Showing posts with label S.N.Goenka. Show all posts
Showing posts with label S.N.Goenka. Show all posts
Related: Buddha's Path Is to Experience Reality
Vipassana Must Go With Luminous Manifestation
Four Foundations of Mindfulness: The Direct Path to Liberation
Thusness's Vipassana

Sensation, the Key to Satipatthāna
Vol.4 No.1 January 1994
Words of Dhamma

Sāriputto etadacova: Kimārammaṇā, samiddhi, purisassa saṅkappavitakkā uppajjantī"ti? "Nāmarūpārammaṇā, Bhante"ti.
"Te pana, Samiddhi, kiṃsamosaraṇā"ti? "Vedanāsamosaraṇā, bhante"ti.

- Sariputta spoke thus: "What is the base, Samiddhi, from which thoughts and reflections arise in men?" "From the base of mind and matter, sir."
"And what, Samiddhi, accompanies them?"
"Sensation accompanies them, sir."

-Samādhi Sutta, Aṅguttara Nikāya, IX. ii. 4 (14)

Sensation, The Key to Satipatthāna
-by S N Goenka

Whatever truth is outside can be found within as well; whatever is within also exists outside. We may accept truth out of devotion or intellectual conviction, but in order to apprehend it directly we must explore within, to experience truth within ourselves. By thus coming face to face with truth, we can develop experiential wisdom that will make a real change in our lives.
The meditator starts investigation from a superficial level at which gross, solidified truths appear. But as one observes the apparent truth objectively, one starts penetrating from gross to subtler truths and finally witnesses ultimate truth. This ultimate truth can be experienced only only by exploring reality within oneself.
The exploration of the truth within is Vipassana meditation. In the course of this exploration the meditator must investigate two fields, two aspects of reality: matter and mind. Investigation of the physical reality is called in Pāli kāyānupassanā. Investigation of the mental reality is called cittānupassanā. In fact, however, matter and mind cannot be experienced separately from each other because they are interdependent, interconnected.
Exploring one is bound to involve an exploration of the other. Neither can be fully understood without the other.
The field of matter: kāyānupassanā and vedanānupassanā
The physical reality of oneself must be invwestigated by direct experience; it will not help merely to imagine or speculate about it. How then to experience this truth, the reality of one's own body? If in the names of kāyānupassanā one sits with closed eyesand simply names or imagines the different parts of the body, such a person is far away from correct practice of Vipassanā, from the direct exploration of truth. We actually experience our bodies by feeling them - that is, by means of our bodily sensations. Therefore awareness of physical sensation is indispensable to the practice of kāyānupassanā. Sensations exists, of one type or another, at every part, every atom of the body.
Thus the investigation of the truth of body is bound to involve the exploration of bodily sensations - in Pāli, vedanānupassanā. Sensations can be experienced only within one's body, and the reality of body can be experienced only by means of sensations.
But though sensation is always based on the body, the truth of vedanā is not exclusively physical in nature; it is also one of the four mental aggregates. Sensation overlaps the two fields of mind and matter. For this reason observations of sensation, as we shall see, is a way to explore the mental-physical phenomenon in its entirety.
In the practice of kāyānupassanā, observation of sensations will enable the meditator to experience directly the changing nature of the physical structure. By examining every part of the body in turn, one realizes that all sensations arise and pass away. As one repeats this practice, eventually a stage comes in which one experiences the instantaneous dissolution of every particle of the body. In this very subtle stage the meditator observes directly that the entire material structure is dissolving every moment; this experience is called in Pāli bhaṇga-ñāṇa, the realization of the truth of dissolution.
Through observing sensations as well, one can experience that the body is composed of four basic elements: earth, or solidity; water, or fluidity; air, or gaseousness; and fire, or temperature. Particles arise with the predominance of one or more elements, giving rise to the infinite variety of sensations. They arise to pass away. Ultimately the body is merely wavelets arising and passing away, constant dissolving. The apparently solid material structure is in reality nothing but ripples, vibrations, oscillations.
This truth of anicca can be realized directly only by the experience of bodily sensations. With this realization comes the understanding that one has no control over the changes constantly occurring in the body - aniccā. Therefore any attachment to what is changing beyond one's control is bound to bring nothing but suffering - dukkha. Knowing these facts now by personal experience, the meditator develops the wisdom of equanimity. By observing sensations he has reached the ultimate truth about body, and as a result his attachment to the body is shattered. He emerges from the folly of identifying with the body and develops real detachment, real enlightenment.
In the practice of vedanānupassanā as well, the meditator gives importance to observing all that happens within the body, all sensations. Whether they are pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral one learns to observe them objectively, and by doing so one breaks the old habit of wallowing in sensory experiences. By repeatedly observing the arising and passing away of sensations, the meditator learns not to be swayed by them, to keep an inner balance in the face of any experience whatsoever.
In this way the sensations that arise within the body are the base for the practice of both kāyānupassanā and vedanānupassanā. By investigating sensations the meditator explores to the depths the reality of the physical atructure. The understanding arises, "Such is the body and such are bodily sensations, which create so many illusions and complications for us!" Previously one may have understood these phenomena intellectually, but now this understanding becomes the wisdom that develops from experience - the experience of bodily sensations.
The field of mind: cittāmupassanā and dhammānupassanā
Another aspect of the practice of Vipassanā meditation is exploration of mental reality. As body cannot be experienced without the sensations that arise within it, similarly mind cannot be experienced apart from what its contents - in Pāli, Dhamma. Hence observation of mind (cittānupassanā) and observation of mental contents (dhammānupassanā) are inseparable. When the mind contains craving the meditator realizes this fact. When it is free from craving the meditator realizes this as well. Similarly he realizes when the mind contains aversion or ignorance, and when it is free from these defilements. He realizes when the mind is agitated and scattered, or tranquil and concentrated. This is how he practises cittānupassanā.
The meditator simply observes objectively whatever happens within the mind, whatever mental phenomenon, whatever Dhamma; this is the practice of dhammānupassanā. Without becoming upset, he accepts whatever the mind contains at this moment: craving or aversion, sloth and torpor or agitation, guiltiness or sceptical doubts. And the law of nature is such that by observing them objectively, one automatically eradicates these hindrances. The meditator also accepts when such dhammas arise as awareness, penetrative investigation, effort, joy, tranquility, concentration, and equanimity. And the law of nature is such that as one observes objectively, these wholesome mental qualities are multiplied.
Positive or negative, one simply accepts all mental phenomena. All dhammas arise within the dhammas that it contains. Hence dhammānupassanā and cittānupassanā are inseparable.
Further, the meditator realizes that the mind and mental contents are inextricably linked to the body. The mind is constantly in contact with the physical structure; whatever dhammas arise within it have the base not of mind alone but also of body. This physical aspect of mental events is easily apparent when strong emotions or agitation arise, but is exists as part of every mental phenomenon. Even the slightest passing of thought manifests not in the mind alone but in the combined field of mind and matter; that is, it is accompanied by a sensation within the body.
For this reason awareness of physical sensations is essential for the observation of mind and mental contents. Without this awareness, the exploration of mental reality will be imcomplete and superficial.
All that happens within this mental and physical phenomenon manifests as bodily sensation. Every moment there is a contact of mind and matter at the subtlest level, and from this contact sensation arises. By means of sensation one can experience directly every aspect of the phenomenon of oneself. Therefore, not only kāyānupassanā and vedanānupassanā but also cittānupassanā and dhammānupassanā must be practised by observing bodily sensations.
And as the meditator does so he realizes, "Such is the mind, and such is all that it contains: impermanent, ephemeral, dissolving, changing every mement!" This is not a dogma that he accepts on faith alone, not merely the result of logical deduction, not an imagination or the fruit of contemplation. The meditator realizes the truth for himself directly by experiencing and observing bodily sensations.
Thus sensation becomes the base for the exploration of the entire world of mind and matter. Exploring in this way, the meditator comes to understand truth in all its aspects, the whole truth of oneself. This is sampajañña, the fullness of understanding; this is satipaṭṭhāna, the establishing of awareness. This is how to develop wisdom that will be unshakable, because it arises from a realization of the entire truth.
Observation of sensation leads the meditator to experience the ultimate truth of matter, mind, and mental contents: changing every moment. Then transcending the field of mind and matter, one comes to the ultimate truth which is beyond all sensory experience, beyond the phenomenal world. In this transcendent reality there is no more anicca: nothing arises, and therefore nothing passes away. It is a stage without birth or becoming: the deathless. While the meditator experiences this reality, the senses do not function and therefore sensations cease. This is the experience of nirodha, the cessation of sensations and of suffering.
In this way a Vipassana meditator practises all four satipaṭṭhānas by observing the sensations that arise within the body. He realizes directly the changing nature of body and mind, and as he continues the exploration within, at last he comes to the truth- first within the field of mind and matter, and then in the field beyond. This is how dhammānupassanā is practised completely. This is how the four satipaṭṭhānas are properly practised. This is how one's meditation, one's exploration of truth comes to frution.
Come, oh meditators! With the help of bodily sensations let us explore the entire truth of ourselves, and by doing so let us achieve the final goal of real happiness, real peace.

Related: Sensation, the Key to Satipatthāna
Vipassana Must Go With Luminous Manifestation
Four Foundations of Mindfulness: The Direct Path to Liberation
Thusness's Vipassana

Thusness was deeply impressed by the degree of clarity of this article by S.N. Goenka-ji when I shared it with him today. It describes something he wanted to point out about the energy level. He is describing an experiential state of anatta when the subject and object constructions dissolve as well as the sense of ownership and personality, into the vibrational patterns of energy.

The following has been condensed from a public talk given by S. N. Goenka in Bangkok, Thailand in September, 1989.
Most Venerable Bhikkhu Saṅgha, friends, devotees of Lord Buddha:

You have all assembled here to understand what Vipassana is and how it helps us in our day-to-day lives; how it helps us to come out of our misery, the misery of life and death. Everyone wants to come out of misery, to live a life of peace and harmony. We simply do not know how to do this. It was Siddhattha Gotama's enlightenment that made him realize the truth: where misery lies, how it starts, and how it can be eradicated.

There were many techniques of meditation prevailing in those days, as there are today. The Bodhisatta Gotama tried them all, but he was not satisfied because he found that he was not fully liberated from misery. Then he started to do his own research. Through his personal experience he discovered this technique of Vipassana, which eradicated misery from his life and made him a fully enlightened person.

There are many techniques that give temporary relief. When you become miserable you divert your attention to something else. Then you feel that you have come out of your misery, but you are not totally relieved.

If something undesirable has happened in life, you become agitated. You cannot bear this misery and want to run away from it. You may go to a cinema or a theatre, or you may indulge in other sensual entertainments. You may go out drinking, and so on. All this is running away from misery. Escape is no solution to the problemĀ indeed the misery is multiplying.

In Buddha's enlightenment he realized that one must face reality. Instead of running away from the problem, one must face it. He found that all the types of meditation existing in his day consisted of merely diverting the mind from the prevailing misery to another object. He found that practising this, actually only a small part of the mind gets diverted. Deep inside one keeps reacting, one keeps generating saṅkhāras (reactions) of craving, aversion or delusion, and one keeps suffering at a deep level of the mind. The object of meditation should not be an imaginary object, it should be reality—reality as it is. One has to work with whatever reality has manifested itself now, whatever one experiences within the framework of one's own body.

In the practice of Vipassana one has to explore the reality within oneself—the material structure and the mental structure, the combination of which one keeps calling "I, me, mine." One generates a tremendous amount of attachment to this material and mental structure, and as a result becomes miserable. To practise Buddha's path we must observe the truth of mind and matter. Their basic characteristics should be directly experienced by the meditator. This results in wisdom.

Wisdom can be of three types: wisdom gained by listening to others, that which is gained by intellectual analysis, and wisdom developed from direct, personal experience. Before Buddha, and even at the time of Buddha, there were teachers who were teaching morality, were teaching concentration, and who were also talking about wisdom. But this wisdom was only received or intellectualized wisdom. It was not wisdom gained by personal experience. Buddha found that one may play any number of intellectual or devotional games, but unless he experiences the truth himself, and develops wisdom from his personal experience, he will not be liberated. Vipassana is personally experienced wisdom. One may listen to discourses or read scriptures. Or one may use the intellect and try to understand: "Yes, Buddha's teaching is wonderful! This wisdom is wonderful!" But that is not direct experience of wisdom.

The entire field of mind and matter - the six senses and their respective objects - have the basic characteristics of anicca (impermanence), dukkha (suffering) and anattā (egolessness). Buddha wanted us to experience this reality within ourselves. To explore the truth within the framework of the body, he designated two fields. One is the material structure: the corporeal structure, the physical structure. The other is the mental structure with four factors: consciousness; perception; the part of the mind that feels sensation; and the part of the mind that reacts. So to explore both fields he gave us kāyānupassanā (observation of the body) and cittānupassanā (observation of the mind).

How can you observe the body with direct experience unless you can feel it? There must be something happening in the body which you feel, which you realize. Then you can say, "Yes, I have practised kāyānupassanā." One must feel the sensations on the body: this is vedanānupassanā (observation of body sensations).

The same is true for cittānupassanā. Unless something arises in the mind, you cannot directly experience it. Whatever arises in the mind is dhamma (mental content). Therefore dhammānupassanā (observation of the contents of the mind) is necessary for cittānupassanā.

This is how the Buddha divided these practices. Kāyānupassanā and vedanānupassanā pertain to the physical structure. Cittānupassanā and dhammānupassanā pertain to the mental structure. See from your personal experience how this mind and matter are related to each other. To believe that one understands mind and matter, without having directly experienced it, is delusion. It is only direct experience that will make us understand the reality about mind and matter. This is where Vipassana starts helping us.

In brief, understand how we practise Vipassana. We start with Anapana, awareness of respiration—natural respiration. We don't make it a breathing exercise or regulate the breath as they do in prāṇāyāma. We observe respiration at the entrance of the nostrils. If a meditator works continuously in a congenial atmosphere without any disturbance, within two or three days some subtle reality on this part of the body will start manifesting itself: some sensations—natural, normal bodily sensations. Maybe heat or cold, throbbing or pulsing or some other sensations. When one reaches the fourth or fifth day of practice, he or she will find that there are sensations throughout the body, from head to feet. One feels those sensations, and is asked not to react to them. Just observe; observe objectively, without identifying yourself with the sensations.

When you work as Buddha wanted you to work, by the time you reach the seventh day or the eighth day, you will move towards subtler and subtler reality. The Dhamma (natural law) will start helping you. You observe this structure that initially appears to be so solid, the entire physical structure at the level of sensation. Observing, observing you will reach the stage when you experience that the entire physical structure is nothing but subatomic particles: throughout the body, nothing but kalāpas (subatomic particles). And even these tiniest subatomic particles are not solid. They are mere vibration, just wavelets. The Buddha's words become clear by experience:

Sabbo pajjalito loko, sabbo loko pakampito.
The entire universe is nothing but combustion and vibration.

As you experience it yourself, your kāyānupassanā, your vedanānupassanā, will take you to the stage where you experience that the entire material world is nothing but vibration. Then it becomes very easy for you to practise cittānupassanā and dhammānupassanā.

Buddha's teaching is to move from the gross, apparent truth to the subtlest, ultimate truth, from oḷārika to sukhuma. The apparent truth always creates illusion and confusion in the mind. By dividing and dissecting apparent reality, you will come to the ultimate reality. As you experience the reality of matter to be vibration, you also start experiencing the reality of the mind: viññāṇa (consciousness), saññā (perception), vedanā (sensation) and saṅkhāra (reaction). If you experience them properly with Vipassana, it will become clear how they work.

Suppose you have reached the stage where you are experiencing that the entire physical structure is just vibration. If a sound has come in contact with the ears you will notice that this sound is nothing but vibration. The first part of the mind, consciousness, has done its job: ear consciousness has recognized that something has happened at the ear sense door. Like a gong which, having been struck at one point, begins vibrating throughout its structure, so a contact with any of the senses begins a vibration which spreads throughout the body. At first this is merely a neutral vibration, neither pleasant nor unpleasant.

The perception recognizes and evaluates the sound, "It is a word—what word? Praise! Oh, wonderful, very good!" The resulting sensation, the vibration, will become very pleasant. In the same way, if the words are words of abuse the vibration will become very unpleasant. The vibration changes according to the evaluation given by the perception part of the mind. Next the third part of the mind starts feeling the sensation: pleasant or unpleasant.

Then the fourth part of the mind will start working. This is reaction; its job is to react. If a pleasant sensation arises, it will react with craving. If an unpleasant sensation arises, it will react with aversion. Pleasant sensation: "I like it. Very good! I want more, I want more!" Similarly, unpleasant sensation: "I dislike it. I don't want it." Generating craving and aversion is the part played by the fourth factor of the mind—reaction.

Understand that this process is going on constantly at one sense door or another. Every moment something or the other is happening at one of the sense doors. Every moment the respective consciousness cognizes; the perception recognizes; the feeling part of the mind feels; and the reacting part of the mind reacts, with either craving or aversion. This happens continuously in one's life.

At the apparent, surface level, it seems that I am reacting with either craving or aversion to the external stimulus. Actually this is not so. Buddha found that we are reacting to our sensations. This discovery was the enlightenment of Buddha. He said:

Saḷāyatana-paccayā phasso
phassa-paccayā vedanā
vedanā-paccayā taṇhā.

With the base of the six senses, contact arises
with the base of contact, sensation arises
with the base of sensation, craving arises.

It became so clear to him: the six sense organs come in contact with objects outside. Because of the contact, a sensation starts in the body that, most of the time, is either pleasant or unpleasant. Then after a pleasant or unpleasant sensation arises, craving or aversion start—not before that. This realization was possible because Buddha went deep inside and experienced it himself. He went to the root of the problem and discovered how to eradicate the cause of suffering at the root level.

Working at the intellectual level of the mind, we try to suppress craving and aversion, but deep inside, craving and aversion continue. We are constantly rolling in craving or aversion. We are not coming out of misery through suppression.

Buddha discovered the way: whenever you experience any sensation, due to any reason, you simply observe it:

Samudaya dhammānupassī vā kāyasmiṃ viharati
vaya dhammānupassī vā kāyasmiṃ viharati
samudaya-vaya-dhammānupassī vā kāyasmiṃ viharati.

He dwells observing the phenomenon of arising in the body.
He dwells observing the phenomenon of passing away in the body.
He dwells observing the phenomenon of simultaneous arising and passing away in the body.

Every sensation arises and passes away. Nothing is eternal. When you practise Vipassana you start experiencing this. However unpleasant a sensation may be—look, it arises only to pass away. However pleasant a sensation may be, it is just a vibration—arising and passing. Pleasant, unpleasant or neutral, the characteristic of impermanence remains the same. You are now experiencing the reality of anicca. You are not believing it because Buddha said so, or some scripture or tradition says so, or even because your intellect says so. You accept the truth of anicca because you directly experience it. This is how your received wisdom and intellectual understanding turn into personally experienced wisdom.

Only this experience of anicca will change the habit pattern of the mind. Feeling sensation in the body and understanding that everything is impermanent, you don't react with craving or aversion; you are equanimous. Practising this continually changes the habit of reacting at the deepest level. When you don't generate any new conditioning of craving and aversion, old conditioning comes on the surface and passes away. By observing reality as it is, you become free from all your conditioning of craving and aversion.

Western psychologists refer to the "conscious mind" Buddha called this part of the mind the paritta citta (a very small part of the mind). There is a big barrier between the paritta citta and the rest of the mind at deeper levels. The conscious mind does not know what is happening in the unconscious or half-conscious. Vipassana breaks this barrier, taking you from the surface level of the mind to the deepest level of the mind. The practice exposes the anusaya kilesa (latent mental defilements) that are lying at the deepest level of the mind.

The so-called "unconscious" mind is not unconscious. It is always conscious of body sensations, and it keeps reacting to them. If they are unpleasant, it reacts with aversion. If they are pleasant, it reacts with craving. This is the habit pattern, the behaviour pattern, of the so-called unconscious at the depth of the mind.

Here is an example to explain how the so-called unconscious mind is reacting with craving and aversion. You are in deep sleep. A mosquito bites you and there is an unpleasant sensation. Your conscious mind does not know what has happened. The unconscious knows immediately that there is an unpleasant sensation, and it reacts with aversion. It drives away or kills the mosquito. But still there is an unpleasant sensation, so you scratch, though your conscious mind is in deep sleep. When you wake up, if somebody asks you how many mosquito bites you got during the night, you won't know. Your conscious mind was unaware but the unconcious knew, and it reacted.

Another example: Sitting for about half an hour, some pressure starts somewhere and the unconscious mind reacts: "There is a pressure. I don't like it!" You change your position. The unconscious mind is always in contact with the body sensations. You make a little movement, and then after some time you move again. Just watch somebody sitting for fifteen to twenty minutes. You will find that this person is fidgeting, shifting a little here, a little there. Of course, consciously he does not know what he is doing. This is because he is not aware of the sensations. He does not know that he is reacting with aversion to these sensations. This barrier is ignorance.

Vipassana breaks this ignorance. Then one starts understanding how sensations arise and how they give rise to craving or aversion. When there is a pleasant sensation, there is craving. When there is an unpleasant sensation, there is aversion, and whenever there is craving or aversion, there is misery.

If one does not break this behaviour pattern, there will be continual craving or aversion. At the surface level you may say that you are practising what Buddha taught, but in fact, you are not practising what Buddha taught! You are practising what the other teachers at the time of Buddha taught. Budd
ha taught how to go to the deepest level where suffering arises. Suffering arises because of one's reaction of craving or aversion. The source of craving and aversion must be found, and one must change one's behaviour pattern at that level.

Buddha taught us to observe suffering and the arising of suffering. Without observing these two we can never know the cessation of misery. Suffering arises with the sensations. If we react to sensations, then suffering arises. If we do not react we do not suffer from them. However unpleasant a sensation may be, if you don't react with aversion, you can smile with equanimity. You understand that this is all anicca, impermanence. The whole habit pattern of the mind changes at the deepest level.

Through the practice of Vipassana, people start to come out of all kinds of impurities of the mind—anger, passion, fear, ego, and so on. Within a few months or a few years the change in people becomes very evident. This is the benefit of Vipassana, here and now. In this very life you will get the benefit.

This is the land of Dhamma, a land of the teaching of Buddha, a land where you have such a large Sangha. Make use of the teaching of Buddha at the deepest level. Don't just remain at the surface level of the teaching of Buddha. Go to the deepest level where your craving arises:

Vedanā paccayā taṇhā;
vedanā-nirodhā taṇhā-nirodho;
taṇhā-nirodhā dukkha-nirodho.

Sensations give rise to craving.
If sensations cease, craving ceases.
When craving ceases, suffering ceases.

When one experiences the truth of nibbāna—a stage beyond the entire sensorium—all the six sense organs stop working. There can't be any contact with objects outside, so sensation ceases. At this stage there is freedom from all suffering.

First you must reach the stage where you can feel sensations. Only then can you change the habit pattern of your mind. Work on this technique, this process, at the very deepest level. If you work on the surface level of the mind you are only changing the conscious part of the mind, your intellect. You are not going to the root cause, the most unconscious level of the mind; you are not removing the anusaya kilesa—deep-rooted defilements of craving and aversion. They are like sleeping volcanoes that may erupt at any time. You continue to roll from birth to death; you are not coming out of misery.

Make use of this wonderful technique and come out of your misery, come out of the bondages and enjoy real peace, real harmony, real happiness.

May all of you enjoy real peace,real harmony, real happiness.


Also, an excerpt from another article

...Then working with both you reach the stage of feeling sensation throughout the body—sabba-kāya. Initially it is very gross, solidified, intensified, but as you keep practising patiently, persistently, remaining equanimous with every experience, the whole body dissolves into subtle vibrations, and you reach the stage of bhaṅga, total dissolution. Having started with natural breath, you learn to reach the important station of feeling sensations in the whole body in one breath: from top to bottom as you breathe out, from bottom to top as you breathe in....

...A meditator must understand this and the next stage of bhaṅga well.

…‘atthi kāyo’ti vā panassa sati paccupaṭṭhitā hoti.

Now his awareness is established: "This is body" (‘atthi kāyo’ ti). This is the stage in which the body is experienced as "not I," "not mine," but just body, just a mass of vibrations, bubbles, wavelets. It is merely a collection of kalāpas, subatomic particles, arising and passing. There is nothing good or bad, beautiful or ugly, white or brown about it. Initially the acceptance of anattā, "not I," is intellectual or devotional, based on the words of someone else. The actual experience starts with anicca, because every pleasant sensation turns into an unpleasant one. The danger of attachment is realised. It is dukkha because of its inherent nature of change. Then anattā is understood: the body is felt as just subatomic particles arising and passing, and automatically the attachment to body goes away. It is a high stage when the awareness, sati, gets established, paccupaṭṭhitā hoti, in this truth from moment to moment.

Proceeding further:

Yāvadeva ñāṇamattāya paṭissatimattāya…

Matta means "mere." There is mere wisdom, mere knowledge, mere observation. This is to the extent (yāvadeva) that there is no wise person, no-one to know or experience. In another Indian tradition it is called kevala-ñāṇa kevala-dassana, "only knowing, only seeing."

In the Buddha’s time a very old hermit lived at a place called Supārapattaṃ, near present-day Bombay. Having practised the eight jhānas, deep mental absorptions, he thought himself fully enlightened. A well-wisher corrected him, telling him that a Buddha was now present at Sāvatthi, who could teach him the real practice for becoming enlightened. He was so excited to hear this he went all the way to Sāvatthi in northern India. Reaching the monastery, he found that the Buddha had gone out for alms, so he went directly to the city. He found the Buddha walking down a street and immediately understood that this was the Buddha. He asked him then and there for the technique to become an arahant. The Buddha told him to wait for an hour or so, to be taught in the monastery, but he insisted: he might die within the hour, or the Buddha might die, or he might lose his present great faith in the Buddha. Now was the time when all these three were present. The Buddha looked and realised that very soon this man would die, and indeed should be given Dhamma now. So he spoke just a few words to this developed old hermit, there on the side of the road: Diṭṭhe diṭṭhamattaṃ bhavissati… "In seeing there is mere seeing, in hearing mere hearing, in smelling mere smelling, in tasting mere tasting, in touching mere touching, and in cognising only cognising"…viññāte viññātamattaṃ bhavissati.

This was sufficient. At the stage of mere knowing, what is being cognised or the identity of who cognises is irrelevant. There is mere understanding. The dip in nibbāna follows, where there is nothing to hold, no base to stand on (anissito).

…anissito ca viharati, na ca kiñci loke upādiyati

The entire field of mind and matter (loka) is transcended, and there is no world or universe to grasp (upādiyati).

Whether it is for a few minutes or few hours depends on the capacity and previous work of the person. A person in nibbāna is as if dead: none of the senses function, although inside the person is very aware, very alert, very awakened. After that the person returns and again starts functioning in the sensory field, but a fully liberated person has no attachment, no clinging, because there is no craving. Such a person will cling to nothing in the entire universe and nothing clings to them. This is the stage described.

So a meditator practises. Those who practise these sentences will understand the meaning of every word given, but mere intellectualisation won’t help. Real understanding comes with experience.

Iriyāpathapabbaṃ—Postures of the Body

Iriyāpatha are postures of the body.

gacchanto vā ‘gacchāmī’ti pajānāti, ṭhito vā ‘ṭhitomhī’ ti pajānāti, nisinno vā ‘nisinnomhī’ti pajānāti, sayāno vā ‘sayānomhī’ti pajānāti.

When walking (gacchanto), a meditator knows well ‘I am walking’ (‘gacchāmi’). Similarly, whether standing (ṭhito), sitting (nisinno), or lying down (sayāno) a meditator knows this well. This is just the beginning. In the sentence that follows, not "I", but just "body" is known well in whatever posture (yathā yathā paṇihito).

Yathā yathā vā panassa kāyo paṇihito hoti, tathā tathā naṃ pajānāti.

etc (see URL)