MCTB 1. MInd and Body

There is this sudden shift, and mental phenomena shift out away from the illusory sense of “the watcher” and are just out there in the world with the sensations of the other five sense doors. This is an important insight, as it shows us clearly and directly that we are not “our” mind or “our” body. It is also a really nice, clear and unitive-feeling state (it really is still more state-like than stage-like), and people can try to hold on to it just as with the first jhana and get stuck. Reality can seem just a bit more brilliant the first time one chances into Mind and Body. We may feel more alive and connected to the world. For some it may hit with unusual force, filling them with a great sense of unity or universal consciousness. For others it may not seem very profound.

With the sensate experience of both mental and physical phenomena being clearly observable, the relationships and interactions between the two begin to become obvious. What is meant by “the dualistic split” is very obvious during this first stage.

Somewhere around the first stage, either just before it or shortly after it, there may arise odd jaw pains on one side, throat tensions, and some other such unpleasant physical occurrences. Regardless, it soon becomes easy to see that each sensation is followed by the crude mental impression of it, and that intentions precede actions and thoughts (see the discussion of impermanence in Part I, The Three Characteristics). Thus, we come to...

MCTB 2. Cause and Effect