6 things to know before you mediate

  1. Six sources: Know that your experiences can come from only six sources: Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, bodily sensation and thoughts.  
  2. Five aggregates:  Know your current experience (It can be breath, bodily sensation, hearing of a sound, tasting of food etc.) could project five distinct aggregates. i.e. your experience is a collection of five things: Rupa (matter); Vedana (feeling); Sanna (Perception), Sankara (Thoughts), Vinnana (knowing). This is the core principle that you need to understand.  
  3. Four truths: Its because we do not understand the four noble truths, the five aggregates come into action, they proliferate and develop.  
  4. Three sensations: Our every experience has three outcomes: pleasant, unpleasant and neutral. No one creates them, they are the outcomes of holding onto five aggregates through ignorance  
  5. Two elements: Nama (feelings, perception, thoughts, attention and knowing) and Rupa (matter). These are the two key things that leads to creation of everything that we know of.  For example, when we see a dog. The name given to that image is ‘dog’, the image itself is a result of matter (light reflecting).  
  6. One source of food: Ignorance. Ignorance gives birth to craving. Craving gives birth to five aggregates  

4 things to do when meditating

  1. Find a quite place. Sit comfortably. Feel your sensations. Identify the prominent and most consistent sensation. This could be your breath at the nostrils, movements of the tummy, sounds you hear. But not the thoughts. DO NOT think about your thoughts. Focus on the bodily experience. Something that is real, something you can observe, something that happens without your intervention.   
  2. Stay with your sensation. If it’s the breath, stay with the breath for about 10 mins. AT first your mind starts to wander. Don’t worry this is normal. Just bring back to your sensation of breath. Don’t say anything to yourself, no thinking, no inner talking. Just be there with the breadth. No need to identify the breath, no need to think its long or short. No need to go looking for breath. Just stay with the sensation of the breath without any intervention.  
  3. Understand your sensation. This is the starting point of Vipssana (insight). When you stay with the breath for some time. You will notice the experience of breath vividly. Now, investigate how you know about this sensation of breath. This happens because of three things: 1) air; 2) your body; and 3) knowing (consciousness). Without these three you will not know whether breathing or breath exist or not.  
  4. Stay with your sensation until sensation becomes just a sensation. Once you leave the sensation to do its own work, tt will reveal itself as a conditioned state. Anything you add to this sensation thinking that its my sensation, I feel it, its there, its not there, I feel empty, no breath is there… all these are mind playing tricks on you. This is the time to let go of everything. Be patient. Let go.