Part VII by Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw
Attachment to the thought or imagination that arises is intense when one thinks highly of himself as one’s own self or a living entity. This imagination and the knowing mind are thought of as being always permanent and ever lasting throughout the lifetime. Imagination runs riot and action taken to devote to the work of planning and imagining according to one’s wish is considered as being good and pleasurable. This is mere ignorance with an erroneous conception that all such things are nicca (permanent), sukha and atta. Also, based upon this false view (ignorance), miseries such as sankhara-vinnana, etc., occur.
To be able to dispel this ignorance (avijja), contemplation and noting should be made every time imagination occurs in the mind. While contemplating and noting as “rising”, and “falling”, etc., if imagination creeps in, it must be contemplated as “imagining” or “planning”. This amounts to saying that the arising consciousness of imagination and awareness should be contemplated and noted. Every time such consciousness arises, it will be known and realised that the body-rupa is one, imagining and knowing is another and that consciousness is different from the other two. These are distinguishably known as such. The sensation of imagination and its awareness has the element of rupa (matter) as well as the nature of nama (the mind) with its concomitants – the mental formations. It has therefore pannatti, such as name and appearance. Hence, this sensation which is known, cannot be said with certainty as exactly rupa (matter). Moreover, the body-rupa, imagination that knows, and awareness or consciousness gained through contemplation have all vanished and ceased instantaneously after being noted. These are, therefore, known as having the nature of impermanence”, “suffering” and “Non-self” (anatta). This is the genuine spiritual insight-knowledge called Vipassana-nana which has the faculty of knowing the truth of the characteristics of anicca, etc.
“At the moment of imagining and knowing, the base on which imagination and the knowing mind or consciousness rest is rupa. The act of imagining and knowing, and awareness through contemplation is nama. These are only made up of two kinds, viz: Rupa and nama. These two ephemeral things immediately vanish and. cease after imagining and knowing, and after awareness through contemplation. For this reason, these are merely the nature of “impermanence”, suffering” and “Non-Self” (anatta) “
It is Vipassana-nana which contemplates and knows the obvious phenomenal conditions occurring at the moment of imagining and knowing, every time metta is developed by reciting “May all beings be happy”, while listening to the sermon. While contemplating as such, what is brought to the mind and the willingness to recite is nama. Recitation made and the sound produced is rupa. Awareness through contemplation is also nama. These rupa and nama have vanished and ceased while reciting with the conscious mind and while awareness through contemplation is taking place. Having thus vanished and ceased, realisation occurs that these are the natural phenomena which are impermanent, suffering and Non-self (anatta). This knowledge or realisation is the genuine spiritual insight wisdom called Vipassana-nana which truly knows the characteristics of anicca, dukkha and anatta.
Wishing to recite “May all beings be happy” is nama. The recitation made and the sound produced is rupa. Contemplating and noting these phenomenal occurrences are nama. There are only two constituents – rupa and nama. These rupa and nama having ceased to exist and vanished all at once are realised as the nature of “impermanence”, “suffering” and “Non-self” (anatta).
What we have now recited indicate the manner of developing metta and of contemplating Vipassana, and how they are perceived and known. The manner of developing karuna and of contemplating Vipassana and how perception and realisation take place may again be recited.
“May all beings be liberated from misery.”
The wish to let them escape from misery and the willingness to recite are nama. The recitation and the sound produced are rupa. Contemplating and noting them are nama. These comprise only rupa and nama. These rupa and nama having vanished and ceased immediately are by nature impermanent, suffering and Non-delf (anatta).
We shall now continue to recite how realisation takes place, how mudita is developed, and also how Vipassana is contemplated.
“May all beings be able to retain their wealth and prosperity with diminution.”
“May they be able to accomplish their wealth and prosperity, and be also happy as before.”
The feeling of goodwill and rejoicing and the willingness to recite are nama. The recitation and the sound produced are rupa. Contemplating and noting them are also nama. These rupa and nama are only those that exist. As these rupa and nama have vanished and ceased all at once, they are to be understood as having the nature of “impermanence”, “suffering” and “Non-self” (anatta).