Here goes round 2 Vipasana
So we spent the last week sharpening our focus through on the breath sensation now we’ll take that same focus and apply to all incoming sense data. How, you ask? Enter mental noting.
For this form of meditation we simply make a mental note of all the incoming sense experience. If you are thinking simply mentally note “thinking”, if you are walking simply note “walking”. At first keep your examination of the experience at a surface level. Then as you get better at it the notes will be more in depth. For example when walking begin to note “Left, right, left”. Do this for tasting, touching, hearing, smelling, and seeing keeping all mental notes in your inner dialogue.
As you do this the plan is to concentrate on the experience from the grossest to the most subtle. Or from most obvious zooming into the minute details. Do this with all your actions throughout the day. This is a very mobile practice for some it will feel clunky for others it will feel like a smooth transition, just stay with it.
The plan with this form of meditation is to take the mind off of autopilot and really experience all that is occurring. I can tell you from my personal experience this will have an odd effect of making how you feel the passing of time slow down. You will experience more in 10 seconds than you would in 10 minutes normally.
An important note when dealing with the “thinking” part; take care not to get sucked into the thoughts themselves. Simply note “thinking” then allow that to pass. The idea is to develop an objective level of observation. Don’t embellish the thought and don’t down play it. Simply let it pass. As for touch sensation keep the notations simple “This is a (pleasant, painful, or neutral) sensation” again the goal is to become an objective observer in this moment by moment examination of the senses.
You may start to realize that you have never really given weight to experience in this way. It isn’t every day you think “My car’s steering wheel feels pleasant against my hand”, or “Wow, I have never really experienced my time at work” it’s all part of the plan
I can assure this is a very difficult style of meditation to master as this practice doesn’t end when we leave the meditation cushion, rather it follows and flows throughout all waking moments.
The invention of this style of meditation is credited to the Buddha. This is how he meditated and this was how he taught others to meditate. According to the Theravada school of Buddhism it is, scripturally speaking, the only way to attain true Enlightenment.
Look at you getting your meditative swole on!
For more, or if this type isnt your style, check out our piece on Metta