DO WHAT IS NECESSARY TO MAINTAIN THE AWARENESS

| China 2018 Retreat File: 20180527 Q&A 2 (1:46:00-1:55:55)

Yogi 1: When the mind is very tense, and I cannot continue to be aware, I’ll switch to loving kindness meditation.

Sayadaw: You can use whatever to calm down and then face the tension, not to avoid the object.

Yogi 2: The mind still continues to think about food and eating.

Sayadaw: Change to another object because the mind is still thinking about food (and cannot be aware).

Yogi 3: When mindfulness has no momentum, I use right reflection to encourage the mind to practice.

Sayadaw: You can use whatever knowledge to maintain the awareness.

AWARENESS AND RIGHT VIEW CAN CHANGE UNWHOLESOME HABITS

| Shwe Oo Min Dhammasukha Tawya Vassa 2018 English Interviews 20180925 (1:03:00-1:03:59)

Changing old habit means that every time the emotion arises, you try to be aware, try to be aware, and try to be aware.

When you do that, you’re not continuing to cultivate the old habit pattern. You’re trying to change to a new habit.

How? We think the right way and try to be aware; then, the mind cannot go back to the old habit.

Slowly, when awareness gets better and better and wisdom is stronger, some understanding could arise and that’ll change the idea.

Only when awareness gets stronger, then wisdom may be able to see the cause of the defilement.

You need to cultivate the awareness, samadhi, and wisdom – that’s what you need to do.

If wisdom has grown, it’ll do its job (see the cause of the defilement).

BE PATIENT WHEN ATTENDING TO CRAVING

| China 2018 Retreat File: 119-128-2018 1190527 Q&A 2 (00:00-03:00)

Yogi: The mind can be peaceful and calm, but it lacks interest because wisdom is not coming

Sayadaw: You need to be patient. Not interested means that already you want something and when you cannot get what you want, the mind becomes bored. This is the nature of craving.

Just try to practice; think about the practice. If the mind has craving for understanding and it cannot get it immediately, the mind becomes bored and not interested.

You need to pay attention to how to practice the right way. You need to learn more; if you practice the right way continuously, slowly wisdom can arise. This is due to conditioning, not that you want it.

You can use questions to investigate – but they are not for getting answers, but to create interest in the process. That’s enough.

There’s no need to hurry; the practice is life-long.

YOGIS GET UPSET WHEN FORGETTING THAT IT’S AWARENESS THAT NOTICES DEFILEMENTS

| China 2018 Retreat File: 119-128-2018 (50:00-51:04)

Every time you notice a defilement, are you happy or upset?

Most yogis get upset because you only notice the defilement, but you forget the awareness that notices the defilement. Awareness is more important.

Yogis when they meditate, they try to be aware, aware, aware, but they always complain about the experience. They forget that they’re aware, that we’re trying to do just this.

(Whenever the mind gets upset when you see a defilement, you’re paying attention to the object, not the awareness. So, if you notice a defilement and get upset, remember this: If the mind pays attention to the object, you get upset; but if it pays attention to the awareness, the mind is equanimous.)

THE PRACTICE GETS DIFFICULT WHEN THERE’S NO RIGHT ATTITUDE

| China 2018 Retreat File: 20180527 Q&A 1 (57:27-57:50)

Many yogis, when bad quality of mind comes, the mind resists. This makes the practice difficult.

That’s why we need to use right attitude: bad quality of mind is bad quality of mind; it is not a big problem. Restlessness and sleepiness are just mental states (they have their own nature and arise due to causes and conditions).

If the yogi thinks this way, the resistance subsides and the yogi can continue to be aware.

HOW TO IMPROVE IN MEDITATION?

| Shwe Oo Min Dhammasukha Tawya Vassa 2018 - Nun’s Q&A 0905 (12:20-14:45)

Yogi: When I sit I observe the breath but when I see the image of clouds, I think of the clouds.

Sayadaw: Don’t continue to look at the image, go back to the breath. Clouds are a concept; the mind creates the image.

If you continue to think of the image, the story continues to happen (and the mind is not present).

Go back to the body – breath, body sensations, sound, touch, or body temperature. (In this way, the mind can be present.)

DIFFERENT DEFILEMENTS EXPRESS THEIR NATURE THROUGH DIFFERENT THOUGHTS

| Shwe Oo Min Dhammasukha Tawya Vassa 2018 English Interviews 20180925 (48:28-49:29)

Your assignment is to be aware of the process.

Sometimes, very bad thoughts can come. Anger thinks its way – every thought is mean, never good; all are bad. For craving, everything is nice, beautiful and good. This is the nature of that mind. The unwholesome mind thinks its way.

That’s why we should not believe those thoughts. You’ll be shocked how the mind can think that way; how is that possible.

Anger thinks its way; craving thinks its way. (And ego thinks its way – how great and wonderful “I am”. Different defilements express their nature through different thoughts.)

INTENSE CONCENTRATION MAKES THE THOUGHTS APPEAR REAL

| Shwe Oo Min Dhammasukha Tawya Vassa 2018 Chinese Interviews 20180920 (1:15:05-1:16:03)

Concentration exaggerates the thoughts and the concept becomes more real. The contents of what is seen, heard or smelled appear more real because of concentration although it is only imagination.

Heavy concentration makes the thoughts become more real.

Concentration makes the thoughts clearer; concentration happens at the mind door, and imagination also happens in the mind door. So, when there are thoughts with concentration, the thoughts appear more real.

LEARN TO DISCERN WHETHER THE MIND IS ATTENDING TO CONCEPT OR REALITY

| Guided Meditation Sasanarakkha Buddhist Sanctuary Retreat 2013 Part 3

You need a lot of practice watching the mind again, again and again to know the mind; slowly the mind understands how to watch the mind.

We are more interested in the reality process, in the nature of different minds.

The mind can directly know reality. For example, when we are aware of taste when we’re eating, the mind can directly know the taste. This is reality – sweet, sour, bitter and salty – the mind can know directly. But banana, vegetable, chicken and pork are concepts – the mind is thinking, thinking about the concepts.

You can directly experience, hot, taste (sweet, sour), hardness and softness – these are reality. So learn to know what the mind is paying attention to – concept or reality?

DON’T FOLLOW THE CRAVING

| Shwe Oo Min Dhammasukha Tawya 2018 Vassa Q&A Chinese Interviews 20180920 (45:35-45:56)

Don’t follow the craving; just be aware, aware, aware. Don’t follow the craving.

If you follow the craving, the mind gets agitated.

Don’t follow; just recognize that the craving is there and do what you need to do – come back to being aware of your body sensations.

TENSION BUILDS UP WHEN YOGIS OVER-EXERT TO BE AWARE

| China 2018 Retreat File: 20180527 Q&A 1 (24:19-25:40)

Yogi: I experience pressure and discomfort in the head whenever I notice the in-breath and out-breath.

Sayadaw: Don’t focus too much whenever you’re aware or there’ll be tension in the head because you use a lot of energy.

Paying attention is directing attention to the object, not pressing onto the object. Placing the attention onto the object, that’s enough.

Yogis use too much energy to be aware; that’s why tension builds up.

If the mind becomes tense whenever you use a particular object (e.g. in-breath and out-breath), it’s better to switch to another object because old habits are hard to change.

ADVICE ON DAYDREAMING DURING THE SIT

| China 2018 Retreat File: 20180527 Q&A 1 (28:53-29:50)

Yogi: To stop daydreaming, I would remind myself that it’s just an object and also open my eyes. Which method is better?

Sayadaw: You can use both ways. If it’s difficult to be aware, it helps to open the eyes during the sit.

If you’re thinking too much if it is difficult to be aware and the mind gets involved easily (thinking continues), drop this object; don’t try to be aware of the thoughts. You already know that it’s happening – rather, ground your awareness with a physical object.

ADVICE FOR BEGINNERS WHO CANNOT NOTICE REACTIONS

| China 2018 Retreat File: 20180527 Q&A 1 (31:10-33:00)

Yogi: I don’t have good or bad feelings, just neutral experiences when practicing.

Sayadaw: That’s common for beginners. Just try to be aware of any physical object; when the awareness gets better, you can notice some reaction to the objects.

At present, you may not notice aversion to pain as the aversion is not obvious yet. You’ll start to notice when aversion becomes obvious.

Now, just maintain the awareness moment to moment.

If you notice liking when you’re eating, then you have seen your reaction (to food). You need to notice that liking has arisen in the mind.