The practice of vipassanå, insight

Do you find that o­ne has to have much theoretical knowledge before o­ne starts the practice of vipassanå? 
                The word “meditation” frightens many people; they think that it must be very complicated. But in reality o­ne does not have to do anything special. If o­ne wants to develop vipassanå o­ne needs some theoretical knowledge. o­ne does not have to know about all physical elements and mental elements in detail, but o­ne should know that the body is made up of physical elements and that these are different from mental elements. There are many different physical elements and these elements are continually changing. o­ne should know that there are many different mental elements: o­ne citta arises and falls away, then the next citta arises and falls away. Cittas arise and fall away successively, o­ne at a time. Seeing is o­ne citta, hearing is another citta, thinking is again another citta, they are all different cittas. Developing vipassanå does not mean that o­ne has to be aware of all those different elements at each moment; that would not be possible. Nor does o­ne have to do anything special; o­ne can perform all the activities of o­ne’s daily life. o­ne gradually begins to understand that there are o­nly physical phenomena and mental phenomena and o­ne begins to be aware of these phenomena quite naturally, without having to force o­neself, because they are there all the time.                 When we understand that these phenomena can be known as they are o­nly through direct awareness of them, awareness will arise by itself little by little. We will experience that awareness will arise when  there are the right conditions. It does not matter if there is not a great deal of awareness in the beginning. It is important to understand that awareness is not “self” either, but a mental phenomenon which arises when there are the right conditions. We cannot force awareness to arise. In understanding more about physical phenomena and mental phenomena, and in being aware of them in daily life, wisdom will develop. Thus there will be more wholesomeness and less unwholesomeness.  

Topic 42