Sati
The Pali word Sati or mindfulness is a faculty of active memory, adept at calling to mind and keeping in mind instructions and intentions that will be useful on the path.
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Meditation

Meditation helps us to let go of difficult states in life such as fear, anger, tension, stress, anxiety, depression, sadness, sorrow, fatigue, condemnation, feelings of helplessness. These states result in suffering. This suffering is caused by ourselves as we do not understand how things or phenomena actually do occur. Yet successful meditation needs a very firm foundation, a prepared ground for wisdom to blossom.

The Buddha teaches us that we first must expand our consciousness by the practice of generosity and morality. A person, who is miserly, has often a tendency to have a tight and limited heart. The heart and mind must be loosened, much like the soil of a garden, and prepared properly through the practice of generosity. A generosity which comes from the heart.

Virtue and morality (not killing, not stealing, not lying, no sexual misconduct, no intoxication) release the mind from fear, anxiety, guilt, and remorseful feelings, if they are continually kept and observed. They fertilize the ground.

Only after firmly committing to the foundation of morality, all the time in our life, we move on to establish a successful practice of the meditation following the Buddha’s own words as close as possible. There a guiding teacher who understands how to present the information clearly in direct relationship with the meditation is most helpful.

Meditating diligently insights arise and wisdom follows and blossoms understanding the impersonal process of Dependent Origination and the Four Noble Truths. This is the heart the Buddhas‘ teachings where the flower blossoms.

three ingredients: morality meditation wisdom

Sati

Just as a royal frontier fortress has a gatekeeper—wise, experienced, intelligent—to keep out those he doesn’t know and to let in those he does, for the protection of those within, and to ward off those without; in the same way, a disciple of the noble ones is mindful, endowed with excellent proficiency in mindfulness, remembering & recollecting what was done and said a long time ago. With mindfulness as his gatekeeper, the disciple of the noble ones abandons what is unskillful, develops what is skillful, abandons what is blameworthy, develops what is blameless, and looks after himself with purity.”

AN 7.63

The Pali term sati or mindfulness is one of those words that everyone is supposed to know the definition of, but few people actually do as the definition of mindfulness has never been very clear. The Buddha never defined the term sati per se. But there are many references and definitions in context.

One part of its definition is to remember. Remember the instruction given in the past; remember what is right and wrong, what is wholesome and unwholesome; remember to watch the mind and to remember to observe whatever arises in the present moment; to remember to recognize any distraction that pulls our attention away from our object of meditation in the present moment and to remember to return to the object of meditation when we have wandered off.

The second part of mindfulness is the foundation or establishing of right mindfulness. Ardent and alert we observe how mind’s attention moves from one thing to another and how phenomena arise and pass away. Right mindfulness, hand in hand with right effort, enables us take an active and sensitive role to develop insight into the process of origination and cessation.

When right mindfulness becomes strong, we start begin understand the role craving plays. Craving is the moment when the mind likes something or does not like something and an identification process in which we take things personally is started. Craving pulls your mind away from your object of meditation and thoughts arise.

The establishing of right mindfulness or in easier terms mindfulness meditation is the process in which we observe how mind’s attention moves moment-to-moment and see clearly and precisely how the impersonal process of thoughts and sensations arises and passes away. Through mindfulness meditation an impersonal perspective on all arising phenomena is developed. This process leads us to see und fully understand the true nature of existence.

Metta

Metta is a Pali word and translates as lovingkindness, benevolence, active good will. Metta meditation is an active form of meditation where instead of focusing on the breath, or the body, or bodily sensations we focus on sending benevolent thoughts and wishes to ourselves, to others, and out into the universe. We imagine that the people in our minds are touched by our good will.

metta meditation instructions for beginners

When you practice metta meditation, begin by radiating loving and kind feelings to yourself. Remember a time when you were happy. If nothing comes to mind and heart think of holding a baby or a pet. Naturally you want to smile and a warm feeling arises your the heart. Once you have established this feeling, use this feeling to wish yourself happiness: “Just as I was happy then, may I be happy now.” Continue with phrases like: “May I be peaceful,” “May I be happy,” “May I be calm.” Then put that feeling and yourself in the center of your heart and surround yourself with that happy feeling. When that feeling fades, bring up another phrase to remind you of the feeling: “May I be tranquil,” “May I be content,” “May I be full of joy.” Now give yourself a big heart hug. Really and sincerely, wish yourself to be happy! Love yourself and mean it. This feeling is your object of meditation. Each time the feeling fades, repeat the wish a few times in your mind. Just repeat it enough times to bring up the feeling. It is not supposed to be a mantra. When the feeling comes up we drop the phrase. Some people visualize easily; others do not. It is not important that you clearly see your object of meditation. Just know it is there. Keep the feeling of yourself in the center of your chest, wrapped in this happy and content feeling. Feel peaceful, or calm, or loving, or gentle, or kind, or giving, or joyful, or clear, or tranquil, or accepting. Just sit, let yourself be there in the present, just feeling this contentment. There is nothing to do other than to be happy and radiate that feeling to yourself. Be happy. Be content. Be at peace. Right here, right now. This is a feeling meditation, but don’t force a feeling where there isn’t one. Don’t put the cart before the horse. Smile and feel that smile all through your body. As you say the phrases, bring this feeling up, and it will resonate in your heart area on its own. Sincerely wish yourself happiness. Believe it, and know that you do wish happiness for yourself. Just be with this feeling, know it is there, and smile with it. Accept and allow yourself to be happy and peaceful.

Twim

The Buddha taught that for wisdom to arise we need to practice calm and insight, either one after the other or together. Tranquil Wisdom Insight Meditation (TWIM) is a practice in which calm and insight are developed together. It could also be described as mindfulness at metta. Right effort together with mindfulness is used in a sixfold way, hence his method is called the 6r practice.
When you are practicing TWIM, you do not suppress anything. Suppression means we would push down or push away or not allow certain types of experience. This would temporarily stop hindrances from arising. Instead, when a hindrance arises, you must work to open your mind by seeing you begin to see clearly how mind works. Wisdom is developed by seeing clearly impermanent, inherently unsatisfactory nature of things. Seeing clearly that it is just an impersonal process.

Practicing the instructions given above, the mind is going to wander. Thoughts will come and take you away from the feeling of loving kindness. Suddenly your attention is somewhere else and you are lost in thought. You are not sure how you got there or what you are supposed to be doing. Then you remember that you are meditating and that you are supposed to be on your object of meditation. ‘Remember’ - that how the first part of mindfulness was defined. So simply let go of the thought. Even if you are in mid sentence, just let go of the thought. This means to let the thought be there by itself without keeping your attention on it. Your mind may also be distracted by sensations or emotional feelings. Do the same. Release it. Allow the sensation or emotional feeling to be, without trying to make it be anything other than it is. There you may observe a tightness or observe that you don’t want the thought, sensations or feelings there. You want them to go away. But please don't fight with them or try to push them away. The distraction will only become intense. When a distraction is there, it’s there. And it’s okay for it to be there. The content of the distraction is not important at all, but the process of how it arose are important! So simply observe the way the mind moves and reacts in the present – that is the definition of mindfulness meditation. Before you redirect your mind back to the feeling of loving kindness and making a wish for happiness there is another very important step introduced by TWIM: Relax and smile. After releasing the feeling or sensation, and allowing it to be without trying to control it, there is a subtle, barely noticeable tension or tightness within mind/body. You want to actively relax this tightness and soften into it. You may feel a slight feeling of expansion in your head. At this time there are no thoughts, and mind is exceptionally clear and alert. Smile and redirect your mind back to the feeling of metta.

The 6r Practice

The six Rs is a method containing a cycle of 6 steps which with practice evolve into one fluid motion. This cycle begins when mindfulness remembers the six Rs. Mindfulness is the fuel on which the motor of the cycle runs. With practice this method will become a wholesome habitual tendency that relieves any dis-ease in mind and body.

Be alert or mindful with what arises in the present moment. Recognize any distractions that pull mind’s attention from the meditation object.

Let go of any thoughts, sensations or emotional feelings. Remember its O.K. for that thought, sensation, or emotional feeling to be there because that is the truth of the present moment. Allow the thought, sensation, or emotional feeling to be, without trying to make it be anything other than it is

Relax the tightness! Let go of the tight mental fist around the feeling and let it be. Tranquilize both body and mind.

Remember that this is a smiling meditation and it is helpful to smile as much as possible.

Come back to your object of meditation by gently re-directing your tranquil attention back to radiating the feeling of love, making a sincere wish for your happiness, and feeling that wish in your heart.

Continue on with your meditation of radiating loving kindness, making and feeling the wish for as long as you can.

Benefits of metta

“One sleeps easily, wakes easily, dreams no evil dreams. One is dear to human beings, dear to non-human beings. The devas protect one. Neither fire, poison, nor weapons can touch one. One’s mind gains concentration quickly. One’s complexion is bright. One dies unconfused and—if penetrating no higher—is headed for a Brahmā world. (AN 11.16)
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