Five Daily Recollections: (AN V.57)
- I am of the nature to grow old; I cannot avoid ageing.
- I am of the nature to become ill; I cannot avoid illness.
- I am of the nature to die; I cannot avoid death.
- All that is mine, dear and delightful, will change and vanish.
- I am the owner of my karma; I am born of my karma; I live supported by my karma; I will inherit my karma; whatever I do, whether good or evil, that I will inherit.
Five things to do at the start of a sitting:
- Why am I doing this (what's my motivation?)
- Work up some determination
- Metta - always for yourself, for others as well if you wish
- "Breathing in I calm body and mind, breathing out I smile."
Five things to do at the end of a sitting:
- Recapitulation - what did I do and how did I get there
- Impermanence - all these high, but mundane, states are now gone
- Insights - did I get any; what were they
- Dedicate the merit from this sitting for the liberation of all beings
- Resolve to be mindful as I get up and go about my activities
Essence of entering each of the 8 Jhanas:
0. Follow breath until access concentration is established:
a. Thoughts are wispy and in the background,
b. and/or White light glows in the background,
c. and/or Breath becomes very shallow or disappears.
1. Switch attention away from the breath to a pleasant physical sensation:
a. Stay focused on the 'pleasantness' of the pleasant sensation,
b. Do not do anything else but stay focused on the 'pleasantness', it will increase in intensity automatically.
c. When the physical pleasure and emotional joy/happiness rises, focus on that experience.
2. Focus on the emotional joy/happiness that is accompanying the intense physical sensations of the 1st Jhana:
a. Push the the intense physical sensations into the background - taking a deep breath now will be helpful in doing this,
b. Stay one pointedly focused on the joy/happiness.
3. Turn down the intensity of the joy/happiness to contentment/satisfaction.
4. Let go of the pleasure of the contentment/satisfaction and drop down to a quiet, still equanimity.
5. Sense the "boundaries of your being" and begin expanding them outwards:
a. Expand outwards until you fill the room,
b. Expand outwards until you fill the building,
c. Expand outwards until you fill the neighborhood,
d. Expand outwards further and further, remain focused on expanding outwards,
e. When a boundless space opens up before you, switch your focus to it.
6. Realizing that it takes a boundless consciousness to be aware of a boundless space, switch your attention to to your consciousness of the boundless space.
7. Switch your attention from the boundless consciousness to the content of that consciousness - it will be a sense of no thing - no-thing at all anywhere.
8. Let go of all the previous outward sensing and come to rest in a small spot more or less between the eyes and a few inches from your face. Focus on being in a state that has no characteristics.
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/ Revised 07 Oct 10