How do you know if you’re practicing Vipassana meditation the correct way?

sanjay bhargava, modified 1 Year ago.

How do you know if you’re practicing Vipassana meditation the correct way?

Posts: 4 Join Date: 5/13/20 Recent Posts
​Hi,
I have recently responded on Quora about vipassana meditation! The response is little longer due to seriousness of the topic...KIndly go through and  upvote if you like.

https://www.quora.com/How-do-you-know-if-you%E2%80%99re-practicing-Vipassana-meditation-the-correct-way-not
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: How do you know if you’re practicing Vipassana meditation the correct w

Posts: 1843 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Do you care to introduce yourself to the community? emoticon Even cows say Muuu to each other when they enter the stable emoticon 

Kindly emoticon 
sanjay bhargava, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: How do you know if you’re practicing Vipassana meditation the correct w

Posts: 4 Join Date: 5/13/20 Recent Posts
Thanks for letting me know....
Hi all,
This is Sanjay Bhargava from India..I've recently joined the group. I am consulting on IT and related automations. Also writing on meditation, spirituality, philosophy and Advaita. 

How do you know if you’re practicing Vipassana meditation the correct way?

Thanks for this question, which was also bothering me after doing Vipassana courses. I did some research on the subject, and here are the findings. Most interesting is there are many correct ways to undertake Vipassana! Pls. see the references at the end of this post, in the order, where the points below are taken and condensed so as to make it user-friendly even for the aspiring beginners as well, who could not get a chance to attend any course of Vipassana as yet. Most of the points are taken from the "Manual of Mindfulness of Breathing Ānāpāna Dīpani By Ledi Sayādaw" which was written sometime during 1900-1910.

How to do Anapana- There are two places where the out-breath and in-breath may be grasped: the tip of the nose and the upper lip. For some people the striking of the breath is clearer at the tip of the nose; for others, it is clearer on the upper lip. Attention must be placed on the spot where the perception is clearest, which may be called the “spot of touch.”

The First Tetrad (the group of four) on the contemplation of the body

In the first stage- Keep the attention firmly fixed on the out-breath and the in-breath. The attempt must be persisted with until every out-breath and in-breath is perceived, without any breath escaping attention and the attention is firmly tied to the tip of the nose or the upper lip.

In the second stage- When the keeping of the attention on the in/out-breaths has been mastered, perceive the long and short in/out-breath respectively as long and short. When the in/out-breaths are exhaled and inhaled slowly, they are long; and quickly, they are short.

In the third stage- When the perception of the long and short out-breaths and in-breaths has been mastered, every breath occurring within the body must be experienced in its entirety, right from its starting point within the body through its middle to the point where it ends within the body, being at the tip of the nose and at the navel.

In the fourth stage- When the experiencing of every breath in its entirety has been mastered, the attempt has to be made to calm down the out-breaths and in-breaths until they become extremely gentle or seemingly disappeared.

Effort in the first tetrad

Which includes the counting and connection methods, consists entirely of the application of mindfulness to the contemplation of the body.

The Method explanation-(Feel free to skip this section during first reading and can move on to The Second Tetrad section directly )

There are three main stages of efforts, namely:

1. Counting: attention is placed on the out-breaths and in-breaths by counting them. Only those breaths that are clearly perceived with mindfulness are counted

2. Connection: when no out-breath or in- breath escapes attention is placed directly on the “spot of touch,” and the perception of breadth continues without counting.

3. Fixing: Once the out-breath and in-breath— the objects of meditation—gradually become so subtle that they seem to have disappeared altogether. At this stage, one must attempt to grasp the breath until it is perceived again clearly, which signals that the access to jhāna has been attained. (Or mental hindrances such as fear, dread, sleepiness, indolence, etc., are overcome.)

The first Jhana constitutes the five absorption factors: initial application, sustained application, rapture, happiness, and one-pointedness.

The Second Tetrad (on the contemplation of the Feelings )

to be practiced in the fixing stage, the stage of the full absorption...

1. “Experiencing joyousness, I will exhale and inhale”. This is moving to the second stage of Jhana (the mind becomes more tranquil and more unified)

2. “Experiencing happiness, I will exhale and inhale,” until the third Jhāna is attained (greater stillness of the mind with pleasure), in which happiness) predominates).

3. “Experiencing the mental functions, I will exhale and inhale,” until the fourth Jhāna is attained, defined by two factors: one-pointedness and a neutral feeling. It has the perfect purity of both equanimity and mindfulness.

4. “Allaying and calming down the mental functions, I will exhale and inhale,” putting forth an effort to calm down the feelings and perceptions.

Effort in the second tetrad

Consists of the application of mindfulness to the contemplation of feelings. Here, while attention continues to be placed on the out-breath and in-breath, an effort is made to clearly perceive the feelings with wisdom.

The Third Tetrad (on the contemplation of the Mind)

This gives the practice when entering jhāna or full absorption.

1. “Experiencing the mind (consciousness), I will exhale and inhale". means entering the four jhānas repeatedly in order to make the perception of the mind extremely clear.

2. “Making the mind extremely delighted, I will exhale and inhale,”

means that when the perception of the mind is extremely clear, one makes the mind extremely delighted by repeatedly entering the first and second jhānas

3. “Making the mind extremely concentrated, I will exhale and inhale,” means that when the mind is extremely delighted, one makes the mind extremely concentrated by entering the third and fourth jhānas.

4. “Freeing the mind (from the defilements, hindrances, etc.), I will exhale and inhale,” thus he trains himself. means freeing the mind of obstacles by repeatedly entering the four jhānas.

Effort in the third tetrad

consists of the application of mindfulness to the contemplation of the mind. Here also, while attention continues to be placed on the out-breath and in-breath, an effort is made to clearly perceive the mind with wisdom.

The Fourth Tetrad -method of proceeding from mindfulness of breathing to insight (vipassanā)

The method of proceeding from mindfulness of breathing to insight vipassanā).

1. “Contemplating impermanence, I will exhale and inhale,”

2. “Contemplating detachment, I will exhale and inhale,”

3. “Contemplating cessation, I will exhale and inhale,”

4. “Contemplating abandonment, I will exhale and inhale.”

Effort in the fourth tetrad

Consists of the contemplation of impermanence (aniccānupassī) along with the application of mindfulness to the contemplation of mind-objects. Here again, while attention continues to be placed on the out-breath and in-breath, an effort is made to clearly perceive the overcoming of covetousness and grief with wisdom.

Side Note- How the Foundations of Mindfulness are Fulfilled (feel free to skip this section)

The Buddha said that those who accomplish mindfulness of breathing also fulfill the function of the four foundations of mindfulness (satipaṭṭhāna).

In order to set up the seven factors of enlightenment, they must set up the four foundations of mindfulness. In order to set up the four foundations of mindfulness, they have to undertake the work of mindfulness of breathing (Anapana). If mindfulness of breathing, the four foundations of mindfulness, the seven factors of enlightenment, and the two states of true knowledge and deliverance are accomplished, the thirty-seven aids to enlightenment (bodhipakkhiyā dhammā) are also accomplished. This is the condensed meaning of the Anapana.

When Can One Proceed to Vipassanā?

As the Anapana method explain the order of practice in mindfulness of breathing, one is to take up work in the fourth tetrad only after one has attained the four jhānas, described above.

If one can adhere strictly to this order of practice, that is ideal, but if one cannot follow this sequence one may proceed to vipassanā, or insight, from the third jhāna (greater stillness of the mind with pleasure). (preferred way)
It is also permissible to proceed to vipassanā from the first stage, or from the access stage prior to full attainment of jhāna, or from the connection stage, or even from the counting stage after one has overcome the wandering tendencies of the mind.
Methods undertaking Vipassana-

During vipassana, breathing in and out one must make a special attempt to perceive the impermanent nature.

1. From continuing Anapana stage- One may proceed to vipassanā while still keeping the attention on the out-in breath (Be on Anapana stage) OR

2. Making any one of the five aggregates as the object of attention- one may treat the mindfulness of breathing as preparatory work and then proceed to vipassanā by taking any portion of the five aggregates which are - Material form, sensations, perceptions, mental formations and consciousness) one wishes as to the object of attention.

(Note- We know that The body sensations as the object of attention is taught during the vipassana -S.N.Goenka course.)

2a. From the Counting and Connection Stage

In these two stages, the work consists solely of keeping the attention on the out-breaths and in-breaths and perceiving them with wisdom. Hence, if one wishes to proceed to vipassanā from these stages, the effort must be based on corporeal phenomena (body), which includes the counting and connection methods, consists entirely of the application of mindfulness to the contemplation of the body. The overcoming of the five hindrances marks the entry into access concentration.

2b. From the Fixing Stage

i) If one wants to proceed to vipassanā from the contemplation of feeling stage, the effort must be based on the mental phenomenon of feeling (Refer Third Tetrad).

ii) If one wishes to proceed from the contemplation of the mind stage, the effort must be based on the mental phenomenon of mind (Refer Fourth Tetrad).

Summary-

One must first concentrate and tranquilize his mind, by viewing out-breath and in-breath for this purpose. This prior concentration and tranquilization are like entering into access concentration (The overcoming of the five hindrances).
It is only after the mind has been concentrated and tranquilized that one may proceed to view whatever part of the body one desires.
There are many ways to undertake Vipassana based on your comfort level.
References-

Manual of Mindfulness of Breathing Ānāpāna Dīpani By Ledi Sayādaw
Analysis of Jhanas- ttp://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/scrnguna.pdf
The Manual of Insight - Vipassanā Dīpanī
Vipassana vs. Advaita
If you are still around, hopefully most of your doubts are clarified, if not, Pls feel free to let me know the same!
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: How do you know if you’re practicing Vipassana meditation the correct w

Posts: 1843 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
When Can One Proceed to Vipassanā?

As the Anapana method explain the order of practice in mindfulness of breathing, one is to take up work in the fourth tetrad only after one has attained the four jhānas, described above.


Get out of here mate emoticon I can start with vipassana immediatelly as all I need is Khanika Samadhi. Also Mahasi Style Vipassana seems to include more than just the mindfulness of breathing and is not dependent on attaining to Jhana (at least not pre-SE, maybe on later Paths).

But maybe I am the one who misunderstood Mahasi Vipassana. Or are you saying Mahasi style is wrong? 

EDIT; btw, welcome to DhO emoticon
sanjay bhargava, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: How do you know if you’re practicing Vipassana meditation the correct w

Posts: 4 Join Date: 5/13/20 Recent Posts
Not really. There are many ways of doing Vipassana and all of them take you to thee same destination. Key ways are..

1.Khanika (momentary),
2.Upacara (access)
3.Appana or Jhana (absorption)
 
Khanika concentration when it occurs from moment to moment without a break, becomes so powerful that it can overcome The Five hindrances. This  momentary concentration when it occurs uninterruptedly on it object, fixes the mind immovably as if in absorption, overcoming the five hindrances is all that is necessary for the cultivation of Vipassana Meditation. When the Five Hindrances are overcome, purification of mind (citta-visuddhi) takes place. With this purified mind, one can practise and gain all the insightful knowledges.
So as long as one is able to overcome five hinderences, using any form of concentration method Khanika Samadhi or Mahasi Vipassana, one can reach the destination.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: How do you know if you’re practicing Vipassana meditation the correct w

Posts: 1843 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
I agree with all my heart emoticon welcome to DhO community! 
Is this thread real question you ask community or is it only to show your text? I ask because I am not really sure...
sanjay bhargava, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: How do you know if you’re practicing Vipassana meditation the correct w

Posts: 4 Join Date: 5/13/20 Recent Posts
Hi,
I have recently responded on Quora about vipassana meditation practice and hsared the link on the originating thread...Thanks
boring
Hey Sanjay,

Please read MCTB if you haven't, still.
Best wishes.

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