When the mind is quiet, notice the quiet state of mind

| Spirit Rock Retreat 2015 - Q&A Group B Session 4 (33:14-34:06)

The quietness is a state of mind – if we’re not able to see the quietness objectively as a state of mind, we can be in the quietness, and then the attachment, or the wallowing, the indulging, or the feeling good in the quietness, all these can start and then, we can just drift, and the awareness will not be so alert and sharp anymore.

So, this ability to objectify the quiet state of mind is important because the moment you know it’s an object, something which you’re knowing, then you also know the awareness already.

Don’t let your mind be free – try to know something all the time

| Shwe Oo Min Dhammasukha Tawya Vassa English Interviews 26 July 2017 (1:09:15-1:09:55)

Awareness is not nothing – it is something because it is learning about the process.

So, try to know, try to be aware, of the process. After repeated times and days, this knowing will have learned the process already.

So, try to know something all the time; don’t let your mind be free. Then, the awareness becomes a habit and gathers momentum more easily.

How to be aware of something we’re not skilled in like email correspondence

| Shwe Oo Min Dhammasukha Tawya Vassa English Interviews 25 July 2017 (1:05:08-1:05:56)

One by one (start by noticing any one thing that is obvious to the mind).

First, you can be aware that you’re looking (focusing), or how you feel. How do you feel when you’re reading the email? Or, do you know that you’re reading?

In the reading process, you can start to be aware of anything that is easy for you to be aware of. Try to be aware of something when you’re reading. If awareness is present, then the mind slowly knows the whole process.

Awareness as a stepping stone to wisdom

| IMS 2014 Dhamma Discussion Group B1 (48:05-48:50)

My instruction can be clearer.

Meditation is the cultivation of wholesome states of mind, but the wholesome state of mind that I’m primarily interested in is awareness because the ultimate goal of what I’m teaching is to use awareness as a stepping stone to get to wisdom, to the true understanding of the nature of things as they are.

And to do that, we use awareness to watch things as they are when they’re happening; just allowing things to unfold as they are and watching them and seeing. And that awareness will lead to the understanding of what you’re watching.

That’s the wholesome mind that I want you to cultivate.

When awareness is weak, the mind cannot learn

| Shwe Oo Min Dhammasukha Tawya 2017-12-13 Q&A Chinese & Malaysian Yogis (1:31:13 - 1:33:45)

If defilement is stronger and awareness is weak, you need to build up your awareness first – you use a neutral object to build up your strength first and then face the defilement.

First, we need to have the strength – when the strength comes, you then face the defilement. This is better.

When the mind is too tired to maintain mindfulness during meditation

| Shwe Oo Min Dhammasukha Tawya Vassa English Interviews 11 August 2017 (6:30-8:24)

There are 2 types of tiredness – either the body is tired or the mind is tired. If the body is tired, you need to rest your body. If the mind is tired, it’s because of defilements.

If the mind is tired, you need to meditate. When you meditate, good quality of mind comes and the bad quality of mind reduces – that means the mind becomes more relaxed, peaceful, open and less tired.

First, you need to think of the tiredness as an object. Don’t try to push. If you push, that’s another defilement too.

Mental fatigue is because of defilement – sometimes craving or aversion is strong. When any defilement becomes stronger and stronger, the mind becomes tired.

If the awareness, stability of mind and wisdom are growing, the mind never gets tired – it becomes more peaceful, tranquil, equanimous because of meditation.

If you practice and the mind becomes tired, and increasingly tense, then something is wrong with the meditation. Then, you should check how you’re practicing, what state of mind you’re meditating with.

If you practice in the right way, the mind becomes more and more relaxed.

Learning from fast lane causes burn-out and inability to sleep

| Shwe Oo Min Dhammasukha Tawya Vassa English Interviews 31 July 2017 (25:30-26:39)

You need to settle down – you use a lot of energy when you think non-stop, that’s why the mind gets speedy and tired.

When the mind settles down, wisdom comes by itself and becomes better. Then, you don’t have to use too much energy to think.

You stay in the present moment; and don’t think too much. When you’re aware more continuously, naturally the mind thinks less and settles down.

You use a lot of energy when you think non-stop; that’s why, in the long term, you burn out.

When energy iS GIVEN TO the watching, LESS ENERGY GOES TO THE defilement

| IMS 2014 Dhamma Discussion Group A1 (54:25-55:05)

Watch the greed directly – because that desire is very strong, we can watch the greed continuously.

So long as the watching begins, that is the key because when we give work in the direction of the watching, we’re giving less energy to the greed itself; we’re giving energy into the awareness itself.

Let it happen and just know – don’t force to be aware

| Shwe Oo Min Dhammasukha Tawya Vassa English Interviews 3 September 2017 (23:45-25:40)

Just know, just know. I don’t want to say ‘Be mindful or be aware’. I like to say ‘know’ because knowing is more relaxing. When we say ‘aware’, sometimes people use a lot of energy.

Let it happen (elsewhere: meditation object must be natural) and know. This I learn from young – when I was young I liked to try to know whatever I was doing. That’s it. After a long time, this knowing became stronger and stronger.

Sometimes awareness is lost, but no problem because we try again and again. Try to know, try to know.

It’s the same with the body process. Run, run, run and how to know? Just think about this – that’s enough. And practice every day. Awareness follows behind and slowly, slowly, awareness becomes stronger and stronger.

People start by trying to be aware with force – they can’t get out of this habit. They try to be aware, aware, mindful, and mindful with a lot of energy. You cannot learn this way. I also tried doing this way in daily life, but couldn’t. So, I ask ‘how to do?’ Try whatever – just know, just know – practicing every day.

You cannot try to be aware by force because it’s not natural.

STRONG AVERSION TOWARDS NOISE IN THE MEDITATION HALL

| Kalaw Retreat Mar 2017 - Day 6 Discussion Group C (31:34-33:18)

 

This is your weakness; so, you must spend time watching anger. You need to spend a lot of time looking at what you think is noise, learning about your mind’s reaction to it.

Every time you have a reaction to the noise, you should watch the anger. Watch it until it’s gone and then look at the noise. You must do this.

It is only when the mind has no reaction to the noise that the mind has learnt its lesson. If it has a reaction, it is something we must learn from.

DEFILEMENTS EXAGGERATE THE EXPERIENCE

| Kalaw Retreat Mar 2017 - Day 7 Discussion Group D (1:54:15-1:58:44)

Our reality and our fantasies are so different. In the thoughts, the old is real; the fantasies are real in the thoughts. The present experience is not the same as the fantasies.

The mind has so many fantasies and beliefs, and the reality is sometimes so far away from that.

So if you eat without mindfulness, then you’ll eat it with your idea of what it is like. That is why when you’re really mindful, the mind cannot indulge so much in its fantasies; and when it does indulge, it can’t really be mindful.