Tips for Concentration:
· Generosity and Morality helps concentration.
· Before each start, mind should posses at least certain good qualities like wisdom, patience, inquisitiveness, joy, etc.
· Notice the conditioning process (cause and effect): how each thought is affecting the breath and the body. Do this for distracting thoughts as well as for the wholesome thoughts that we use to replace unwholesome ones.
· (3) Magical tools for concentration:
1. Mindful =====leads to=====> directed thought
2. Alert =====leads to=====> evaluation
3. Ardent: (i) sensitivity to breath (ii) back to breath without disappointment
· Don't control the breath.
· Don't force yourself "not to control" the breath. Instead, observe the "pain of controlling". This way, through understanding, you will let go of the control on its own.
· Picking ourselves after a fall is very important
· Clear & Stable concentration =====leads to=====> Insight
Tips for Mindfulness:
· Whenever you remember to be mindful;
(i) congratulate yourself (instead of feeling guilty of not remembering all this while).
(ii) immediately get tuned into a broader focus.
(iii) maintain it until concentration is stable.
(iv) tune into a subtler object.
· When eating: Observe the impulse to eat specific foods and the impulse to eat fast.
· When bathing: Observe the impulse to change the temperature of water even when its ok.
· When thinking: Observe the impulse to tag objects with "Like" and "Dislike".
Tips for Practice:
· 'Not Sure' - cut the tendency to be certain/sure. Real security/freedom comes from having to live with uncertainty. Don't trust your feelings, perceptions, thoughts.
· "The most efficacious way of dealing with attachment is to recognize it whenever it is present. This applies most particularly to attachment to the idea of selfhood, which is the very basis of life" - Buddhadasa Bhikku
· Whatever we keep pursuing with our thinking & pondering, that becomes the inclination of our awareness. - Thanissaro Bhikku
· If you look at your dhamma practice like should and shouldn't, it will be hard for you to continue practice. Instead, see what is beneficial and not and look at your own experience.
· Don't give a damn to too many things in life. Give a damn to what is most essential. (When we are sick, we give a damn to the most important to save our limited energy available; similarly don't waste your energy on trivial matters).
· If you are lacking in energy to motivate yourself for a big task, then use the amount of energy you have to motivate yourself for a smaller piece of task that would give momentum to that big task.