Meditation for BeginnersThe Noble Eightfold Path on the Mundane Level # 7Taking the body as the object and cultivating stillness of mind7. Right MindfulnessRight mindfulness is mindfulness which takes four things as its object:1. Taking the body as the object and cultivating stillness of mind2. Taking the feelings as the object and cultivating stillness of mind3. Taking the mind as the object and cultivating stillness of mind4. Taking mental phenomena as the object and cultivating stillness of mindMindfulness based on any of these four objects can have two characteristics:1. Monitoring Mindfulness [apilapanasati]2. Discretional Mindfulness [uparigahanasati]Taking the feelings as the object and cultivating stillness of mind7.1 Monitoring MindfulnessThis form of mindfulness is mindfulness that is constantly monitoring the level of wholesomeness in the mind never letting wholesomeness slip away from the mind and its intentions. It can be compared to the treasurer of an emperor who monitors the treasury all day and all night and who can report the state of the assets to the emperor at any time to say how many elephants, horses, vehicles, soldiers, how much silver, gold, jewels remain, so that the emperor can know at any time how his assets are. Similarly, the duty of monitoring mindfulness is to asy: “these four virtues are the Four Foundations of mIndfulness [satipatthana]”, “these four virtues are the Four Foundations of Effort [aammappadhana]” “these four virtues are the Four Foundations of Success [iddhipada]” ,”these five virtues are the Five Faculties [indriya]”, “these five virtues are the Five Powers [bala]”, “these seven virtues are the Seven Factors of Enlightenment” “these eight virtues are the Noble Eightfold Path”, “these group of mental phenomena belong to stillness of mind [samatha]”, “this group of mental phenomena belong to insight [vipassana]”, “this group of virtues are called ‘truthfulness’ [sacca]”, “this group of virtues are called ‘liberation’ [vimutti]” “this group of virtues are called ‘liberation’ [vimutti]”, “this group of virtues is transcendental [lokuttara]”.7.2 Discretional MindfulnessThis form of mindfulness is like the emperor’s commander in chief who must constantly be on the alert to everyone in the population. Knowing that a certain group in the population may bring harm to the emperor, he must make sure that they are kept far away from the emperor. Knowing that a certain group in the population may bring benefit to the emperor they should have the opportunity to come close to the emperor. Similarly, discretional mindfulness monitors all mental phenomena if it is unwholesome, then to try to reduce it.If it is wholesome, to give it the chance to grow.Taking mental phenomena as the object and cultivating stillness of mind8. Right ConcentrationRight Concentration has two characteristics:1. Supporting Role [pamokkha samma Samadhi];2. Focussing Role [auikkhepana samma Samadhi].8.1 The supporting Role of Right ConcentrationIt is said that concentration is the head of all virtues rather like the ridge-pole of a castle roof which has the duty to take the weight of all the rafters. Thus in the Milindhapanha, Nagasena makes the comparison:“Your Majesty, all the rafters of the castle roof, no matterhow numerous they may be, must have a ridgepole as their highest support, and come together at that ridgepole. Thus the ridgepole is supreme amongst rafters. In the same way, no matter how many virtues there may be, all of them come together in Right Concentration”8.2 The focusing Role of Right ConcentrationIt is the duty of concentration to keep the mind on track towards higher virtues without being waylaid or distracted by hindrances such as absent-mindedness or doubt –but to come to one-pointedness. Just as the emperor going to war must keep an eye on his ministers to make sure they don’t become dejected or lose their courage to fight against the enemy, and to remain loyal to his command. Similarly, Right Concentration has a focusing role to stop the mental faculties being scatterd by hindrances such as absentmindedness or doubt, but to remain one-pointed.
The Noble Eightfold Path on the Mundane Level # 7
This form of mindfulness is mindfulness that is constantly monitoring the level of wholesomeness in the mind never letting wholesomeness slip away from the mind and its intentionsDhamma Articles > Meditation Articles and Techniques > Meditation for Beginners
[ Oct 8th, 2011 ] - [ : 10615 ]