Characteristics of the mind and Awareness
We always want to know more about the mind, how difficult is to tame and control with its habitual jumping and racing about. Even with mindfulness fixed on a single object, it will continually back and pull away. Where does the mind jump to? It struggles around among mental objects, following after desires, wishes, attractions and the obstacles which are worries and anxieties. These external involvements are those concerns which we think we conceive about. Once they are caught up in the mind they agitate, as worries and anxieties. If they are many and you are unable to throw them out, then the mind can`t be pacified. However everyone with true determination can expel them and achieve a calm mind.
The method of examining the mind
Mindfulness is essential for guarding the mind right from the beginning. Any inattention, and the mind will have darted away in a flash. The mind must be speedily led back inside if mindfulness is to be recovered.
If one checks to see why the mind had darted away, one may find the cause in something like the sound of a car, of people walking past, or the noise of something falling. The mind zips away to that particular sound and then starts to roam further afield. It may have wandered on through many varied episodes before one realizes the fact and is able to return to one`s determined point.
Using mindfulness, always return the mind to your chosen point and, carefully establishing mindfulness, examine it there. The mind will then be pacified and, when checked in any particular episode, will usually not go off there again but will rather follow some other affair instead. This method must be repeated until the mind is tamed and able to come to calm with contentment, and easy. This will give a taste of the first stages of calm.
Here the Buddha teachers the use of clear-comprehension. When walking, one is aware of one`s walking, when standing, one is aware of one standing and likewise with sitting or lying down. When changing position, be aware of that moment. Aim to keep this clear-comprehension is liable to be broken by the minds strategy away in thinking of other affairs. Therefore make sure that clear-comprehension is aware and safeguarding any posture you are presently in.
Another section also deals with clear-comprehension classifying the major postures in a more detailed way. Be aware of what you are doing. At the moment you are taking a step forward or backward of looking or turning, of stretching the body out or contracting it in whatever you are doing be clearly aware. Dressing eating, drinking, relieving yourself notice how these things proceed. This includes walking, standing, sitting, laying down, speaking, being silent, going to sleep and waking. This constant self-awareness is the practicing of clear-comprehension. It will safeguard you from carelessness and negligence and can bring you only benefits.
From the book: A Guide to Awareness
Author: Somdet Phra Nanasamvara