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Anapanasati Retreat 2003 Handouts - 9th Instruction

by Viveka

9th Contemplation of the Mind (Citta) Tetrad

…Sensitive to the Mind…
WHAT IS THE MIND?
3 fold classification – Body, Speech and Mind
Mind as one of the 6 senses. Mind as a sense organ is conscious of thought (like the ear is
conscious of sound).
In Buddhism mind is a process rather than a thing
5
k
handas (
s kandhas , S
anskrit)
Classification used in Pali Canon
Also a Mahayana teaching, featured in the Heart Sutra, with an emphasis on the
khandas themselves being sunya or empty of any independent nature
o form (rupa) – 1st tetrad
o feeling (vedana) – 2nd tetrad
o perception (sanna, Pali; samjna, Sanskrit) – mind tetrad
o volitions (sankhara, Pali; samskara, Sanskrit) – mind tetrad
o consciousness (vinnana, Pali; vijnana, Sanskrit) – mind tetrad
The mind interacts with form and feeling so all 5 khandas can be experienced
from the vantage point of the mind tetrad.
5 omnipresent mental events or constants (sarvatraga caitta dharma) from the Yogacara
abhidharma (Mahayana).1 What we call the ‘mind’ consists of five aspects:
1. Contact (sparsha in Sanskrit) –meeting of a sense faculty with an object, together
with the consciousness that arises from that meeting (e.g., the eye registering
forms)
2. Feeling (vedana)
3. Interpretation (samjna) – the mental act of picking out a particular object,
recognizing its distinguishing features, and then assigning a label to it
4. Will (cetana) – the way we respond to contact, feeling and interpretation,
generally by either moving towards the object or away from it
5. Attention (manaskara) – the union of the four other constants in the “act” of
consciousness, an act that is performed afresh in every moment, and is cast in the
form of a subject attending to an object
View of the mind from the Vajrayana Mahamudra and Dzogchen traditions:
1. Its essence is:
2. Its nature is:
3. Its activity is:
sunya
knowingness
responsiveness
empty of color,
luminosity
compassionate
shape, solidity
cognizance
creative
not fixed
radiance
uninhibited
"This mind, O monks is luminous, but it is defiled by adventitious defilements. The uninstructed
worldling does not understand this as it really is; therefore for them there is no mental
development.” – The Buddha, Anguttara Nikaya Suttas of the Pali Canon
WHAT ARE WE BECOMING SENSITIVE TO?
1 From Subhuti’s article on mindfulness in the Spring 2003 Madhayamavani, also see
Sangharakshita’s book Know Your Mind
Anapansati Retreat, 9/03, Dharmacharini Viveka
Thought
Knowing if and when we are thinking and when we’re not and the quality of thought
From the Satipatthana Sutta:
The kilesas – defilements or poisons. Is the mind caught up in the or free from them?
1. Greed, craving (raga)
The hindrance of craving for sense desire
Wanting
Addiction
2. Hatred, aversion (dosa)
The hindrance of ill-will
Not wanting
Anger
3. Delusion, confusion (moha)
The hindrances of sloth & torpor / restlessness & anxiety / doubt & indecision
Running in circles, don’t know what we want or don’t want
Being lost or astray
Dimness
Vipasyana bhavana versus samatha bhavana: in the former, rather than trying to correct the five
hindrances (nivaranas) or coverings of pure mind, we experience and learn from them
Learning – What ways of being conduce to peace, ease, liberation?
Learning - What ways of being conduce to tension, contraction, samsara?
What’s is like when the mind is free from kilesas? Beginning to learn about and trust other ways
of being. Not just an “absence of” but a rich, active, experience in itself.
Noticing, is the mind:
Contracted or open?
Surpassable or unsurpassable?
Distracted or stable and present?
Concentrated or not?
Great or narrow?
Attached or liberated from
attachment?
We can try to find security through making the mind and mental states “me” and “mine” (just as
we can do with our body and our feelings and emotions)
Mind states, like everything are impermanent, always changing, arising and passing
away
Mind states arise in dependence on other conditions
In Buddhism mind is a process rather than a thing
Vajrayana approach: meditating on the view (see above). Resting the mind in its natural state.
Anapansati Retreat, 9/03, Dharmacharini Viveka
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