The Mahasi Technique of Vipassana Meditation is devised by Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw of Myanmar on the basis of the Teachings of The Buddha. According to this technique, one needs to sit in a posture in sitting position such that he or she can sit for one hour or longer comfortably and without difficulty.
The left leg should be kept inside and the right leg outside in the sitting posture. The left hand is kept below the right hand. The body should be in an upright position. Eyes should be closed. After doing all these, one should keep the mind in the abdomen. When one inhales there is rising of the abdomen. When one exhales there is falling of the abdomen. One should note only rising of the abdomen and falling of the abdomen. It is not necessary to say that there is rising because there is inhalation. Simply it is to note that there is rising of the abdomen. Similarly, there is a falling of the abdomen. It is not necessary to say there is falling because of the exhalation. Simply one has to note that there is falling. Thus the technique says only that there is rising of the abdomen and falling of the abdomen. In this technique, the main object of observation is to see the rising of the abdomen and the falling of the abdomen slowly and steadily. The object of observation is called “Aaraman”. So, in this context, aaraman is the object of observation i.e. rising of the abdomen and falling of the abdomen. After observing aaraman for a considerable amount of time, one will slowly begin to understand the meanings of Anicca, Dukkha and Anatma. Today’s subject matter is to understand “Anatma”. One has to sit in a natural way easily and in a comfortable way.
There should be normal breathing no less or no excess speed. There should be breathing in its natural and real way. It is to observe the rising and falling of the abdomen as and when they occur. When there is the actual rising of the abdomen there should be noted that there is rising. Similarly, when there is falling of the abdomen there should be noted that there is falling. So when the rising of the abdomen is occurring it is to note there is rising. If there is rising of the abdomen and if one says it is falling then it is wrong noting. It is wrong. Similarly, if there is falling of the abdomen and if one says it is rising then it is wrong noting.
It happens quite often in this type of wrong observation and labelling in the wrong way when there is a distraction in the mind. It is natural. Our mind is in the beginning stage. It is very wild. We cannot concentrate on the object of observation at once. With the passage of time and our constant practice, we will be able to concentrate on the object of observation. One’s mind runs here and there is a quick manner. One has to tame it. If one practices the Vipassana meditation continuously and persistently he will be able to tame the mind soon. He will be able to stick into observing the rising and falling of the abdomen in quick succession. He can see the object of observation for longer and longer period and thus his concentration will be developed. Slowly he will be able to understand Anicca, Dukkha and Anatma.
Hem Bahadur Shakya