Continuity of Awareness
Continuity of Awareness
You need to be aware of yourself continuously, whatever posture you are in, from the time you wake up until you fall asleep. Do not let your mind become idle or run freely. It is important that the mind keeps working, i.e. keeps being aware. Whatever you do, it is the awareness that is important. Continuity of awareness requires right effort. In our context, right effort means to keep reminding yourself to be aware. Right effort is persistent effort. It is not energy used to focus hard on something. It is effort which is simply directed at remaining aware, which should not require much energy.
You do not need to know every detail of your experience. Just be aware and know what you are aware of. Ask yourself often: “What am I aware of now?” “Am I properly aware or only superficially aware?” This will support continuity of mindfulness. Remember: it is not difficult to be aware – it is just difficult to do it continuously!
Momentum is important to strengthen your practice and this can only be achieved with continuity of mindfulness. With continuous right effort, mindfulness will slowly gain momentum and become stronger. When mindfulness has momentum, the mind is strong. A strong mind has right mindfulness, right concentration, and wisdom.
Make a consistent effort. Keep reminding yourself to be mindful and your mindfulness will become more and more continuous.
At this point you might feel overwhelmed by all the information that you have been asked to bear in mind while you meditate. Why do you need to know so much before you even start practising? Giving you all this information, all these suggestions and all this advice basically serves one purpose only: to give you the right view or the right understanding that helps you to meditate with the right attitude. When you have the right understanding you will naturally apply the right effort and develop right mindfulness and wisdom. The information you have accumulated and understood forms the basis for the views that you hold, and these influence the way the mind naturally operates in any situation.
Essence of the Practice
Develop a right understanding of the practice.
Practise continuously; it is absolutely essential for the development of your practice.
Have the right attitude; accept your experience just as it is.
Be aware intelligently.
Recognize the defilements.