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1. The Yogi and Vipassana (translated sermon) by Sunlun Shin Vinaya
2. Criteria for the selection of a right method of meditation by U Win Pe
3. The Sunlun Way of Mindfulness by U Win Pe
4. Explanatory Notes for Beginners and those proceeding along the Sunlun Way of Vipassana by Dr. Ba Le
5. Samatha and Vipassana (translated sermon) by Sunlun Shin Vinaya




(Insight Meditation)

         If you are one of those who are interested in steadfastly practising the Sunlun way of meditation, the following questions are some which will occur along the way.  If you are not fortunate enough to have someone to guide you and answer your questions, these explanatory notes may be of some relevance to you.  However, at the outset, it should be made quite clear that the karma of each person is different from that of any other person; even those of identical twins are different and karma definitely can be changed by means of meditation.

         Therefore, if you are a beginner or one who has not yet started vipassana (insight meditation), do not be alarmed by some of the questions which seem to indicate that the Sunlun way is full of pain.  It is not the Sunlun method that causes the pain, but the bad and unwholesome past deeds of the meditator which causes pain to arise in him.  There are broadly two classes of meditators firstly, those who have the kind of good karma which leads to sukha padipada (easy Path) and secondly, those who have the kind of bad karma that leads to dukkha padipada (difficult or painful Path).  But the majority belongs to the second class.

         Both classes of meditators can surely and successfully reach the stage of sottapanna in a short time, though what is meant by short in turn depends upon his karma.  Some have been successful within a period of just ten days of full-time meditation, but we must remember that they were studious enough to have performed ninety percent or more of the necessary vipassana practice in their previous lives.  Those who have not yet fulfilled the required vipassana (insight) in order to attain sottapanna and later stages up to Nibbana will, of course, have to meditate longer.

         Irrespective of whether a person takes a long time or a short time to reach Nibbana, there is also the difference in how easy or how painful the path will be, as pointed out above, depending on that persons previous good and bad deeds.  For example, persons who have caused great pain and many deaths to other creatures or beings (including human beings and animals) in this and previous lives will normally have to tread the painful path (dukkha padipada).  It does not matter what system of meditation they follow, they will have to suffer, according to the universal law of cause and effect, the same pain that they caused to others.  Until these karmic wrong doings have been eliminated, they cannot pass over to the stage of sottapanna (the other side of the stream).  Once a person has become a sottapan, that person will no longer be born in the Four Woeful States (apaya) those of animals, ghosts, demons and hell.  For this to happen, the pre-requisite is that the karmic unwholesome deeds which would normally send one to these Four Woeful States have to be all eliminated through vipassana practice.

         The Sunlun way seems to be more painful than the others, only because of its remarkably speedier development of mental concentration (samadhi) and its highly effective direct approach of mind over matter (observing sensations).  Sensations (pain) arise more quickly and intensively, providing the chance of cleansing off the effects of bad deeds more expeditiously.

         One of the questions which may arise in a meditators mind as he practises vipassana (not while actually meditating because he is not supposed to be thinking about extraneous things at that time, but during the off-hours) is, what are the important factors that are responsible for reducing and finally eliminating the bad karma due to past misdeeds?.

         Khanti (Forbearance, patience, bearing the onslaught of painful sensations that arise upon prolonged maintenance of the same sitting posture during the many continuous hours of proper meditation) is the factor most responsible, particularly if carried out with true equanimity.  That is why, in Burma it is said that Khanti leads to Nibbana.

         Here another question may arise.  What is meant by true equanimity?  Especially for Westerners, the word equanimity may be unfamiliar and certainly the practice of equanimity will be strange.

         Equanimity, in this context, means that as the meditator experiences painful or extremely painful (excruciating) sensations emanating from various parts of the body, he should bear them without any thoughts of anger or frustration.  He should try to remain calm and detached.  If the pain becomes overpowering so that he is unable to remain unaffected, then he should concentrate the mind on the painful sensation, as already described in the text.  The amount of effort to do this should match the amount of pain so that the pain no longer overpowers the mind, at the same time taking care also that the effort does not completely overpower the pain.  The appropriate method is for the effort to be a little more powerful than the pain, without the pain disappearing altogether.  In this way, the mind will be able to concentrate very effectively, and gradually he will only be aware of the dukkha sacca (suffering) aspect of his body without thinking of which part of the body the painful sensations are coming from.

         The reason why he should avoid thinking of the sensations as coming from say, his ankle or his knee or his shinbone, etc., is that there is the risk of the illusion of atta (I-self) arising, whereas in reality, through meditation, one should be arriving at the realization of anatta (no-self), which is the true characteristic of the body, of the world and of life.

         Equanimity, in the context of pleasurable sensations, means that as the person experiences pleasant or enjoyable sensations, then he should not delight in them, he should not hanker after them; otherwise he would get ensnared in tanha or yaga (attachment, desire or lust) which belong to the area of loba (greed).  As you may know, loba, dosa and moha (greed, hatred and delusion) are the three basic roots of all bad deeds.  Thus equanimity, in short, prevents all bad deeds from arising.

         The ultimate goal of vipassana meditation is to attain Nibbana.  Exactly what is Nibbana like?  This is a question which may assail a meditator, sooner or later on the path.  To be truthful, an exact answer cannot be given except to say that Nibbana is not fully describable in mere words.  Only by experience can one know Nibbana and that experience will come only upon achieving the stage of sottapanna.  So if one really wants to know about Nibbana, one should steadfastly strive to reach the stage of sottapanna.

         Do not be misled by the pain, which usually accompanies true meditation for those of us not blessed with the good karma of sukha padipada (easy Path), that Nibbana will also be painful.  We have the word of the Buddha and of the arahats to assure us that Nibbana is bliss and peace.

         An analogy may help in this instance.  Suppose that a man is travelling on foot through a hot and sandy desert.  He will be subject to great pain and thirst due to the torrid heat.  But he knows that at the end of the day he will arrive at a cool and shady oasis.  Though the heat and rigors of the desert are real and immediate to him, he would understand that the oasis at the end of his path will be cool and pleasant.  In the same way, the yogi will have to understand that though the path to sottapanna has to pass through painful experiences associated with the elimination of ones past bad karma, the oasis of sottapanna will, however, not be like the desert.

         Some yogis may feel aching sensations at the back of the neck very soon after sitting for vipassana and commencing strenuous breathing.  This may be due to incorrect sitting posture.  If so, the aching pain may be relieved by sitting more upright, trying to keep the back as straight as possible and inclining the head either up or down so as to lessen the pain.

         At the Sunlun Monastery in Rangoon, the meditation sessions are preceded by the following Prayer/Parigan:


Namo  Tassa  Bhagavato  Arahato  Sammasambuddhassa

 (Repeat three times)

(Its meaning is: Homage to the Buddha who is revered by devas and mankind and who has achieved Supreme Enlightenment.)

 If I have committed any evil physical deeds (large or small), any evil verbal deeds (large or small), any evil mental deeds (large or small), against the Lord Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha, my parents, teachers and all sentient beings, from the beginning of Samsara up to the present moment, then I bow down and pray for forgiveness for having done every evil deed against any living being.

 Exalted Buddha, during the duration of this meditation session, I donate my five khandhas for the purpose of attaining Nibbana.

 Venerable Sunlun Gu-Kyaung Sayadaw, during the duration of this meditation session, I donate my five khandhas for the purpose of attaining Nibbana.

 May all beings who are subject to rebirth in the 31 States of samsara be happy.

 I share this merit with all the beings in the 31 States.  Please share in my merit by calling sadhu.

 I wish to share in all the meritorious deeds done by good beings — Sadhu, Sadhu, Sadhu!


       The practical purpose of reciting this prayer/parigan is to try to settle one’s mind (which normally has been distracted with mundane things throughout the day) before the meditation.  It is like sweeping dust before you sit down at a place; a preparation before the actual task.

        A yogi may ask is it an absolute necessity to recite this prayer before each and every meditation?

        It is not an absolute necessity.  One may very well start the meditation without saying it.  But it helps, spiritually, to ask for forgiveness to whoever you may have done wrong.  And it is hoped that a yogi who recites the above prayer/parigan will be at peace with all beings and be able to meditate without any disturbances, especially from extraneous evil influence.

        A question may arise such as How much time should one devote to vipassana meditation per day if a person is really interested in achieving some significant results?

        The answer to this question depends upon the questioner.  If he can find the time, the ideal would be to spend all of his waking hours to vipassana.  During the Buddhas time, some arahats even did seven or eight days and nights of continuous vipassana in order to reach their goal.  But nowadays that would be unbelievable.

        For someone who has to work for a living, finding even one or two hours everyday for vipassana according to the Sunlun method may be quite difficult and would necessitate good planning and a sincere desire to make progress.

        An analogy may be useful in this case.  Suppose that a man wished to fill up a tank having a capacity of 100 gallons with a precious and volatile liquid whose rate of evaporation, we will assume (for arguments sake), is half a gallon per 24 hours.  Now if he could collect and put in only a quarter of a gallon of this liquid per day, then the tank would never be filled because the quarter gallon would all have evaporated (during the past 24 hours) when he put in the next quarter gallon.

        On the other hand, if he were able to collect and put into the tank, say, ten gallons per day of the liquid, then the next day there would still be 9½ gallons left in the tank (allowing for half a gallon of evaporation loss).  Thus in about eleven consecutive days, the man could fill up the tank to its hundred gallon capacity.

        Now, if he could not quite afford to collect that much liquid per day but could collect, say, one gallon per day, then everyday a net input of half a gallon per day would remain in the tank and after two hundred days or so, the tank would become filled.

        So also, if a person were to devote ten hours per day for vipassana meditation, then in a short time, he would achieve significant results.  Whereas if that person were to devote only half an hour per day, he may not achieve anything even after a fairly long period.  The reason is that like in the above analogy where the volatile liquid evaporates away during the day, the samadhi (power of mental concentration) attained during the intensive meditation period evaporates away (or in other words, partially lost) during the rest of the day due to extraneous distractions, thoughts and lack of true mindfulness.

        Suppose that someone has practised vipassana according to his own interpretation of the Sunlun way for an hour per day regularly for one hundred consecutive days, i.e., a little over three months and he feels that he has not achieved any significant results.  At this time or later, he begins to feel doubts about the efficacy of his meditation and doubts may also creep in as to whether it is of any use continuing to do this meditation everyday.

        There are various aspects to the situation described above.  The first concerns the term significant results.  For Mr. A (who belongs to the category of dukkha padipada the painful Path), the only result that he could hope for with only just one hour per day of meditation will be to get the first level of samadhi (the initial level of samadhi).  That is, as he concentrated his mind on the sensation of touch of the breath, as he practises anapana (mindfulness of breathing) with his eyes closed, he may see bright or coloured lights and geometrical pattern moving about.  [If he focuses his attention on them, they may gradually become still.]

        However, by focusing his attention on these lights or pattern, he is actually diverting his path from vipassana (development of insight) to samatha (development of power of mind).  As only vipassana can take one to Nibbana, he should not focus on samatha.  It is like a traveller who wants to go to New York by plane from Hong Kong.  This traveller should get on the New York bound plane at the Hong Kong airport and not get on the one bound for say London or Paris if he wishes to reach New York.

        For another aspect, let us say, he has followed the Sunlun way correctly, putting in enough effort to be mindful of the touch of breath and later on the bodily sensations.  But the sensations may be very little as to become oblivious for him to be mindful.  In such a situation, he should not feel disheartened.  He should realize that with just about an hours vipassana with true mindfulness, (compared to the remaining 23 hours of time when he is unmindful) that would be about all the significant results that could be expected.  If he feels discontented with only this much of results, then he should strive to devote more hours per day to mindfulness of touch while carrying out other tasks.  Better results would be achieved of course, if more hours of vipassana meditation itself is carried out everyday strictly in accordance with the Sunlun way.

        With an hours meditation a day, he may not progress much with the development of wisdom (insight) but he is accumulating essential merits (paramis) everyday, laying the groundwork for the way to Nibbana.  His health may improve, his afflictions may gradually disappear and if his motivation is good, his luck may improve as well, because what is called as good luck in the English language is nothing but the result of good karmic deeds.

        What better karmic deeds can one do than true vipassana meditation?  It has been said that keeping sila (abstaining from all evil deeds by keeping the moral Precepts) is better than dana (charity), but in turn, bhavana (meditation) is better than sila.  Out of all the meditations, vipassana is the highest form of bhavana.  That is why vipassana can give immediate results.

        For another scenario, let us say a person has tried to practise the Sunlun method for over three months meditating daily for an hour a day.  But he thinks he has not achieved any significant results, not even the first level of samadhi.  In that case, firstly, he should try to put in longer time of meditation with more rigorous mindfulness.  If that could not be achieved as well for whatever reason, the best solution would be for him to go to Kaba Aye Sunlun Monastery in Burma for the purpose of getting proper personal guidance by the Sayadaw (Abbot) of the Monastery.

        It could be that he is taking the wrong approach of the Sunlun method or might have made mistaken interpretations of the method.  Or that, he might be the victim of some particular bad karma which is seriously hindering his progress on the path to Nibbana.  If such is the case, no amount of effort solely by the yogi can improve his results.  Only a powerful intervention and intense supervision at the above Sunlun Monastery would have a good chance of success.

        There could be another scenario for a practising yogi.  He may find that he suffers boredom whenever he sits in meditation.  He may be a person who has actually received instruction at the Sunlun Monastery, so in his case, the boredom or lack of results is not due to his not knowing the correct method.  His fault is probably that after three months of practice, the novelty has worn off, he has become lax and/or lazy.  He thus has a deficiency of what is called in Pali as sadha, which is usually but inadequately translated as faith.

        Sadha actually means much more than Faith in the Buddha, the Dhamma (His Teachings) and the Sangha (the Order of His Monks).  It is also a profound realization of the law of karma the law of cause and effect in the universe.  It is even more: it is an enthusiasm to do good deeds just for the sake of doing good.

        The remedy here is he must generate sufficient enthusiasm, zeal and effort, to continue to practise vipassana with ardour or in other words to be rigorously mindful of the awareness of touch.  It means that, instead of just breathing in and out mechanically and laxly, he should breathe in and out strictly as described in the foregoing text on the Sunlun way of Mindfulness.  The reason that he feels bored while sitting cross-legged for an hour or more in meditation is that he has come to regard this meditation session as a task to be done as one of his routines.  Naturally, his attitude degenerates into that of say, a schoolboy who is required to sit one hour everyday at his desk to do his lessons.  The schoolboy is only interested to finish his chore and then want to run away and play.

        So also the yogis mind, which all through the millions of years of samsara, has taken delight in wandering from pleasure to pleasure, feels bored at having to stay still at the tip of his nostril or fixed at the sensation of touch.  His mind finds the minutes and seconds during meditation seem to be as long as days and hours due to his lack of interest.

        What should this yogi do then who has taken meditation for granted?  He should seriously consider his own case.  Is he really still interested to get to Nibbana?  Is he still striving to get to the sottapanna stage?  If he analyzes himself candidly, he will probably find that either he is not so interested as when he started out in Vipassana or that due to distractions, he has simply lost his ardent resolve to put forth unflinching energy to achieve sottapanna.

        If that is the verdict, then the solution is to revive the ardour he has lost.  He should think back to the day when he decided to start meditating in earnest for magga-nana, the knowledge of the path to Nibbana.  Probably at that time he acknowledged that living in seeming bliss, a purely mundane life without vipassana was leading him nowhere but to any one of the four woeful states (apaya) those of hell, animal, ghosts (peta) and demons (asurake), after his death.  Even if he were lucky in the next life to escape being reborn in one of these Four Woeful Abodes, nevertheless, he would still be ensnared in the never-ending round of rebirths called samsara.  The prospect of Nibbana and of sottapanna as a first step towards Nibbana, then must have appeared very essential to him as an escape from the dreadfulness of samsara with its ever-attendant three characteristics of anicca, dukkha and anatta.

        In addition, at that time he must have acknowledged that the probability of his becoming a human being in this universe was only about one in ten million (there are tens of millions of devas, animals, petas and other beings to every single human being in samsara) and furthermore, that only a human being with good karma could practise vipassana (because beings in the Four Woeful Abodes do not have the necessary intelligence; and brahmas and devas do not possess the kind of material body to carry out strenuous breathing and awareness of painful sensations).  He then must have made his ardent resolve to practise vipassana steadfastly for at least an hour everyday.  So also, now, months later after his initial resolve, when he finds himself bored with doing the daily session of vipassana, he should revive his ardour to the same peak by considering all the alternatives and realizing what a glorious opportunity he is losing every time he does not carry out vipassana earnestly.

        After his ardour has been revived in this way, he would say his Prayer/Parigan and start out the vipassana session by breathing as strenuously as possible, frequently reminding himself of the glorious opportunity he now has, to do strenuous breathing, because no other beings except he and a few other lucky human beings can do this kind of vipassana.  He will thus find his enthusiasm returning with each breath and will also find his samadhi improving due to the enhancement of his sadha (faith) plus the fact that viriya (perseverance) and other paramis (past perfections)will arise as a result of his vigorous efforts.  And at the end of the hour, he would also have found he is not bored at all.

        There is another possibility for this yogi.  He may find that after about three months of vipassana meditation, with at least an hour devoted to each daily session, no further progress is being made compared to the almost weekly improvement in his samadhi during the earlier days.  In this kind of situation, he should try a week or ten days of intensive meditation.

        What would be an ideal programme of intensive meditation?  The best would be for him to take leave from his work and go to the Sunlun Monastery for intense meditation.  If that is not possible, he should go to some quiet place where he can be free to pursue his meditation exercises as he pleases.  If his own home offers such a possibility, he may do his intensive meditation at home, provided that he will have no distractions.

        Then every morning, he should get up as early as is convenient, say at sunrise, and after his toilet and morning breakfast, he may take an hours walk.  While walking at his normal pace, he should strive to be mindful of his feet touching the ground and not let his mind wander around.

        After walking, he goes to his place of meditation and sits down for the morning session of vipassana, lasting at least one and a half hours.  It is, of course, better to carry out vipassana for a longer period preferably until all the unpleasant sensations have ceased.

        Then he could take some exercise, have a bath and his mid-day meal.  After some rest, he should carry out his second vipassana session, with the same minimum period of one and a half hours.  He may find it more convenient to have a longer period for this second session.  Then he could take some more walking exercise, striving all the time to be mindful of the sensation of touch.  Lastly, after his evening meal, he should carry out the third vipassana session, this time at night, lasting one and a half hours or longer.

        With this programme of intensive meditation, combined with mindfulness of touch while walking, bathing, eating, etc., carried out for a week or longer, he will soon notice a great improvement in his samadhi and may even find his ways of life changing.  For instance, persons who had habitually slept the whole night through till morning will find themselves sleeping only for a few hours at a time, thus needing two or three or more naps before getting up in the morning.  Vice versa, persons who had slept two or more naps per night may find themselves sleeping the whole night through.  Other more wonderful things or changes may also become manifest to him as he pursues this programme of intensive meditation.

        There is, however, one other eventuality which is pointedly different from the situations already mentioned.  Different in that there is no lack of significant results, and no boredom or stagnation on the part of the meditator.

        It may arise in a yogi who has been doing vipassana diligently for many months or even a much shorter period.  He has already acquired the first significant results of strong samadhi and may be even other results.  But then, he begins to feel weary, he has no desire for tasty foods or fancy clothes or other things he used to enjoy.  His outlook on life changes to that of detachment, or he sheds everything as anicca, dukkha or anatta (Impermanence, Unpleasantness, Self-lessness).  He may also pass through a phase during which he becomes extremely afraid of future lives or of human existence.

        To the uninitiated, these may appear as negative results or as being contradictory to what they expect as achievements on the way to sottapanna.  But actually he should be very happy because these are positive signs that he has achieved significant results from his daily vipassana sessions and he should, in fact, re-double his efforts in vipassana because he is nearing the stage of sottapanna, just as a runner in a competition, put in an extra burst of speed on nearing the winning post!

        One word of caution, though.  Because he is being encouraged to do more meditation and to increase his mindfulness in the periods between the meditation sessions so that he may soon reach the sottapanna stage, he should not become too obsessed or too desirous of making this achievement.  No doubt it is a very worthy idea to become a sottapan but nevertheless one should not become too desirous for it, otherwise this desire (a kind of loba), being a faulty root, akuthala hetu, will act as a hindrance and achievement of the sottapanna stage will not be possible.  Therefore, he should strive hard but do his meditation as a kind of duty and not with the attitude of desire (loba).

        A question may now be asked, What are the signs of having achieved sottapanna?  Unlike the previous questions to which full or brief answers are given, this is a question which should not be answered to one who is not yet a sottapan, for fear of arousing what could be termed as auto-suggestion.

        Then a person may ask, How then will I know whether or not I have reached the stage of sottapanna or when I become a sottapan?  The answer to this question is that (according to all those who have achieved this result), one will surely know by oneself when one becomes a sottapan.  This is because the stage of sottapanna is such a landmark stage in this universe, and the process of vipassana is so capable of giving intuitive liberating knowledge, that you will know by yourself that you are a sottapan.  So do not have any fear on this account.

         As an example of the capability of vipassana to give intuitive knowledge, it will become apparent to anyone practising vipassana correctly that he will automatically know the answer to the question What precepts should a yogi keep while striving for sottapanna?

         The answer to this question will be revealed in one of the vipassana sessions to the yogi by his own mind.  The revelation will be as follows: every yogi who really aspires to tread the path to sottapanna must faithfully keep the Five Precepts as laid down by the Buddha.  These Five Moral Precepts should become so important to the yogi that he will intuitively understand that if a choice does arise as to whether one should sacrifice ones life or to break one or more of the Precepts, the answer is that one should not break the Precepts.

         What are these Five Precepts?  They are:

             (1)           Panatipata  Veramani Sikkhapadam Sammadhiyami

I vow to abstain from killing any living beings.

(2)           Adeinnadana  Veramani Sikkhapadam Sammadhiyami

                                I vow to abstain from stealing or taking anything which belongs to another without his/her consent.


(3)           Kame sumiccha cara  Veramani Sikkhapadam Sammadhiyami

I vow to abstain from all wrongful sexual conduct.


(4)           Musavada  Veramani Sikkhapadam Sammadhiyami

I vow to abstain from telling falsehood.


(5)           Suramayraya Mizzapamadhatana  Veramani Sikkhapadam Sammadhiyami

                      I vow to abstain from all kinds of intoxicants and drugs which affect the mind.

        Finally, these notes will be concluded by asking one of the questions which distinguishes the Sunlun method from most other methods.

        This question will arise, sometime or the other, to a yogi who is practising vipassana all by himself because even those yogi who do meditation under the personal guidance of the Venerable U Vinaya, Abbot of the Kaba Aye Sunlun Monastery, have to be reminded not to think while meditating in accordance with the Sunlun method.

        The question may be phrased along the following lines: Why should I not think while doing strenuous breathing or while I am being mindful of the sensations which arise during vipassana?  For instance, while contemplating the painful sensations, I may start to think about how these pains are the confirmations of the three characteristics of anicca, dukkha and anatta (Impermanence, Unpleasantness and Self-lessness) within my own body.  And then I may go on to think how true are the words of the Buddha who said that by realizing dukkha (Unpleasantness) within ones body, one is able to find the way to Nibbana.  Now these thoughts are good thoughts; they are not evil, so why should I not think such kinds of thoughts?

        To answer the above questions, it is best to reply in the words of the Venerable Shin Vinaya when he gave a lecture on The Yogi and Vipassana many years ago because these words are still as true today as at that time.

        The first essential equipment of the yogi is a concentrated mind.  For only a concentrated mind is a cleansed mind.  And only the mind which is cleansed of nivarana the five elements of sensual lust, ill will, torpor, agitation and doubt can function properly to realize vipassana insight.  Therefore while doing strenuous breathing or while being aware of the sensations, the yogi should not think, otherwise thoughts of the above five elements will enter.

        Let us take an exercise, in-breathing and out-breathing called in Pali as anapana……This exercise may be practised in the samatha way or performed so as to realize vipassana.  For the vipassana way, breathe in and out.  Fix the mind on the point of touch of breath.  Be aware only of the touch.  Do not count, do not try to know the degree of length of breath, and do not follow the breath into the body or out into the beyond.  For the Sunlun way, do this breathing in and out as strenuously as possible.  Be aware of the sensation at the point of touch of breath.  Then ward and watch this awareness with mindfulness.  Do not make a mental note of it.  When the awareness is guarded with mindfulness, thoughts are locked out, they cannot intrude.  Thus no opportunity is offered for the formation of concepts, images or ideas.

        Our minds are ever so prone to create images and ideas that, can we possibly get at processes as they are in themselves?  The answer is that it is possible to do so through vipassana and the winning of intuitive liberating knowledge by the Sunlun method.

        The yogi tends to be reflective, i.e., to think about the task to be done rather than doing it.  Concepts, images and ideas belong to the universe outside as we made them up through name-calling, conceptualization and therefore are concerned with samatha.  Only the vipassana method, when the touch alone is taken in its bare awareness and this awareness guarded with mindfulness, is free from ideas and images.  Thereby, the processes are got at directly in the very moment of occurrence, as they are in themselves without the distortion of thought.

        Thoughts always tend to intrude.  The only way to keep up with the processes, to be mindful of them, is to exercise vigilance through a rigour of effort.  That is why in a motto, the Sunlun Gu-Kyaung Sayadaw U Kawi said that

        We must be rigorously mindful of the awareness of touch.

         Every yogi who aspires to Nibbana should bear this motto in mind.

         May all beings be happy.