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mahasi style
Answer
1/3/15 11:02 AM
hello, I am wanting to do Mahasi style noting practing but I have read that you have to note everything that arises in the 6 senses. My understanding is that countless new sensations arise all over the body all the time. This is over whelming, I wouldn't know where to begin if I noted everything going on. Not to mention I couldn't keep up. Is it better to one primary object like the rising of the abdomen and then if something pulls attention away then note it? I am an absolute beginner at Mahasi style noting, any help would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.

with metta,

Bryan

RE: mahasi style
Answer
1/3/15 12:00 PM as a reply to Bryan.
Noting That link is for Kenneth Folk's basic noting instructions.

If you have skype I could meet up with you as well and demonstrate 1:1

Bill

RE: mahasi style
Answer
1/3/15 12:04 PM as a reply to Bryan.
The important thing is to stay present moment aware.  You can note fast [multiple sensations a moment] or slow [one sensation per moment]. Perhaps start by trying to note one sensation per moment.  You can focus on the body, the mind, etc.  Then, when your concentration grows, try opening up your focus/awareness to note two simultaneous sensations per moment, then three, etc.  Yes, it can be very hard to note more than one sensation per moment AT FIRST.  But what you will find as you practice, and your concentration develops, is that it grows easier and more natural.  

To give an example of how I typically practice:  I start by focusing on the sensation of the breath as they enter and exit the nostrils.  After I able to stay focused on these sensations successfully over time, I then switch to slow noting of the sensations on the body.  I usually focus on specific parts of the body [for example, the top of my head, my earlobes, my big toe, etc.].  This type of noting is very focused and restricted. Eventually, my focus/concentration grows, and I open up to include more of my sensations.  For example, I will try to note BOTH of my earlobes at the same time, then perhaps my entire torso.  Eventually, I open up to try to include my entire body at the same time.  This can feel like being covered in pops and fizzles and itches and electrical charges and vibrations all roiling over you like a cascade.  Then I try to open up to include my entire body AND the environment around me [sounds, smells, etc.].  Then I open up to include my mind, my body, the environment, etc. Eventually, after much practice, you can develop your focus and concentration to the point where you can note LOTS of sensations at the same time.  That said, start small -- one sensation per moment.  This will be enough to occupy you for some time.  Once you feel like you are solidly staying present moment aware, experiment with opening up:  the front and the back of your head at the same time, both big toes at the same time, both arms at the same time, etc.   

RE: mahasi style
Answer
1/3/15 12:07 PM as a reply to Bryan.
You're trying to understand dependent arising from the noting. At first dependent arising is conventional cause and effect. Eventually it goes beyond cause and effect. Noting is better when it's accurate rather than a machine gun. This is because noting is both noticing and labeling. Labeling cannot be as fast as noticing. This is where all the confusion is.

Please read this:

http://www.insightmeditationcenter.org/books-articles/articles/mental-noting/

and this:

http://www.saraniya.com/page/ebooks/ebooks-mahasi-sayadaw.html

I would also listen to this so the overall goal isn't forgotten:

http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/210/talk/9547/
http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/210/talk/9553/

RE: mahasi style
Answer
1/3/15 1:32 PM as a reply to Bryan.
These instructions by Sayadaw U Vivekananda, who is a monk in the lineage of Mahasi Sayadaw (under Sayadaw U Pandita) are quite detailed regarding the noting practice. Perhaps you will find them useful.

Meditation Instructions

Vipassana Instructions

RE: mahasi style
Answer
1/3/15 7:20 PM as a reply to Bryan.
Bryan:
hello, I am wanting to do Mahasi style noting practing but I have read that you have to note everything that arises in the 6 senses. My understanding is that countless new sensations arise all over the body all the time. This is over whelming, I wouldn't know where to begin if I noted everything going on. Not to mention I couldn't keep up. Is it better to one primary object like the rising of the abdomen and then if something pulls attention away then note it? I am an absolute beginner at Mahasi style noting, any help would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.

with metta,

Bryan

Try closing your eyes and just noting one word a second. Choose from the following:

rising (= breathing in)
falling (= breathing out)
thinking
touching (any sensation on the skin)
hearing

RE: mahasi style
Answer
1/5/15 5:24 AM as a reply to Bryan.
I am a fan of noting, but, if you have the resolution and speed and directness to take on many sensations as fast as they go, then might try to just step up to that level, meaning notice the arising and vanishing of all of those sensations directly.

If that is too much, try noting, with any of those above giving good references for more instruction.

If you read Practical Insight Meditation, you will notice that on the bottom of page 31 and the top of page 32 it addresses your concerns and gives good advice.

Daniel

RE: mahasi style
Answer
1/8/15 9:14 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Thank you all for the advice and informational links! I will try to check into this when I get some free time.

Best wishes and good luck!

Bryan