The Natural Way of Development - Natural and unnatural practice

Questioner: What is the difference between the practice that is natural and the practice that is unnatural?

Sujin: At this moment you are sitting in a natural way and you may be aware of realities which appear, such as softness or hardness, presenting themselves through the bodysense, or visible object appearing through the eyesense. All these dhammas appear naturally. However, someone’s practice is unnatural if he believes, while he develops satipatthana, that he should sit cross-legged, in the lotus position, and that he should concentrate on specific realities. There is   desire when a person selects realities that have not arisen yet as objects of awareness. He neglects to be aware of realities that appear already, such as seeing, hearing, visible object, sound, odour, flavour, cold, heat, softness or hardness. Even if there is only a slight amount of wrong understanding, it conditions clinging and this hides the truth. In that case panna cannot arise and know the dhammas appearing at that moment. 

People who develop satipatthana should know precisely the difference between the moment of forgetfulness, when there is no sati, and the moment when there is sati. Otherwise satipatthana cannot be developed. If one is usually  forgetful one is bound to be forgetful again. Someone may wish to select an object in order to concentrate on it, but this is not the way to develop satipatthana. We should have right understanding of the moment when there is forgetfulness, no sati, that is, when we do not know the characteristics of  realities appearing in daily life, such as seeing or hearing. When there is sati, one can consider, study and understand the dhammas appearing through the six doors. When someone selects a particular object in order to focus on it, he will not know that sati is non-self. When there is sati it can be aware of realities that naturally appear. When odour appears there can be awareness of odour that presents itself through the nose. It can be known as only a type of reality that arises, which appears and then disappears. Or the nama which experiences odour can be understood as only a type of reality that presents itself. After it has experienced odour, it falls away. It is not a being, a person or self.

Topic ID  198