MCTB 2. Cause and Effect

In this stage, the relationships between mental and physical phenomena become very clear and sometimes ratchet-like. The joy and wonder of Mind and Body have left, and now the interactions between the mind and body become somewhat mechanical-seeming. Motions such as walking or the breath may begin to get jerky, as there is the intention and the motion, the sensation and the mental impression of it, the cause and the effect, all occurring in a way which can seem sort of tight and robot-like. You note, the breath moves just a bit. You stop noting, the breath stops. You note quickly, the breath jerks quickly. You note slowly, the breath follows. Some will stop noting quickly or stop noting at all, thinking that they are messing up the breath. The advice here is as before: note quickly, and don’t worry about what the breath does.

Remember how I recommended trying to experience one to ten sensations per second consistently, noting which were mental and which were physical? At this stage, the meditator is finally able to do this with a fair degree of skill, confidence and consistency. Those with stronger concentration tendencies or a bent towards such things may notice thoughts and perhaps even visions of insight into cause and effect on a macroscopic scale, where past action or circumstances led to various consequences, some event led to some rebirth, some previous life led to something today, and in general may get a sense that they are able to intuit aspects of the workings of karma in a way they did not before. As the meditator becomes more clear about the beginnings and endings of each of these, about the irritation caused by this jerkiness and about the fact that all of this seems to be happening fairly on its own, they come to directly perceive for themselves...

MCTB 3. The Three Characteristics