Brahmavihara Dhamma

Part VII by Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw

(109) Contemplating and noting and how consciousness arises at the moment of hearing

In the case of ordinary worldlings, at every moment of hearing, all what is heard, the ear-rupa, the organ which hears, and the audible sound are thought of as being permanent, pleasurable and good, and as an “atta ” or being. This is avijja – ignorance which does not know the truth or what is right. Based fundamentally on this ignorance (avijia), miseries and sufferings such as sankhara-vinnana, etc., have occurred.

When a Yogi’s power of concentration (samadhi) be comes strong while he is contemplating and noting as “hearing”, “hearing”, every time he hears he will know distinguishably that the ear organ and the sound are rupa (matter); they are different from the consciousness of the sound and the knowing mind which are nama. The ear, the audible sound, the consciousness of hearing, and the knowing mind vanished and then cease immediately after they are noted. He then knows that all are impermanent, suffering and Non-Self by nature. This is the genuine Vipassana insight knowledge which has unfolded and the truth realised by the characteristics of anicca, etc.

Recitation may now be made as follow:

“At the moment of hearing, the ear and the sound which do not know the sensation are rupa (matter). What is heard and realised is nama. Consciousness which arises through contemplation is also nama. For having vanished and ceased all at once after awareness of the sound that is heard and after the arising of consciousness through contemplation, it becomes quite evident that these are merely the nature of “impermanence”, “suffering”, and “Non-self’ (anatta).”