Am I aware or thinking?

| Kalaw Retreat Mar 2017 - Day 2 Discussion Group A (00:45-04:44)

Yogi: During daily activities and walking meditation, the mind can be aware; but when I sit, the mind just thinks.

Sayadaw: The posture helps the mind to be awake in daily activities and when walking; and our eyes are open.

In sitting, you have to make it your objective to be alert; that has to be foremost in your mind. You have always to be checking: Am I still aware? And then you need to be checking: Am I aware of the object properly? You almost need to verbalize the question to yourself. That gives the mind energy and makes sure that you’re doing that work.

So, you might need to do this many times throughout the sitting to ensure that the mind is still awake and aware throughout the sitting.

When you start feeling alert, don’t think “Oh, it’s okay!” You have to keep checking: “What am I aware of? Am I aware properly? Am I in touch with the breath? Or am I thinking about the breath?”

If you’re not sure if the mind is aware or thinking of the object, check if you can feel the breath? This way, you can be in touch with the object.

In daily activities, the mind is already taking up the object properly; but in sitting, the mind is not used to being in touch with the object. Or, it may have the idea that it needs to be with the watching more and stop being in contact with the object.

When the mind is not strong enough, it cannot be with the watching mind; it needs to stay with the object. When the mind starts to think, you need to go back to the object.