The following dialog between the venerable Mogok Mogok Sayadaw U Vimala and U Kyaw Thein, the author of the Mogok Sayadaw:s biography and the method is a glimpse on the practice at the Mogok Vipassana Centre. It was given on a day in September 1957 (1318 Burmese era) at the Mingalar Monastery in Amarapura, Burma.
Mogok Sayadaw: Have you come to practice meditation?
U Kyaw Thein: Yes Sire, I have come to practice meditation.
Mogok Sayadaw: All right, does your family give you the permission?
They gave me the permission Sire.
Mogok Sayadaw: Why do you come to meditate, is it that I have only asked you?
I want to be free of the suffering in Samsara, my lord.
Mogok Sayadaw: Have you developed faith (Saddha) in your mind as well?
I have the faith Sire.
Mogok Sayadaw: If thats the case you must decide in your mind that you have the rarest opportunities for being a human who is born in the Buddhas Sasana, and to have the chance to practice Vipassana that I am going to give you. You must also develop faith in you mind that it will help you to escape from the Samsaric sufferings of old age, ailments, death, and other misfortunes and make up your mind to follow the instructions meticulously.
Yes my Lord.
Mogok Sayadaw: Maung Kyaw Thein, you must also decide not to think of your business and your family. Try to be detached from these by using wisdom.
Yes Sire, I will renounce them.
Mogok Sayadaw: You must rely on the three main principles (Adipadhi).
All right, but what are these three principles Sire?
Mogok Sayadaw: Yes, I will tell you. Firstly, you must remember that you need to rely on yourself; that you practice meditation not for your livelihood, but to release from the suffering of old age, disease, death, misfortunes and inconveniences. This is the Attadipadhi (self-reliance principle).
Mogok Sayadaw: Secondly, you must regard life as your next principle (Lokadipadhi). You must not pretend to meditate and think of all your life affairs. Dont be lazy, apathetic, asleep and dont let your mind roam. Dont do anything that is not right for your guardian angel, good Devas and those who have Abhinna (super natural powers) know. So you must be shameful of yourself if you are not leading a good life.
Mogok Sayadaw: You must regard Dhamma as the third principle (Dhammadipadhi). You must pay respect to the Dhamma and try to experience insight wisdom (Vipassana nana) directly. You must know that if you were not enlightened it was not that there was no Dhamma, but it was your fault that you did not pay due respect to the Dhamma principle. You must decide to have faith in this principle and strife with all your might.
Yes Sire. If I take these as the main principles and meditate shall I be awakened in this very life, my Lord?
Mogok Sayadaw: Have you committed the Panchanandriya kamma (five cardinal sins)? Have you killed an Arahat?
Mogok Sayadaw: Have you killed your mother or your father?
Mogok Sayadaw: Have you ever caused a split among Sangha?
No I havent Sire.
Mogok Sayadaw: All right, I wont ask you whether you have caused any physical harm to the Buddha as it is not relevant now. If you have not committed any of these sins just try your best in the practice. It will take only seven years if a person is very dull, seven months for an average and seven days for very bright persons with the right practice. It wont happen without practice. You must work hard with faith, mindfulness, concentration, energy, and wisdom (Saddha, Sati, Samadhi, Viriya and Panna).
Yes my Lord, I will work hard and follow your instructions.
Mogok Sayadaw: All right then. You take the eight precepts.
[ After taking the eight precepts (refrain from killing, stealing, practising celibacy, refraining from telling lies, taking intoxicants, taking solid food after mid-day, and refraining from sensual indulgences such as perfume, cosmetics, music & dancing, and handling money & financial matters) ]
Mogok Sayadaw: Now you need to do the five rituals (Pubbakissa) during meditation.
Mogok Sayadaw: Do you know how to differentiate between matter (Rupa) and mind (Nama)?
I have only the theoretical knowledge, Sire.
Mogok Sayadaw: All right, Ill tell you. When you consider vision you have the eye and the object, which are Rupa and the image that developed in your mind is the Nama. Likewise, all six sense organs and their objects are Rupas and the sensations developed by their interactions are Namas (Eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and thoughts).
Yes my Lord.
Mogok Sayadaw: You must differentiate between mind and matter. Then do not go after the Jhana way (for attaining super natural powers). If a Yogi wants to overcome live and death and become awakened he needs concentration of the mind just enough to develop Samadhi. Then he must practise Vipassana.
Mogok Sayadaw: Switching over to Vipassana is just like a locomotive changing rails from one to another. The contemplation of the mind is moved from Samatha (one point) to the arising and dissolving phenomenon of the current Rupa-Nama (sensation). You must remember that this is led by the mind.
Mogok Sayadaw: You must do the contemplation of breathing (Anapanna) first. It is mindfulness of the incoming and outgoing breath. You must breathe in normally and fully. Do not force it or reduce it, but breathe in and out regularly.
Mogok Sayadaw: You can focus your mind on the lips at the tip of nostrils or at the sternum, but it is better to keep it at the tips of nostrils (to be sharper in developing concentration). Whatever site you have chosen you must try to be mindful continuously.
Mogok Sayadaw: Anapanusatti is the mindfulness that occurs when contemplated on the incoming and outgoing breaths. A Yogi practising Anapananusatti fixes the mind strongly on the breathing while taking breaths regularly and normally. He first focuses the mind on the tip of nostrils and watches as the air goes in and out.
Mogok Sayadaw: Apart from this mindfulness of the touch of air he must not divert his attention to any other object.
Mogok Sayadaw: A Yogi who has developed concentration after practising Anapana must know that the person is not "you, I, male or female," but a collection of Rupa (matter) and Nama (mind) and a collection of the five aggregates. Then the Yogi must realise that the mind that registers this knowledge is the Nama. This Nama dwells in the heart. The physic that is in sitting meditation is the Rupa. You will come to know this reality by direct experience.
After this differentiation of Rupa and Nama you must understand that the collection of twenty-four physical objects is the Rupatkhanda. The consciousness that knows is the Vinanakhanda. Feelings that associate with the mind when contemplated on sensations are the aggregate of Vedanatkhanda. Recognition of the sensations that associate with the mind is the aggregate of Sanatkhanda. The other fifty concomitants of the mind, which include all volitional perceptions except consciousness and recognition, are known as the aggregate of Sankharatkhanda.
I will need to explain further using the Paticca Samupadda to differentiate cause and effect relationships, as you may not understand thoroughly.
Yes Sire, its getting more and more clear by your explanations.
Mogok Sayadaw: Thats right. It is better to let a Yogi know the basics before giving the practical aspects.
Mogok Sayadaw: After you know the five aggregates you must also understand roughly that the past Avijja-Tanha (ignorance and attachments) are the causes of Rupa-Nama (body and mind).
Yes my Lord.
Mogok Sayadaw: Now you repeat what I said to request for the meditation method.
"Kammathanan mae bhante detha sansara vatta dukkhataw mawcanatthaya"
Bhante please give me with compassion, the right method of meditation in order to be free of the samsaric suffering. Repeat this three times. Now go and practise for an hour on what I have just taught you.
[ U Kyaw Thein paid respect to the Mogok Sayadaw and went to his allotted place, which was not far from the Sayadaws room. He then started to practise Anapana as he was instructed, but could not prevent his mind from roaming for the first half an hour. He over heard the dialog between the Mogok Sayadawand a traditional medicine practitioner who was attending to the Mogok Sayadawin his room. The practitioner was discussing about a certain medicine text and the Mogok Sayadaw:told him that Metta was even more effective than medicine. U Kyaw Thein (KT)could not help his mind from overhearing the conversation and began to divert his attention to eaves drop the discussion. ]
Then the Mogok Sayadaw warned him from his room. "Maung Kyaw Thein, you are not mindful. Try to keep your mind from wandering."
[ KT was amazed when he heard the Sayadaws voice as it was not possible for the Mogok Sayadaw:to see him from his room. There was another room in between his place and that of the Sayadaw. He did not know how he was caught, but became very astonished and concerned and tried his best to build up the concentration. He could not remember how long he had been meditating when he was summoned to see the Sayadaw. ]
Mogok Sayadaw: Maung Kyaw Thein did you practise as I told you?
Yes I did. I have kept my mind at the sternum Sire.
Mogok Sayadaw: Did it stay where it was kept then?
No Sire, it didnt at the beginning, but it stayed there later on.
Mogok Sayadaw: When Anapana is practised for an hour and have obtained Samadhi, it was not possible if you did not have perseverance. That is Viriya (effort) and with this effort you have managed to sit for an hour. This is called Samma vayama, the right effort.
Did your mind notice the movement of air at the sternum while you were breathing?
Yes Sire, I did.
Mogok Sayadaw: Right, you noticed the movement of air as you were mindful. This is called Samma sati, the right mindfulness.
Mogok Sayadaw: When you were practising Anapana did you mind wander to your home? Where did it go?
No Sire, it didnt go anywhere. It stayed at the sternum where it was kept.
Mogok Sayadaw: Right, that was Samma samadhi, the right concentration. Your mind has stayed where it was kept.
Mogok Sayadaw: All right, you have developed Samadhi. However, you need to develop it further by breathing through the nose, but not through the mouth. When you are breathing do not try to notice if you are breathing with your right or left nostril, but try to develop Samadhi. You dont need to follow other Samatha methods. If you breathe through the nose you must know that it is through the nose and if you take a deep breath you must know that you are doing so.
Very well, Sire.
Mogok Sayadaw: You have been instructed to keep your mind to the sternum at first. Now you must watch as the air touches the nostrils, sternum and umbilicus while you breathe in and vice versa as it goes out.
Mogok Sayadaw: You must notice the outgoing and incoming air as if through the bellows and as a string of a lathe-file rubs the stick you must continuously watch the air at the place where it touches. You must notice when you breathe faster, and must know when it is slow. You must be aware when you breath is long/deep and also knows when it is short/shallow. However, you dont need to watch the breath in a continuos stream. Just watch at the point of contact as if a saw cuts through the timber, but not along the edge of the saw. You must focus your mind at the point of contact of the air with the nostrils.
I will, Sire.
Mogok Sayadaw: If you practise in this way and be mindful you can develop Samadhi within fifteen minutes when you become accustomed to it.
Mogok Sayadaw: You need to know that it is the Rupa (matter) that was doing the breathing and it is the Nama (consciousness) that knew what you were doing. When you can differentiate between Nama and Rupa the knowledge developed is called Namarupa pariccheda nana (analytical knowledge of mind and matter). Cleansing of views is also involved simultaneously, which is known as Ditthi visuddhi. Remember this carefully.
Mogok Sayadaw: When you meditate you must know the followings.
Mogok Sayadaw: I will give you an example how to master your mind.
Suppose a herd tender wanted to tame a raw cow he needs to put a post firmly into the ground, insert a rein into the cows nose, and tie it to the post and tame her. Likewise, you must tame your mind by fixing it to the cord of mindfulness (Sati) and tie it up to the post of the object of contemplation in your practice. Do you understand?
Mogok Sayadaw: Ill give you another example. If you want to catch a lizard that went into a burrow that had six holes, you need to close five holes and wait at the sixth. The analogy to this procedure would be to close all the five sense doors, namely your ears, eyes, nose, body, your tongue and then to wait at the last door, which is your mind. You will surely catch the thought as it occurs, just like you catch the lizard. Is that clear?
Very well, Sire.
Mogok Sayadaw: All right, you keep them aside for a while. You go back and continue your practice to develop the concentration further. Then you can sleep after it.
[ U Kyaw Thein paid his respects and did as he was told. ]
[ The next day he went to see the Mogok Sayadaw at five in the morning while the Sayadaw was having breakfast. There were other experienced Yogis who came to meditate and they were interviewed and assessed by the Sayadaw after the breakfast. When his turn came the Sayadaw paid more attention, as he was a beginner. ]
Mogok Sayadaw: Maung Kyaw Thein when did you start the meditation last night and when did you stop?
I started at 11.30 PM and stopped at 1AM, Sire.
Mogok Sayadaw: How was your Samadhi?
I could manage to get it Sire, but barely.
Mogok Sayadaw: Why was that?
I must admit that I felt sleepy Sire.
Mogok Sayadaw: Shame on you. That was due to excess in your determination. You must have persisted to meditate in your sitting posture. You should have changed it and did walking meditation instead, if you felt sleepy.
Mogok Sayadaw: It is all right to change the posture for beginners. As you become more experienced you may not need to change the posture when you feel sleepy.
How would I do it Sire? I dont know how to evade sleepiness without changing posture.
Mogok Sayadaw: When you become sleepy how was your breathing? Was it quicker or slower?
It was slow and shallow, Sire.
Mogok Sayadaw: Right, the breathing will be slower and you feel sleepy. Then what about your Sati at that time?
It was poor, Sire. I was not mindful at that time.
Mogok Sayadaw: "Ca catawva acasati, ca tawva pacasati." As mentioned in the Maha Satipatthana Sutta a Yogi who practises Anapana must breathe in and out with mindfulness. But you have lost mindfulness, you must never let it go.
I admit I lost mindfulness, Sire.
Mogok Sayadaw: You must breathe in fully and then breathe out fully. (You must notice as soon as the breathing becomes slower and correct it by breathing fully again. If you do not notice as soon as the breathing gets slower you may go into torpor and soon become sleepy) You must never let the mindfulness escape. If you breathe fully in this way for ten to fifteen minutes you can become alert again.
Yes Sire, now I understand.
Mogok Sayadaw: Another thing is, when you become angry dont you breathe more harshly?
Yes I do, Sire.
Mogok Sayadaw: Right, why does the breathing become quick and harsh?
I have no idea, Sire.
Mogok Sayadaw: Maung Kyaw Thein, you note this down well. When you are angry your blood in the heart is bright red and hot. As the heart needs to beat faster it needs more energy and you have to breathe much faster. (Thus, the blood became redder and hot due to increased turbulence and flow)
Mogok Sayadaw: When you recover from anger dont you feel that your body is weary and tired?
It is, Sire.
Mogok Sayadaw: Why is that?
I dont know, Sire.
Mogok Sayadaw: Because your heart beats much faster, but you do not realise it during the anger as you are not aware. Only after it you came to know about the situation and you become weary and tired.
Exactly Sire, I have the experience.
Mogok Sayadaw: Sometimes when you are carried away by greed or desire, you say you do not have the time to become tired, dont you?
Yes I do, Sire.
Mogok Sayadaw: That is you have followed your desires instead of your mind.
Mogok Sayadaw: When you meditate Anapana you must relax your body and your muscles. Only then you can breathe regularly and correctly. The Buddha said "Pacambayan Kayasankharan." That is you must breathe neither slowly nor quickly, and neither shallow nor deep, but regularly.
Yes Sire, I will follow your instructions, but what shall I pay more attention?
Mogok Sayadaw: You remember this very carefully. It is only Sati (concentration) that is never in excess. Saddha, Samadhi, Viriya, Panna (faith, concentration, effort and knowledge) must be developed simultaneously. If you could not develop them simultaneously and equally they would not be well balanced and either Uddhacca (distraction) or Htina middha (torpor or sloth) would result. At present, you have been instructed to meditate just to develop Samadhi. Dont let it mix with anything else!
Mogok Sayadaw: You continue with the meditation after you have your breakfast. Only then you will develop the Samadhi. When you meditate let faith, knowledge, concentration and effort be well balanced as I have told you earlier. I am taking my time to explain in detail as you are a beginner. Whats so difficult to about practising Anapana. Go and practise till your Samadhi is strong and then come back.
[ When the Mogok Sayadaw left U Kyaw Thein had his breakfast and continued his practice from six to eight in the morning. However, he did not have strong Samadhi despite the extended practice and he had to try repeatedly using all available means. ]
[ After eight oclock U Kyaw Thein helped preparing the meal for the Mogok Sayadaw together with those who came to the monastery for offering the necessities for Sangha. When everything was done he went to the Mogok Sayadaw:at nine oclock to be assessed on his progress. ]
Mogok Sayadaw: How are you doing Maung Kyaw Thein? Have you developed good Samadhi?
Yes my Lord, I have developed a strong Samadhi now.
Mogok Sayadaw: What position have you taken to meditate?
Sire, I have done sitting meditation at the first hour and then did the walking meditation for the rest of the time.
Mogok Sayadaw: You didnt look like you have strong Samadhi though you said so.
Can you, my Lord, tell exactly if a person has Samadhi or not just by looking the external appearances?
Mogok Sayadaw smiled and replied "Dear Maung Kyaw Thein, I will explain to you later how different a person looked if he had the Samadhi. Take a bath after you have your meal and then make sure that you have no inconveniences. Otherwise you may have to disrupt the practise if you have the call of nature while meditating. These things are very interfering with the practice."
[ Only then U Kyaw Thein realised his fault of having inconveniences while he was meditating earlier as he did not go to the loo before the six oclock sitting. Now he did as he was advised and started the meditation from twelve noon till two oclock. Later on he went to see the Mogok Sayadaw:in his room. Being a beginner he was given a special privilege to visit the Mogok Sayadawas often as he wished if he had any problems. ]
Mogok Sayadaw: Have you developed a strong Samadhi now?
Mogok Sayadaw: Right, you now have the Samadhi, but you must remember that Samadhi is like a column of mercury in a thermometer. It can go up and down according to the condition. When you are in meditation it is good. However, if you encounter with crude sensuality it can go down again.
Yes Sire, but I have a strong Samadhi now.
Mogok Sayadaw: All right, its enough. You can change over to Vipassana. First you must try to develop good Samadhi and then go to Vipassana.
Mogok Sayadaw: You are asked to do Samadhi not to encourage you to practise Samatha. You must let go of the mindful breathing as soon as the mind is calm and then contemplate on any sensation that develops without any breach. If you contemplate more and more on sensations you will come to a point where you can overcome them. You will no longer register them as sensations, but only as arising or dissolving phenomenon. You will realise that all sensations including pleasant ones, unpleasant ones and neutral ones dissipate and come to an end. When you contemplate on sensations Vedana will appear, but when you watch them with analytical knowledge you will come to know that they are impermanent (Aniccha). If this wisdom is developed it can be regarded as the overcoming of Vedana (sensual perception). If you couldnt comprehend the impermanence of sensual perceptions you havent overcome Vedana as yet. When a Yogi has surpassed Vedana or has eliminated them the Yogi will feel light, agile and fresh even after the meditation is over. That is why one needs to try hard to overcome Vedana. Mindfulness of breathing in Samatha is just to make the mind calm, but it cannot lead to Nibbana. You must remember this very well.
Yes my Lord.
Mogok Sayadaw: Vipassana is to keep the mind on the wisdom path and watch and realise the phenomenon of mind and matter as they are. The physical body that we have at present is continuously forming and decaying from cradle to coffin. It must be comprehended that impermanence (Aniccha), suffering (Dukkha) and impersonal characteristics (Anatta) are the only realities that can be found.
Mogok Sayadaw: When Rupa and Nama (body and mind) are comprehended as Aniccha, Dukkha and Anatta repeatedly, and the arising and dissolving phenomenon are perceived it is known to have reached the Udayabbaya nana. You remember? Do you understand?
Yes my Lord.
Mogok Sayadaw: You need to know these facts clearly. If they are not clarified beforehand using acquired knowledge your progress will not be substantial. So I will have to go further to remove false views (Ditthi) and doubts (Vicikccha). Maung Kyaw Thein, if you want to be a stream winner (Sotapanna) what should you remove first?
Yes Sire, I need to remove Ditthi and Vicikiccha first.
Mogok Sayadaw: Right, where do false views and doubts lie?
I have no idea, Sire.
Mogok Sayadaw: Ditthi and Vicikiccha are attached with the five aggregates of mind and matter.
Yes Sire, now I know.
Mogok Sayadaw: Now you know that they are attached to the five aggregates. If you do not know where these five aggregates come from and how they are arising and dissolving, you could not remove false views and doubts by any means.
All right, my Lord.
Mogok Sayadaw: You may have the book knowledge or have acquired from teachers that the five aggregates are Rupakhanda, Vedanakhanda, Sannakhanda, Sankharakhanda and Vinanakhanda, but if you do not know the causes and reasons for their becoming and disintegration false views would adhere to you despite the acquired knowledge. That is why you need to know Paticcasamupadda, the cycle of dependant arising first if you want to have insight into the five aggregates. So, I will teach you the Paticcasamupadda. Go and fetch the cycle of dependant arising chart from my room. Do you still remember anything about Paticcasamupadda?
Yes Sire, I could remember only a few aspects.
[ When he brought the chart]
The Mogok Sayadaw said "Right, place it in front of you. Ill show you. What you have learnt about dependant arising in the past was only an acquired knowledge."
I have only the book knowledge, Sire.
Mogok Sayadaw: If you do not know Paticcasamupadda there is no way you can know the aggregates. If you do not know the aggregates, false views will adhere. Thats why you need to comprehend Paticcasamupadda. Book knowledge is not enough.
Yes Sire, I will try to understand it.
Mogok Sayadaw: Do you still remember it by heart?
Yes I do, Sire.
Mogok Sayadaw: In that case I wont elaborate on it (Please refer to Paticcasamupadda on the web site). You must remember that there are two forms of dependant arising. What you know from the book about Paticcasamupadda is one thing and there is also another Paticcasamupadda that is arising and dissolving in the body. You must understand the Paticcasamupadda of the body in order to make progress. Do you follow me?
Pointing at the diagram of the circle of dependent arising The Mogok Mogok Sayadawcontinued "Thats why I am going to show you the causes and reasons for arising and dissolving of the five aggregates. Do you know that your volitional responses (Sankhara) of the past existence, which were carried out without wisdom (Avijja) have resulted in the body that you have it now?"
Mogok Sayadaw: Those were in the past and therefore they were out of your control. They were past Paticcasamupadda and did not concern you. Again the future Paticcasamuppada has not arrived yet and so it does not concern you. The most important thing is to understand the present Paticcasamupadda. Is that clear?
Mogok Sayadaw: Which Samupadda concerns you?
The present one my Lord.
Mogok Sayadaw: What about the past?
It doesnt concern us, Sire.
Mogok Sayadaw: And the future?
Mogok Sayadaw: Where do false views and doubts attach?
To the five aggregates, Sire.
Mogok Sayadaw: Right, they are attached to the five aggregates. If I ask you whose hair is this, you will answer that it is your hair. The false view attaches to Rupakhanda, the hair. If I say that the tea is very nice, it attaches to Vedanakhanda, the feeling or taste. If I say that this sentence is written by me, I note down this line, then the false view attaches to Sannakhanda, the interpretation of a feeling. When I say that my weaving is exceptionally good, then the false view attaches to Sankharakhanda, the reaction to a feeling. And if I say "Dont you dare try me" then the false view attaches to the Vinnakhanda, the consciousness or self esteem. These are the places of attachment, do you follow me?
Mogok Sayadaw: Then you must detach the false views and doubts from the aggregates. Theoretically, if Rupa and Nama (matter and mind) can be differentiated they say that false views are detached. However, there is one more thing to understand.
Only when you understand the cause of Paticcasamupadda and the effect of Paticcasamupadda you will detach yourself from false views and doubts. If you know the cause of aggregates you can eliminate the false views. If you dont, the false views will stay. If you know that the effect (of anything that happens in you) is due to the causes of aggregates, then you can eliminate the false views totally.
Mogok Sayadaw: If you understand that there are only causes and effects, but no persons and beings (non-personalised view) you can eliminate the false views.
Very well, Sire.
Mogok Sayadaw: What you need to work is the present Paticcasamupadda. It doesnt mean the whole day, but what you see or hear at the present moment. It is important to watch the present moment when you meditate now. Dont recall the past and dont look forward to the future, but watch what is happening at present. By the way, how old are you now?
Mogok Sayadaw: Right, even if your are forty you may consider that you have the same appearance as you were in your younger age, then it is Sassata Ditthi, the unchanging perverted view.
Mogok Sayadaw: If you consider that you can risk your life for money, that you do not care about your life as you think that there is nothing after dying (dying is better than suffering), then it is Uccheda Ditthi, the annihilation view. You must not consider like this as well. Do you understand?
Yes, my Lord.
Mogok Sayadaw: You must cleanse of these two false views (Sassata and Uccheda dtithi) first before you meditate.
Yes, Ill do it, Sire.
Mogok Sayadaw: If you know the disintegration phenomena of mind and matter you cleanse the Sassata ditthi, and if you know the arising phenomena you cleanse the Uccheda ditthi.
Ive cleansed them, Sire.
Mogok Sayadaw: Right, it is only with the book knowledge. Is that clear? Dont attach yourself to mind and matter as "You, me."
Very well, Sire. I will no longer get attached.
Mogok Sayadaw: Then it is enough. Go to a quiet place and start the meditation. You practise Samatha only to get a good Samadhi (concentration). Sit straight, know the incoming and outgoing breaths, the Samadhi will become good, then you must not lax the effort at that time. Let the awareness (Sati) and knowledge (Panna) go together, the physical body will start showing changes and you will notice sensations (Vedana). Try to overcome the feeling that arises, if you watch your mind focus on the thoughts. If a sound is heard while watching thoughts you must notice that it is heard.
Very well, Sire. I will watch and register whatever comes.
Mogok Sayadaw: Right, after you register it you must consider that your mind is your consciousness. Then contemplate on the incoming and outgoing breaths with your consciousness and consider that those are the two hosts of consciousness. If you hear a sound while watching it is the hearing consciousness, if you smell anything with your nose it is the smelling consciousness. Likewise you register your taste consciousness with your tongue and seeing consciousness with your eyes. If you feel a pleasant sensation on your body it is the pleasant consciousness, if it is unpleasant it is the unpleasant consciousness.
"Dukkha sahagata kayavinana sukha sahagata kayavinana" as the literature goes, there will be an unpleasant feeling on the body sometimes and a pleasant feeling on the body. There are altogether six consciousness including these two on the body. You note it down.
Mogok Sayadaw: Are these six thoughts always occurring in the mind?
Mogok Sayadaw: They occur occasionally, so they must be regarded as "External Visiting Consciousness."
Mogok Sayadaw: When one thought occurs the other five thoughts do not arise. If a mosquito bites you while watching (your two hosts) breathing consciousness, an itching or an unpleasant consciousness may follow, then watch that itching consciousness.
Mogok Sayadaw: How many external visiting thoughts are there altogether?
Mogok Sayadaw: Right, are these thoughts always there?
Mogok Sayadaw: Next, there are five "Internal Visiting Thoughts" that associate with consciousness. They are thoughts of greediness (Loba), anger (Dosa), delusion (Moha), absence of grasping (Aloba), and absence of aversion (Adosa). Amoha is not included here as it is the consciousness that must watch other thoughts. Therefore, the five internal visitors and six external visitors, altogether eleven visiting thoughts must be watched whatever that arises in the consciousness. When one thought arises the other five do not arise. Just watch the existing thought that occurs.
Mogok Sayadaw: Right, if none of these thoughts occur go back to the consciousness of breathing in and out and watch continuously. These two are the hosts consciousness, remember?
Yes I do, Sire.
Mogok Sayadaw: You must follow the example of a spider while meditating. Spiders make webs and wait in the middle to catch any insects that are caught in the web. They go after whatever insect that is caught in the web, devour them and return to the middle. As a spider waits in the middle when there is no insect, you must also do the same and watch your breath when there is no thought.
Mogok Sayadaw: When you contemplate on consciousness a thought that tells you to start meditating will arise first. Watch that first thought and you will notice that it arises and falls subsequently. It will disappear as soon as you sit down to meditate.
Mogok Sayadaw: Try to see it with your mind. When you contemplate on it you will know that it has disappeared. This sort of knowing of actual phenomena (whats happening) is called Yathabuta nana.
Mogok Sayadaw: If there is no thought arising, you watch the incoming and outgoing breaths alternately. You need to watch this very carefully. If you can follow this quickly you will progress, but if you are less aware of it your progress will be slow. If there is a defilement (Kilesa) in-between the two breathing consciousness you wont progress. Try to prevent the Kilesa intervention. If there is no object of meditation and you dont watch, Avijja can come in. You must be aware of this fact. Do you understand? Now go and meditate.
Very well, Sire.
|Mogok Vipassana Centre, London|
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