Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Points on Noting / Vipassana.

  • As a general rule, note until things become very subtle. At that point I would let go of noting as it is unnecessary and can disturb subtle states of concentration. Think of it a gearshift. (I think I originally heard this idea from Shinzen Young.) When the going gets tough, and you are having trouble noticing clearly, downshift to 1st gear. This would mean lots of noting. Once you get some momentum, but still want a reminder to keep yourself on track, shift up to occasional noting, just to "frame the picture" (that one is from Joseph Goldstein). When you are really cruising, and objects are effortlessly appearing and being noticed clearly, abandon the noting; it's just a distraction at that point. (KF)

  • And if you are practicing the samatha technique, don't note. You can use a mantra to gain access concentration, but once you enter jhana stop all self-talk and take the jhana itself as object. That might mean physical sensations or mental phenomena depending on the jhana and how deeply you have dived into it. (KF)

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