:
- meditating while in the sitting position
- meditating while walking
- meditating while performing daily activities or "Meditating on the General
Meditating while in the sitting position
I will first explain about meditating
while in the sitting position. First you must pick a quiet and peaceful place. Then,
choose the most comfortable posture which will enable you to sit for quite some time. You
may sit with your knees bent under you or you may sit cross legged, but you must choose a
posture which will enable you to meditate for a long time. After you are satisfied with
your sitting posture, keep your back and head straight. Then, close your eyes and focus
your attention on you abdomen.
When you inhale or breathe in, the abdomen
Rises or Expands. You must note this rising with close concentration so that your mind is
pinpointed on it from the start of the Rising, as it rises in stages, to the end of the
rising without your mind wandering anywhere and note as: "Rising".
When you exhale or breathe out, the
abdomen Contracts or Falls gradually. You must also note this from the beginning of the
falling, in stages, to the end of the falling, with pinpointed precision so that your mind
does not wander anywhere and note as: "Falling".
When noting the Rising and Falling of the
abdomen, you should try not to concentrate on the physical form of the abdomen. You should
try to concentrate on how the air, when inhaled, affects some tension and pressure that
pushes up from the inside. You must try to feel and know or realize this pushing up of the
air from the inside, the tension and pressure, etc., and not the physical form of the
abdomen. The abdomen is so called only for its namesake, "Pannat" (Concept or
Convention). Vipassana is not for Pannat (Concepts) but for the true nature,
"Paramat" (Reality). The nature of air pushing up from inside, the tension,
pressure, etc., is "Paramat", the real thing that is happening when you breathe
in. Thus you must concentrate closely and precisely to try to know this Reality.
You must note as carefully when breathe
out. You must try not to concentrate on the form or shape of the abdomen, but on the
gradual and slow movement, vibration and recession of the air as you breathe out.
Thus you must keep noting these 2
movements as "Rising, Falling"; concentrating on the gradual force of air that
makes the abdomen rise and the gradual contraction of the abdomen as you breathe out.
If you feel that you cannot keep your calm
by noting these 2 movements as "Rising, Falling", you may add another object and
note "Rising, Falling, Touching."
When concentrating on
"Touching", you should not allow yourself to be carried away by the form or
shape of your limbs touching the floor/mat or each other, but concentrate on the hardness
or tension of the touch.
If you still cannot concentrate enough and
your mind tend to wander with these three movements, then you can add another and note
"Rising, Falling, Sitting, Touching".
When you concentrate on the
"Sitting", try to concentrate by encompassing from the upper part of your body
down and try to feel the stiffness and tension on your body (from the force of air element
that has pushed you up into the sitting position). You should not concentrate on the shape
or form of the head, hands, legs or body. The "desire to sit" has set in motion
the air element that supports and props up the body into this position called
"Sitting". You must try to feel the stiffness, tension, pressure, etc. of this
support and not the form of body, hands or legs.
So now you have 4 objects to note:
"Rising, Falling, Sitting, Touching". When you note with 4 objects as such, your
mind will usually become calm. If you find noting as "Rising, Falling, Sitting,
Touching" with the 4 objects is helpful, you may continue with such noting. However,
if you find that noting with 4 objects as such puts your mind in so much strain and worry
that you cannot concentrate well, you may want to note with just 3 objects as:
"Rising, Falling, Touching". If you still find that noting even with 3 objects
is not helping you, you can note with just 2 objects as "Rising, Falling". The
main objective is to calm the mind and develop concentration.
As a beginner, while noting "Rising,
Falling, Sitting, Touching", your mind may wander here and there - to the pagoda,
monastery or temple, to the shopping centers, to the house, etc. When this occurs, you
must also make note of your wandering mind as "Wandering, Imagining, Planning,
etc." As your concentration becomes strong and your Insight progress, you will find
that your wandering thoughts disappear after a few notings. You will come to realize for
yourself that the thoughts pass away with a few continuous notings by observing precisely
and closely in a meticulous manner.
As you progress in you concentration and
reach the Insight knowledge known as "The Knowledge of Dissolution" (Bhanga
Nyana), you will find the thoughts disappear with each noting.
With further progress in your Insight, you
will come to see not only the thoughts disappear with each noting, but the noting mind (or
awareness) also disappears with the noting. Thus you will come to realize that: "The
thoughts are not everlasting. Also the noting mind (or the awareness of them) is not
everlasting - Anicca."
Being so oppressed by such rapid
succession of Arising and Passing away, the yogi comes to realize their Unsatisfactory
nature or Suffering. At the same time, the yogi finds that this Arising and Passing away
as well as the resulting Suffering cannot be warded off in any way or by anyone. One
cannot do anything about it. It is Uncontrollable - Anatta. There and then you come to the
realization or Insight into the truth about: "All conditioned things being Transient
(Anicca), being objects of Suffering (Dukkha) and being Uncontrollable (Anatta)".
Thus, a yogi comes to a clear Insight or knowledge of Anicca (Impermanence), Dukkha
(Suffering) and Anatta (Uncontrollability).
on the pain
As you go on concentrating "Rising,
Falling, Sitting, Touching" for about an hour or 45 minutes, you will notice that
your limbs start to ache, become painful or numb. When this occurs, you have to change
your concentration from "Rising, Falling, Sitting, Touching" onto the pain, and
concentrate your mind on the pain.
There are 3 ways of being mindful or
fixing your concentration regarding the pain:
The first is to concentrate on the pain
with the objective of making the pain disappear.
The second is to make a strong
determination to make the pain disappear within this one sitting or within one day, and to
fight it all out in an aggressive manner.
The third is to concentrate so as to know
the true nature of the pain.
Method #1. Concentrating with the
objective of "wanting to be relieved of the pain". The first way means that the
yogi is actually craving for the pleasure of having no pain. That means the yogi is having
greed for pleasure. Mindfulness Meditation is to rid oneself of greed, to stop being
greedy. Instead, this greed (Lobha) now becomes an obstacle to the progress and
realization of the true nature of things. Thus, a yogi should not contemplate in this way.
Method #2. The second way, where you
determine yourself to get rid of this suffering, is not good either, because there is
anger (Dhosa) in the determination to fight. In other words, the determination is colored
with anger. One will not be able to make progress if one allows anger to creep in. That is
why one should not adopt this method.
Method #3. The third way is to concentrate
your mind on the pain so that you will come to know the "true nature" of the
pain. Only when one comes to know the true nature (of pain, in this case), Udaya Vaya (the
Arising and Passing away) will be revealed or known.
When pain occurs, yogis usually tend to
become tense both in body and mind. One should not tense up like that, but try to relax
both in body and mind. You should also try not to worry about whether you will have to
endure the pain the whole time or during this whole hour. You must try not to have such
You should keep yourself calm and adopt
the attitude that: "Pain will come and go at its own will, and my duty is to keep
mindful of the pain". You must also adopt the attitude that you will practice
"patience with the pain". Patience is the most crucial element in dealing with
pain. The saying that "Patience leads to Nibbana" is the most useful maxim in
After making a determination that you will
be patient, keep both your body and mind calm and relaxed. Dont be taut. Then,
pinpoint your mind on the pain and try to concentrate on the intensity of the pain
("How painful is it?") and on where the pain is most crucial ("On the flesh
or skin, in the muscles or right down in the bones or marrow?").
You must try to concentrate on the
intensity of the pain with each noting, then note as: "Painful, Painful; Aching,
Aching; etc.", and know exactly where they occur and how painful it is. Mindfulness
on the pain should be deep and penetrative, and not superficial. As you keep noting, if
you are deeply mindful, you will notice very clearly that after 4 or 5 notings, these
pains and aches become more and more severe and unbearable.
After reaching the peak, the pain will
tend to lessen and subside following its own course. When this occurs, you should not
relax your concentration. Instead, you should earnestly and enthusiastically continue
being mindful. You will then experience for yourself the pain becoming less and less after
every 4 or 5 notings and the pain shifting to another location.
Thus seeing the changing nature of pain,
the yogi becomes interested in the practice. Continuing in this way, as the mind gets more
and more steep in concentration, you will find that the pain increases with each noting.
After reaching a peak, the pain usually
subsides. One must not relax the intensity of ones noting when the pain starts to
subside. Instead, one must continue with the same intensity of effort, and one will find
the pain subsiding with each noting, and the pain changing locations. Thus the yogi will
come to realize that pain is not everlasting; it is always changing. It increases as well
as decreases. In this way, the yogi comes to know more about the real nature of pain.
Continuing noting in this way, when a yogi
reaches the stage of Insight known as "The Knowledge of Dissolution" (Bhanga
Nyana), he/she will realize, as if seeing clearly by his own eyes, that the pain
disappears completely with each noting, as if suddenly plucked away. In this way, the yogi
comes to realize that: "Pain is not permanent. It is Impermanent." The yogi is
now gaining the upperhand on the pain.
With further deepening of Insight, those
yogis whose Insight Knowledge of "Bhanga Nyana - Knowledge of Dissolution" are
sharp, are able to experience that: "with each noting, not only the pain but also the
noting mind (or consciousness) disappears with it".
In the case of yogis whose Insight
knowledge are exceptionally sharp, they will see distinctly 3 phases disappearing, that
is: the passing of the pain, the consciousness that recognizes or becomes aware of the
pain, and the noting mind registering the pain.
Thus the yogi comes to realize that pain
is not everlasting or permanent, neither does the consciousness (or feeling of the pain),
nor the noting mind.
Being oppressed by such quick succession
of Passing away or Dissolution, the yogi feels that it is Unsatisfactory - Suffering or
Dukkha. As these cannot be warded off, it is Uncontrollable - Anatta.
Thus, the yogi comes to realize that:
Pain is Anicca - Impermanent.
Pain is Dukkha - Suffering [Unsatisfactory].
Pain is Anatta - Uncontrollable.
When such knowledge become very distinct
and clear, progress will be made into further Insights.
While meditating, you may hear sounds, see
things or smell things that are around you. You may especially hear the sounds of corks,
birds, hammering and beating sounds, sounds of people, cars, etc. When you hear such
sounds, you must note as: "Hearing, Hearing." You must try to pay only
"bare attention" to the sounds. That is, you must try not to let your mind
follow these sounds or let your imagination get you about them.
When your concentration gets relatively
strong, as you note "Hearing, Hearing", the sounds may become indistinct as if
from far away, or as if being carried far away, or getting nearer, or hoarse and not
clear. That means you are getting better concentration on your noting. You are progressing
in your noting.
As you go noting in this way and your
concentration get better, you will find that as you note "Hearing, Hearing", the
sounds disappear syllable by syllable and the noting mind also disappear after hearing
each syllable. Yogis, whose Insight knowledge are sharp, are able to experience this very
clearly and distinctly.
Even yogis, who are beginners in noting
"Hearing, Hearing", will be able to experience distinctly that the sounds
disappear in disjointed syllables, without being connected to each other to make any
For example, when one hears the sound of
the word "Gentleman" and note it as "Hearing, Hearing." You will
notice hearing the sound of the syllable "Gen" first and then pass away. You
will next hear the sound "tle" and pass away, and finally the sound
"man". The sounds arising and passing away in such broken sequence that the
meaning of the word becomes obscure and unintelligible. Only the Passing away of the
sounds in broken sequences becomes evident.
When you experience the sounds
disappearing, you will come to realize that the sound is not permanent. When you
experience the noting mind also vanishing or passing away, you will realize that the
noting mind is also not permanent. Thus you will realize further that the sound being
heard is not permanent nor is the noting mind permanent. Thus it is Anicca [Impermanent].
Being oppressed by the quick succession of
such passing away means Unstisfactoriness or Dukkha.
Since one cannot stop or ward off this
oppression of passing away, it is Uncontrollable (Anatta).
Thus while noting "Hearing,
Hearing", one will come to realize the Insight knowledge of Anicca, Dukkha and
Anatta, and progress to further Insight knowledge.
in the sitting position
Noting during the sitting position as
"Rising, Falling, Sitting, Touching" has to do with the physical body, it is
known as Kayanupassana Satipatthana.
Noting as "Painful, Numb or
Aching" has to do with the feelings, it is known as Vedananupassana Satipatthana.
Noting as "Wandering, Wandering,
Planning, Planning, Thinking, Thinking, etc." has to do with the mind or acts of
consciousness, it is known as Cittanupassana Satipatthana.
Noting as "Seeing, Seeing, Hearing,
Hearing, Smelling, Smelling, etc." has to do with the dhammas, it is known as
So we see that while practicing in one
sitting of Mindfulness Meditation, as instructed by our benefactor, the Venerable Mahasi
Sayadaw, there is included all the 4 practices of Satipatthana.
Meditating while walking
There are 4 ways of noting Walking
Meditation; they are:
Making one noting with one step
Making 2 notings with one step
Making 3 notings with one step
Making 6 notings with one step
Method #1. The first way is to make note
of the step as one movement as: "Left step, Right step". When you note
"Left step," you must keep your mind closely pinpointed on the movement, from
the beginning of the step to the end of the step. You must concentrate closely on the
gradual forward movement of the step. Try not to concentrate on the physical form of the
foot. Similarly with the "Right step," you must concentrate on the gradual
forward movement of the step, movement by movement. You must not concentrate on the
physical form of the foot.
Method #2. The second way is to make note
of the step as 2 movements as: "Lifting, Dropping, Lifting, Dropping". You must
be aware of the nature of the gradual upward movement of the foot, movement by movement,
and again not the physical form of the foot, as you note: "Lifting." Similarly,
when you note "Dropping," you must keep aware of the nature of the foot dropping
slowly, movement by movement, and not the physical form.
The name of the physical form, such as
"foot", is so called for its namesake only. They are "Pannat",
Concepts or Conventions. Concepts are not objects of Vipassana. The element of motion or
movement is "Paramat", Reality. Only Realities are the objects of Vipassana.
It is the element of Vayo dhatu (the air
element or the element of motion), "Paramat" (Reality) that is making the
movement possible. You must concentrate closely and precisely to know this element of Vayo
Method #3. The third way is to note 3
movements as: "Lifting, Pushing Forward, Dropping". When you are Lifting your
foot, you must keep aware of the gradual upward movement of your foot as explained above.
When you note as "Pushing Forward," you must keep aware of the gradual movement
of the foot forward. When you note "Dropping," you must pay careful attention to
the dropping gradually of the foot downward.
All these movements must be closely and
keenly observed so that you are with the "present moment" of the movement of
your foot as well as the "knowing" of the nature of the movement itself, which
is Paramat. When your concentration is strong, as you note "Lifting", you will
come to realize for yourself not only the gradual upward movement, movement by movement,
but also that it becomes lighter and lighter as it moves upward.
As you note "Pushing Forward,"
also you will come to realize not only the gradual forward movement, movement by movement,
but also that it becomes light as it moves forward. When you drop your foot and note
["Dropping"] as such, you will again realize not only the downward movement,
movement by movement, but also that it becomes heavy as it goes down. Such realization
results in the yogis becoming interested in their practice. It means the start of the
emergence of the Insight (Penetrative) Knowledge for the yogi.
Experiencing Lightness means experiencing
the characteristics of Tejo dhatu - element of heat and cold, and V¬yo dhatu - element of
motion or movement.
Experiencing Heaviness means experiencing
the characteristics of Pathavi dhatu - element of extension, toughness or hardness, and
Apo dhatu - element of cohesion and fluidity.
The knowledge or awareness of such mental
and physical phenomena is the beginning of Insight knowledge into the intrinsic nature of
mental and physical process as it really is.
Method # 4. The fourth way is to make note
as 6 movements [and there are 3 techniques.]
1) Noting 6 movements as: "Beginning
to Lift, End of Lifting; Beginning to Push Forward, End of Pushing Forward; Beginning to
Drop, End of Dropping".
- "Beginning to Lift" means only
the heal has been raised.
- "End of Lifting" means the whole feet together with the toes has been raised.
- "Beginning to Push Forward" means the foot has just "started" to
- "End of Pushing Forward" means the stage of the foot that is just about to
descend for dropping.
- "Beginning to Drop" means the stage of descending to drop.
- "End of Dropping" means when the foot touches the ground or floor.
Actually, this is just dividing the 3
movements into 6 as "beginning and ending".
2) Another way is to note as:
"Wanting to Lift, Lifting; Wanting to push forward, Pushing forward; Wanting to drop,
Dropping." In this type of noting, the mental phenomena (Wanting to...) and physical
phenomena (Lifting, etc.) are noted separately.
3) Still another way is to note as:
"Lifting, Raising; Pushing Forward; Dropping, Touching, Pressing."
- When you note "Lifting," it is
the stage where only the heel starts to lift.
- "Raising" means the whole foot together with the toes is raised.
- "Pushing Forward" means pushing the foot forward as just one movement.
- "Dropping" means starting to put the foot down.
- "Touching" means the foot touches the ground or floor.
- "Pressing" means pressing the foot in order to lift the other foot.
Thus you will note as "Lifting,
Raising, Pushing Forward, Dropping, Touching, Pressing" in 6 movements. Yogis can
make real progress by noting with such 6 movements and gain further Insight.
III. Meditation while performing daily
or on the general details
"Mindfulness on the General
Details" means being mindful of the little details in the daily activities as one
goes through the daily routine. It is not the time for Sitting Meditation or Walking
Meditation. They are little details that you do when you return to your living quarters,
such as: opening the door, closing the door, making the bed, changing clothes, washing
clothes, preparing meals, eating, drinking, etc. You must keep aware and note all these
little details, too.
while having a meal
The moment you see the meal, you must note
as "Seeing, Seeing".
When you stretch your hand to reach the food, note as "Stretching, Stretching".
When you touch the food, note as "Touching, Touching".
When you collect and arrange your food, note as "Arranging, Arranging".
When you bring it to your mouth, note as "Bringing, Bringing".
When you bend your head to take the food, note as "Bending, Bending".
When you open your mouth, note as "Opening, Opening".
When you put the food into your mouth, note as "Putting, Putting".
When you straighten or raise your head again, note as "Raising, Raising".
When you chew, note as "Chewing, Chewing".
When you are aware of the taste, note as "Knowing, Knowing".
When you swallow, note as "Swallowing, Swallowing".
The above instructions are in accordance
with the way our benefactor, The Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw, who practiced and noted while
taking a morsel of food. You should also be mindful or aware of such movements, closely,
precisely and energetically.
It will not be easy in the beginning to be
aware of all the movements. You will forget to note many of the movements, but you must
not be discouraged. When your concentration deepens, you will be able to note all the
At the beginning of the practice of such
mindfulness, you must first try to focus on the most distinctive movement to you as your
main object. What is the most distinctive movement to you? If stretching your hand is the
most distinctive movement, then you must try to note "Stretching, Stretching"
without missing or forgetting. If bending your head is most distinct, try to note
"Bending, Bending" without missing or forgetting. If chewing is most distinct,
try to note "Chewing, Chewing" without missing or forgetting. You should thus
try to note at least one distinctive movement as your main object without missing or
Once you can focus your mind on one object
closely and precisely and gain in concentration, you will be able to focus and note the
other movements and sustain your concentration. In this way, you can make progress in the
various stages of Vipassana Insights while taking your meal.
The chewing movement is especially more
distinctive. Our benefactor, The Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw, has once said that: "Of
the 2 jaws, it is the lower jaw that is involved in the chewing movement. This movement of
the lower jaw is actually what we call Chewing ".
If you can note this gradual movement of
the jaw well and have good concentration, you will find noting on the chewing movement to
be quite well and good. Beginning with this chewing movement, you will be able to note all
the movements involved in taking food.
on the motion of sitting down
Noting "Sitting, Standing, Bending,
Stretching" are also part of "Noting the General Details". If one really
keeps keenly aware, one will realize that there arises first the "Desire to sit"
before the actual act of sitting. This awareness is usually experienced by those yogis
whose concentration is basically good. Thus one must start with noting this desire as
"Wanting to sit, Wanting to sit". Only when the actual movement of sitting
begins, one will note as "Sitting, Sitting".
When you note "Sitting,
Sitting", try also not to concentrate on the forms of head, body, legs, etc. You must
concentrate closely on the "nature" of the gradual downward movement, movement
by movement. You must concentrate in such a way that your mind stays pinpointed on the
"present moment" of the downward movement, movement by movement.
You have to concentrate very closely and
precisely so that you can realize the "real nature" (Paramat) of the movement.
If you can concentrate in that way on the movement and your mind also is able to stay with
the "present moment", you will realize for yourself clearly that you are not
only aware of the gradual downward movement but also able to feel it getting heavier and
heavier as it moves downwards.
on the motion of standing up / getting up
When you want to stand up, if you keep
closely and keenly aware, you will be aware of the "Desire to get up" first. You
must note this as "Wanting to get up, Wanting to get up". The desire to get up
sets in motion Vayo dhatu (the element of motion) which pushes you up. As you bend forward
to collect your energy to get up, note as "Collecting energy, Collecting
energy". If you stretch your hand to the side for support, note "Supporting,
When the body becomes filled with energy,
it will gradually rise upwards. This movement is what we call "standing up" or
"getting up". We note this as "Standing up, Standing up". These
"phrases" are used just for its namesake (Concept). Again, we must try to
realize the nature of the gradual upward movement. Thus we must concentrate closely and
precisely on the nature of the upward movement as well as to be with the "present
moment" as it rises upwards.
If you can make your mind stay pinpointed
on the "present moment" as well as closely and precisely aware of the nature of
the upward movement (the Reality; Paramat), you will come to realize that as you reach
higher and higher up, the body becomes lighter and lighter as it rises upward.
Thus you come to realize for yourself the
heaviness with the gradual movement downwards, and the lightness with the gradual movement
upwards. Realizing the "Lightness" means seeing the nature of Tejo dhatu [the
Fire element] and Vayo dhatu [the Wind element]. Realizing the "Heaviness" means
the nature of Pathavi dhatu [the Earth element] and Apo dhatu [the Water element].
the Arising and Passing away
MOTTO: Only when the nature (particular
mark or characteristic) is known, Udaya Vaya will be seen.
After coming to know the nature of the
particular phenomena, one will come to know Udaya (the Arising) and Vaya (the Passing
away). One will come to see the Arising and Passing away from moment to moment. There is
one arising and passing away; then another arising and passing away; another arising and
passing; and so on. Seeing clearly the Arising and Passing away is Sankhata Lakkhana (mark
or sign of Conditionality of Arising and Dissolution).
Continuing noting in this way after seeing
the Arising and Passing away, if ones concentration becomes strong and advanced, you
will find the Arising not so distinct, but the Passing away becoming more prominent.
Experiencing the Passing way more distinctly, the yogi come to realize that no phenomena
When the yogi becomes clearly aware that
the noting mind also passes away, he/she will come to realize that the noting mind is also
not permanent, that both mental and physical phenomena are Impermanent (Anicca).
Being oppressed by such rapid succession
of Passing away means Suffering (Dukkha). Such Dissolution cannot be stopped or warded
off; it is taking place at its own will means Uncontrollable (Anatta). When your Insight
knowledge of this Anicca, Dukkha and Anatta becomes very clear and thorough, one can
progress to further Insights.
Thus while noting the process of sitting
down and standing up, one will come to realize the "characteristics of Anicca, Dukkha
and Anatta" (Sannanna Lakkhana). When one is clear and thorough about this Sannanna
Lakkhana, one will gain further Insights that one has been aspiring for.
on bending and stretching
Noting the bending and stretching are also
part of "Noting the General Details" of daily activities. When you are about to
bend your arm, if you keep attentively aware, you will find that there is first the
"desire to bend". Thus you must note as "Wanting to bend, Wanting to
bend". Next, you must concentrate closely and attentively to know the nature of the
gradual movement of the bending of the arm. Here also one will be able to experience the
lightness of the arm as it moves upward by paying very close and precise attention.
When you want to stretch the arm back
after taking care of whatever need to be taken care of by bending, the "desire to
stretch" will also become distinct. Then you must note as "Wanting to stretch,
Wanting to stretch". When the actual movement of stretching occurs, note as
"Stretching, Stretching". This outward and downward movement of the arm, we call
"stretching". As you note "Stretching, Stretching", you will also
notice it becomes heavier and heavier as it falls downwards.
The characteristics of Lightness and
Heaviness are known as "Sabhava Lakkhana" (Specific or Particular mark or
MOTTO: Only when the nature (particular
mark or characteristic) is known, Udaya Vaya will be seen.
Continuing noting in this way, one will
come to realize that the nature of Lightness and Heaviness arise and pass away, and thus
comes to know the "Sankhata Lakkhana" (Compound or Conditioned characteristic
which has a beginning, middle and end [or dissolution]).
As one reaches the stage of Insight of
"Bhanga Nyana" (Knowledge of Dissolution), one sees the Dissolution of the
bending and stretching phenomena more clearly and distinctly. Thus one comes to realize
that: "The act of bending is not everlasting, and the noting mind on the bending is
also not everlasting. The act of stretching is not everlasting nor the noting mind on the
Thus, while bending and stretching, one
can have a clear and thorough knowledge of the "characteristics of Anicca, Dukkha and
Anatta" and progress to the higher knowledge or Insight that one have been aspiring
Having listened to the 3 aspects of the
Basic Exercises on Vipassana Meditation, may you be able to practice accordingly and
acquire that knowledge which you have been searching for with ease and realize the peace
of Nibbana, the extinction of all suffering, soon.
- May we be fulfilled with the Venerable
Sadhu, Sadhu, Sadhu!
Recitation for radiating thoughts of Metta
(Loving Kindness) used at the Saddhammaransi Meditation Center:
May all beings in the ten directions be
free from harm.
May they be free from mental suffering.
May they be free from physical suffering.
May they physically and mentally at ease.
May they be able to bear the burden of life (*)
(*) (to repeat 3 times)
Only when mindful at the present moment of Arising, will Sabhava Lakkhana (the Particular
mark or characteristic) be really known.
Only when the nature (the particular characteristic) is known, Udaya Vaya will be seen.
All Arising physical and mental phenomena must be explicitly observed as "inevitable
ending" in Dissolution (Passing away).
When the Dissolution (Passing away) is known, Anicca will be explicitly known.
When Anicca is seen, Dukkha becomes obvious.
When Dukkha becomes obvious, Anatta is seen.
When Anatta is seen, Nibbana will be realized.
thanks to Dr. Binh Anson for offering us with this article.