The Mind Illuminated archive

Tips on Developing Full-minded Awareness with Concentration (Level 5 Tips)


Q&A: How do I develop mindful awareness and good concentration?

Master Culadasa explains how to develop full-minded awareness and concentration as is typically developed at level 5. Methods for combating subtle dullness is discussed.

Note: Upasaka Nandaka is using a tool called Descript to create machine-generated transcriptions of some of the talks on the TMI Archive (at a pace of up to 30 hours of audio a month). The following is one such transcript. If you’d like to help edit them for accuracy and readability, please see this Google Doc for detailed instructions: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1YxweiCr1N4YXY3Bn1mTzPBp811hTGolKroJS_RCMqo0/edit. Any editing contribution, no matter how small, is appreciated. Please remove this notice when the transcript has been fully edited.

Student: [00:00:00] Working with and accept the fact that some of the concentration that I had to be treated, but I definitely feel like I crossed the threshold and I don't know how long that'll last, as far as what's still going on at this point. And I want to get you reading through the chapters that you have on Jain site website and I'm not as I'm really thinking a lot about practicing at the level that I met. I'm really not trying to rush things and say, get too busy with. Trying to push my, this is clear threshold, light concentration to a steeper. And I find myself a lot of times when I start to eat bored or whatever state at that to really narrow the focus. And it seems like at least temporarily through active will, I can get to a deeper level of concentration. And it, it feels forced, but it also seems to be somewhat affected. A lot of times it'll drop out, but sometimes stay. And I was wondering It seems like we're at the, I couldn't say exactly where it is, but the idea is she scaled with the, I don't want to get to a point where I get great concentration. Cause I talked to somebody else who's been practicing for quite a bit longer than I have where they feel like they can get excellent concentration. But their mindfulness isn't there suddenly it'll just drop out and they'll be in Boston. I'm wondering. So one of the things you point out is really working on open-minded or for my new awareness.

And I noticed that's dense a lot so that it feels like my focus is more. Now I'm not as aware of what thoughts are going on around me. And it's not the same as what you'd mentioned, where does that idea that, they're Scots, but they're passing and they have a lot of clarity because of the focus.

It's more kind of a dullness in the periphery. How, what are some good methods for keeping up in minded awareness, but also keeping appropriate amount of concentration on the best. So it's still the focal point and then it's still. Yeah, it's

Culadasa: okay. Think of your thinking of your mindful awareness as being a quantifiable substance.

And so if there's less of it that is dispersed to the periphery, then there should be more of a where it's fungus and try to make that be the case so that when you're focusing in like this, you should. How's that sense that it's a gathering together of of the power of your mindfulness.

The other thing is you remember, I talked to you about expanding the scope of your meditation object to be your, if it's sometime you're focusing in very narrowly and you find you're starting to lose the vividness and clarity as a result at it, make the scope larger, but try to be just as restrictive.

You know what I mean? You could focus on dairy your hand in the whole torso and heart area, for example. And try to be as exclusive in that as you would be with just a small, hairy the tip of the nose, meaning that sensations other than the breath sensations and outside of that part of your body and of different sense modalities like hearing and so forth and thoughts that they'd be just as excluded as when you were very sharply focused there, but now you are.

Yeah, your mindfulness is of a larger area. So it has to be fully present because if it isn't, it will quickly disperse.

Student: Okay. Yeah, I have, I've been using that in my practice before I kind to pull it all in. Yeah. Let's say you, and you've suggested I do that anytime at practice, but I started to feel whether it's, I'm getting too exclusive on the breath and maybe all as well,

Culadasa: any time you feel like.

That the main thing that you have to deal with in the moment is dullness a subtle dullness. Then that's a good practice that's appropriate for right. That's in the fifth stage, that's mostly where you're concerned with the subtle Damas. And so you might use that kind of practice very frequently there, but no matter where you are whenever The other problems are when the primary thing that seems like it needs to be dealt with is the onset of that subtle dullness.

Go ahead and use that technique.

Student: And then how we shouldn't be that careful. Should I be about jumping around? I know I even ever want it to just feel from bloom that's fruit option, but early on where that you don't want to just, I don't want to be going to the body and then go into it. But I, before hearing that I is there just, is there a rule of thumb is probably, has never met.

Culadasa: And something like that, the most important thing is that before you start changing your you're making any changes in your practice in the moment. You need to be really clear on your mental state and the reason why you're dying and it should be crystal clear what the reason for it is.

And it's not just an urge or a [00:05:00] doubt or a feeling like maybe if I do this, it'll be better. If it's that, you'd have the, you can sense when those pulses are coming from somewhere else and you don't want to be responding to those impulses. The only real assignment is if you find it.

Changing what you're doing very many times in the course of one set that's probably too. Yeah. Once or twice or three times, maybe 10 or 15 times.


Automated transcription

working with and except the fact that I'm risking some of the concentration that I had a between. But I definitely feel like cost canada threshold and I don't know how long the old that. Mh. The spice. What's still going on this point. And I wanna have be reading through the the chapter that you have on giant site. My website. And I... I'm noticed... I'm really thinking a lot about pricing at the level that I at. I'm really not trying to rush say get too busy with kind of trying to push my... I...

I mean, this is clear threshold like concentration us deeper. And I find myself a lot of times, so I start to void of whatever staying on that to really kind of narrow the focus and it seems like at least temporarily, very active will. I can get to kind of a a deeper level of concentration. Mh. And it is if feels was kinda of first, but it also seems to be somewhat affected. A lot of times we'll drop out, but sometimes today. And I'm was wondering seems like we're at I can't say exactly is, but the idea is to stay with the right...

I I don't wanna get to a point where I gave great concentration because I talked to somebody else he's been probably for quite a bit long but I have where they feel like they can get excellent concentration. But their mindfulness isn't there. So so they they'll just drop out and they'll be I'm wondering. Yeah. So one of the things you point out is really working on open minded told where it is. Mh. Yes. And I noticed that dense a lot. So that it feels like my focus is more now. I'm not is aware of what thoughts are going on around me.

And it's not the same as what you'd mentioned, what is that idea that you know their scott's, but they're passing. Mh. They have a lot of clarity. Because of the focus, It's more kind of a dull in the inappropriate. So I'm wondering How where some good that for keeping up and mind awareness, but also keeping appropriate amount concentration on the best, so it's still the focal point in the Mh. And it's still at the fourth thread. On. Yeah. That's that's kind of... Okay. Well, think of your think of your mindful awareness as being a a quantifiable substance.

And so if is less of it that is... Dispersed to the per and there should be more of it where it's focused. And and try to make that be the case. So that when you're focusing in life as you should you should have that sense that it's a gathering together of of the power of in my. So The other thing is you number I talked to you about expanding the scope of your meditation object. To be if it some time, you know, you're focusing it very, very narrowly and you find you're starting to lose the vivid and clarity as a result of it.

Make the scope larger but try to be just as restrictive. Mh. You know what i mean. So, you know, you could focus on your head in the whole torso and our area, for example, and try to be as exclusive in that. As you would be with just a small area the tip in the nose, meaning that sensations other than the breath sensations and outside of that part is your body, and of different sense modalities like hearing and so forth. And thoughts. That they be just as excluded as when you were very, very sharply focused there.

But now you are mindful that your your mindfulness of the larger area. So it has to be fully present because it isn't feel quickly dispersed. Mh. Okay. Yeah. I have I've been using that premium my package before I can pull it all in. Yeah. But so you can you suggest like did there any time price side feel? Whether the it's... I'm getting too exclusive on the bread and maybe kind put it all as well. Any anytime you feel like That the main thing that you have to deal with in the moment is dull, solid illness, then that's a good practice.

It's appropriate. For us. That's in in the fifth stage, that's mostly what you're concerned with the subtle on. And so you might use that kinda of practice very frequently, there... But no matter where you are whenever the other problems are when the primary thing that seems like in needs dealt is the onset of that subtle dull. Go ahead and use that technique technician. Use button. Mh. And then how where should I be that or careful should i be about jumping around? Mean, I know I you wanted to steal from home there's so that's not option but Mh.

Really on where that. You don't wanna just I don't wanna be dealing with the body then joining the drafting. Here. I I... Is there just... Is there a rule of thumb car never minutes. Eight just... Yeah. And something like that. The most important thing is that, you know, before you start changing your you're making any changes in your practice in the moment. You need to be really clear on your mental say and the reason why you're doing, and it should be crystal clear what the reason for it is. And it's not just an purge or a doubt or if feeling like, well, maybe if I do this, it'll be better.

You know, if it's at, you know, you have you can sense when those impulses are coming mh from somewhere else, and you don't wanna be responding to those impulses? Really thumb is if you find yourself changing what you're doing, very many times in the course of one set. This probably too right. Yeah.

You can edit the title and description of this talk to help us organise the content and make it better searchable.

Edit talk