Is there a simple formula for successful meditation? What is the right view we need to have about the mind, the body, about dhamma?
Understand that dhamma means the entire contents of the mind. Explore the body, explore the feelings in the body, explore the mind and finally there is dhamma. In trying to see, to know the entire range of dhamma, what is it that prevents clarity? What dirt stains the window?
Many obstructions, or defilements (kilesas) arise in the natural turbulence of the untrained mind. Wipe these clean and a better view arises. The kilesas are synonymous with passion. They are causal factors for the arising of pain and the diminishing of happiness. There are three kilesas: greed (lobha), aversion (dosa), and delusion (moha). Each has many variations, many themes, many colours. All of these are seductive. Every one of us has felt their power: I want, I cannot get, I think you are responsible. I hate, I fear, I lust for revenge. The kilesas appeal to the senses. What the eye sees, the eye wants. When the ear hears, it responds. So it is also for all contact made through the senses of nose, mouth, skin, including contact of consciousness with consciousness. This contact at the sensory level is called phassa. It is like the sound made by a drumstick hitting the drum. The sound is in neither, yet there it is - boom! So it is with all the the sensory perceptions. Without discernment, they lead us to greed, hatred and delusion. We think we hear a sound and we march after it, ready to fight and die for what we believe is a noble cause, when we are really marching under the banner of lust, deceit, envy, infatuation, pride, fear, self-righteousness...
The Venerable Webu Sayadaw, (born in the Burmese Buddhist year 1257 - 17 February 1896- died 26 June 1977), pictured above at Jeta's Grove in Northern India, one of the special places of the Buddha's life, was very blunt about these defilements. His practice deeply influenced U Bha Khin and Goenkaji. As a result, many millions of Vipassana students breathe in harmony with this humble man's gentle and direct statements of truth about dhamma.
Following his practice, the way to deal with these kilesas is very straightforward. Every meditator, at every moment of every day must do the following: Grasp that the kilesas are there. Explore their extent. Contemplate the hold they have over you. Don't let such mind-made things become a distraction from the truth about the world. With regular practice of Anapana sati bhavana they will subside. The entire practice has been summarised thus:
“Whenever we breathe in or out, the incoming and the outgoing air touches somewhere in or near the nostrils. The sensitive matter registers the touch of air. In this process, the entities touching are matter and the entity knowing the touch is mind. So do not go around asking others about mind and matter; observe your breathing and you will find out about them for yourselves. When the air comes in, it will touch. When the air goes out, it will touch. If you know this touch continuously, then greed (lobha), aversion (dosa), and delusion (moha) do not have the opportunity to arise, and the fires of these defilements will subside.” - Venerable Webu Sayadaw.
Print out those words, read them daily. Follow the directions and all will be well.This is all that is needed for successful meditation. It is all that is needed to truly know dhamma.To know dhamma is to know the entire teaching of the Buddha:
May all beings be happy. Bhavatu sabbe mangalam!
Yo kho Dhammaµ passati so mam passati
yo mam passati so Dhammaµ passati."Those who see Dhamma see me,
those who see me see Dhamma."- Samyutta Nikaya III: Khandhavagga iv: The Elders: 5: Vakkali.