..续本文上一页ject of attention. The mind may get caught up in judging and investigating your moods, but continue to practice, being constantly aware of the beginning, middle and the end of each breath.
Eventually, the mind will be aware of the breath at these three points all the time. When you do this practice for some time, the mind and body will get accustomed to the work. Fatigue will disappear. The body will feel lighter and the breath will become more and more refined. Mindfulness and self-awareness will protect the mind and watch over it.
We practice like this until the mind is peaceful and calm, until it is one. One means that the mind will be completely absorbed in the breathing, that it doesn”t separate from the breath. The mind will be unconfused and at ease. It will know the beginning, middle and end of the breath and remain steadily fixed on it.
Then when the mind is peaceful, we fix our attention on the in-breath and out-breath at the nose tip only. We don”t have to follow it up and down to the abdomen and back. Just concentrate on the tip of the nose where the breath comes in and goes out.
This is called "calming the mind," making it relaxed and peaceful. When tranquillity arises, the mind stops; it stops with its single object, the breath. This is what”s known as making the mind peaceful so that wisdom may arise.
This is the beginning, the foundation of our practice. You should try to practice this every single day, wherever you may be. Whether at home, in a car, lying or sitting down, you should be mindfully aware and watch over the mind constantly.
This is called mental training which should be practiced in all the four postures. Not just sitting, but standing, walking and lying as well. The point is that we should know what the state of the mind is at each moment, and, to be able to do this, we must be constantly mindful and aware. Is the mind happy or suffering
Is it confused
Is it peaceful
Getting to know the mind in this manner allows it to become tranquil, and when it does become tranquil, wisdom will arise.
With the tranquil mind investigate the meditation subject which is the body, from the top of the head to the soles of the feet, then back to the head. Do this over and over again. Look at and see the hair of the head, hair of the body, the nails, teeth and skin. In this meditation we will see that this whole body is composed of four "elements”: earth, water, fire and wind.
The hard and solid parts of our body make up the earth element; the liquid and flowing parts, the water element. Winds that pass up and down our body make up the wind element, and the heat in our body, the fire element.
Taken together, they compose what we call a "human being." However, when the body is broken down into its component parts, only these four elements remain. The Buddha taught that there is no "being" per se, no human, no Thai, no Westerner, no person, but that ultimately, there are only these four elements -- that”s all! We assume that there is a person or a "being" but, in reality, there isn”t anything of the sort.
Whether taken separately as earth, water, fire and wind, or taken together labelling what they form a "human being," they”re all impermanent, subject to suffering and not-self. They are all unstable, uncertain and in a state of constant change -- not stable for a single moment!
Our body is unstable, altering and changing constantly. Hair changes, nails change, teeth change, skin changes -- everything changes, completely!
Our mind, too, is always changing. It isn”t a self or substance. It isn”t really "us," not really "them," although it may think so. Maybe it will think about killing itself. Maybe it will think of happiness or of suffering -- all sorts of things! It”s unstable. If we don”t have wisdom and w…
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