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.
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This guided meditation follows the insight meditation system promoted by Mahasi Sayadaw and through the Insight Meditation Society that practices “noting” briefly what arises in consciousness as a way to cultivate vipassana, insight into the the impermanence of subjective experience. The primary object of meditation in this method is noting the expanding and contracting of the abdomen while practicing mindfulness of breathing. During the guided meditation, various suggestions are provided to prompt the noting process, which is intended to cultivate a rapidly sequenced moments of direct knowing, known as khanika samadhi, momentary concentration, to advance the practice of vipassana.
This recording is intended to supplement the talk of February 24, 2021 entitled “Mahasi Sayadaw Vipassana With Noting Review”.
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The Concentration Awakening Factor is also known as Right Concentration, a key element of the Noble Eightfold Path. Peter described how this Awakening Factor coordinates with the Mindfulness, Investigation Of Mental Phenomena and Effort (Right Effort) Awakening Factors, making the emergence of the Awakening Factors of Joy and Tranquility develop to maturity. Concentration manifests as Fixed Concentration and alternatively as Momentary Concentration, and the function of each was described. This explanation was followed by general discussion of how to cultivate this Awakening Factor and the benefits derived from that practice in daily life.
Here are the notes prepared for this talk: CONCENTRATION AWAKENING FACTOR
Next week’s topic will be the Equanimity Awakening Factor, which functions to foster balance among the different factors.
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