Be mindful and spread the awareness to cover the whole body. Know the contact on the skin, or the sound that contacts the ear. The knowing is in the mind. There may be a cold contact on the body, know the cold sensation. Then vedana(feeling)will arise, either a pleasant or unpleasant feeling. The mind can be happy, unsatisfactory, or neutral. Whenever there is a contact and feelings arise, watch the mind that knows. Craving and attachment can arise, or we can just know, without having any greed or hatred.
Both the sound and the hearing are parts of nature. The ear perceives the sound, but the knowing of hearing is in the mind. The feeling in the mind can be satisfaction, unsatisfaction, or neutral. Notice the nature of the mind, which has the knowing ability. The mind can receive the feelings through the other contact bases. It also has feelings and it can think. Note that the feelings of like or dislike, pleasant or unpleasant will arise and vanish. It comes and goes. There is nothing that is stable or persistent. Notice the process of deterioration, disappearance, the impermanence of all natures.
The coldness, the cold feeling will change. The mind that knows the cold feeling also will vanish.
Practice letting go of all conditions. Whatever appears, let it be. Whatever disappears, also let it be. Practice being an observer without getting involved. Unsatisfaction can arise but you do not have to suffer. In other words, knowing the unsatisfaction without being suffered. Let the nature be its’ own way. We know them and let go. When letting go, the mind will be lighter, clearer, and brighter. The body also will be lighter. The mind will be ready to expand, it will be clear and luminous. Observe this clear mind which does not want anything, does not hold on to anything, and does not do anything. Accept whatever is going to happen, and let it happen. Only let it go, know it, and observe it.
Let the mind dwell on the sensation – there is no figure, arm, leg, or face. These so called ‘ arms, legs, face’ are the conventional labels that were made up. They are not real. They disappear when the mind stops creating or composing. What is left is only sensation. Like coldness, pleasant feeling without shape or form. Knowing the sensation is the world of the ultimate truth( paramattha). The mind that knows are not the self, it is only the knowing condition. In the world of the ultimate realities( paramattha), there is no self. The body and mind are natural processes that have no us, they do not belong to us..
The mind that learns to let go will be stable, and will become concentrated( samadhi). The concentration that added up will help the mind to be more calm and get deeper into the samadhi. The mind will become peaceful, and the mindfulness will also be sharper and more secured. The knowing mind will stay inside the body without being controlled. Mindfulness and clear comprehension will be stronger. Awareness will cover the whole body and the mind.
Sometimes underneath the quiet peacefulness, you will note some changes. The knowing mind will also change. Sometimes perception, volitional formation and consciousness will create something in the mind. Just know it and let it be. The mind that can let go will be empty of the conventional thoughts which have name, language, shape and meaning. It is also free from defilements. The mind will be clear and luminous, without any taint. It is not depressed, not cloudy. All the unwholesomeness is gone. When there is no defilement the mind will appear to be luminous.
For lay people, the mind will be empty from time to time. When you are not mindful, the mind will start creating new thoughts again. Defilement will add on to this. All the greed, hatred, conceit, and wrong view will pop up in the mind. So, the mind will be tainted again. The depressed, cloudy mind will come back. Be aware of these mental conditions and let them go. This is how you clean the mind. The bright, free, relieved feeling will return.
When the mind is free from defilements and free from craving, it will be luminous and expansive. When craving starts, the luminousness will be gone. The more you crave, the more attachment you will have, and then you will struggle more. Letting go will make you free from self, so you will be liberated. Nibbana is when the mind has no craving. Learn to stop the mind from creating. When the mind has no craving, it will reach the end of suffering. If the mind continues to create, the conventional thoughts will arise. You will need to catch that creating mind. There will be a process of applying thought, sustaining thought, and doubt going on. Know it in time so that you can stop that process. Observe it frequently. Know when you are not mindful. Once you know, the mindfulness will return. When being mindful, also know it – try to recognize the character of the mindful mind, which is different from the unmindful mind. The creating mind is also different from the empty mind. When you are on top of it, the creating mind will be empty again.
Take care of your mind by practicing letting go. Do not overly focus – be aware of the focusing and release it, without controlling. Totally accept what it is without any resistance. Alternate knowing with letting go. Observe the disappearance with the mind that can let go. Whatever is arising or disappearing, let it be. Stop, know, and accept it. Briefly note it, being in the present moment. It passes very quickly. It is the natural process depending on the causes and supporting conditions.
Whatever is arising, will be vanishing. It is normal for change to take place. When there is a cause, it will arise. When the cause is gone, it will vanish. So impermanence, or anicca, is normal. Unsatisfactoriness, or dukkha, is also normal. Being out of control, or anatta, is normal as well. It has to be that way.
Watch the mind that changes from being alert, to slipping, to somnolence, then being alert again. When watching closely and you see these changes, it will allow the mind to be awake , alert, bright and expansive….
(Continue the practice until the end of the period.)