A different way to place the mind on the object?

bill of the wandering mind, modified 10 Years ago at 7/13/13 10:29 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/13/13 10:24 AM

A different way to place the mind on the object?

Posts: 131 Join Date: 4/14/11 Recent Posts
I would like some feedback on this -

So recently I had a few days where I just kept going back to the breath in the navel region *all day long* as much as possible. Mental stability on an object is not my strong point at all so keep that in mind. For me 5-10 seconds on an object without getting pulled off is a miracle (although there seems to be progress in this this week) - how I ever crossed A&P so vividly a few years back I will never know emoticon

I noticed placing the mind on the object was an interesting thing in and of itself, and having a naturally curious bent I started to wonder at the mechanics of the process. What I could see was that there were a few different ways of bringing the mind back to the object. Being as I had been doing this all day it was much easier to see what was going on - what I saw was this:

I can intend to 'place awareness back on the object', and it happens but it doesn't feel quite right to me somehow, like it is convoluted or inelegant - so realizing that I can will the brain to think any thought I want, and seeing that intent was necessary for the mind to return to the object I started to experiment with what button to push in the brain to make the mind return to the object in a way that felt better, stronger somehow -

What I discovered is that there is an intent to 'think about the object' or rather 'think about the experience (experiencing) of the object' that naturally makes the mind look directly at the experience of the object. It doesn't involve creating a mental picture of a person concentrating, which can occur with the 'normal' way, it doesnt involve extra subtle mental objects like 'awareness' or 'a person concentrating' - its just cause and effect. If I think about what is it like to experience the breath, it occurs. If I then intend to only think about experiencing the breath, the mind almost 'wants' to go into the object and enjoy it. Its a totally different thing than what I was doing.

Is this just 'samatha 101' that I never *got* until now or is this something else?

Would love some feedback on this - posting in a few places.

Dan Cooney, modified 10 Years ago at 7/13/13 10:32 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/13/13 10:32 AM

RE: A different way to place the mind on the object?

Posts: 60 Join Date: 10/22/12 Recent Posts
good stuff, direct expression. I was talking about that earlier emoticon toss out the duality and separation, express it.
M N, modified 10 Years ago at 7/13/13 12:31 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 7/13/13 12:30 PM

RE: A different way to place the mind on the object?

Posts: 210 Join Date: 3/3/12 Recent Posts

I have always thought that was the meaning that the Buddha had in mind when talking about Sati, wich is very much related to "memory", so, sati in relation to the breath is just something like "remember that you are breathing", wich from a practical point of view is very much like "think about the breath", except that you don't really "think" about it, you just keep it in mind, and by doing so you'll be forced to percieve the breath, or any other thing you might be interested in.
This is also related to the coultivation of wholesome mental states because, for example, if you "think" about metta, metta will arise in a way that is very natural, and not forced as when you "try" to make it arise.