This talk reviews a mindfulness meditation practice protocol developed by a Burmese teacher named Mahasi Sayadaw, who had a great influence on the important contemporary American Buddhist teachers Joseph Goldstein and Sharon Salsberg of the Insight Meditation Society. Elements of the practice that are reviewed include the importance of intention for cultivating a persistent “noting” of what is immediately occurring in awareness, with a primary focus of attention on the expanding and contracting of the abdomen while practicing mindfulness of breathing meditation. The goal of this practice is to create and sustain a “stream” of noting moments, directly knowing the characteristics of self-organization in order to reveal the nature of anicca, impermanence, one of the three basic characteristics of Buddhism. This streaming process is termed momentary concentration and is expected to produce calmness and clarity in the mind without having to previously cultivate very high levels of fixed concentration. The review is followed by a question and comment period among those attending.
A guided meditation entitled “Guided vipassana With Noting Meditation” was posted for February 24, 2021 in the Guided Meditation Archive and is intended to supplement this talk.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk: The Mahasi Sayadaw Method
The focus for the next meeting will be a guided body scan meditation modeled on the teachings of S. N. Goenka followed by a talk that will review the concepts and practices for this form of mindfulness meditation.