The Natural Way of Development - How should one be aware?

Questioner: How should one be aware? I know that sati is aware, but how? Should there be profound consideration or a more superficial consideration of the three general characteristics of impermanence, dukkha and anatta? Or should there be awareness only of softness and hardness? I have understood what you taught about the practice, I listened for two or three years. However, I cannot practise. I learnt about nama and rupa, but what are they? How should I be aware of them? I feel confused about awareness of dhammas at the present moment. There must be a special method for this. A special method is important. Should there be profound awareness or awareness which is more superficial, awareness for a long time or for a short time? But I take everything for self. 

Sujin: This way of acting leads to confusion. You may try to regulate sati, to have profound awareness or a more superficial awareness, to have a great deal of it or only a little, but, as regards the development of panna there is no special method or technique. The development of panna begins with listening to the Dhamma, and studying the realities sati can be aware of, so that understanding can grow. These are conditions for the arising of sati that is directly aware of the characteristics of nama and rupa as they naturally appear. Since the nama and rupa that appear are real, panna can come to know their true nature.

You should not try to regulate sati and try to make it strong or to make it decrease so that it is weak, or to make it superficial. If one acts in that way one clings to the concept of self and does not investigate and study the characteristics of the dhammas that appear. What are the realities that appear? A person who is not forgetful of realities can be aware of them as they naturally appear, he is directly aware of their characteristics. He does not try to make sati focus on an object so that it could consider that object more deeply, over and over again. Sati arises and falls away, and then there may be again forgetfulness, or sati may be aware again of another object. Thus, we can see that satipatthana is anatta. People who understand that all realities, including satipatthana, are anatta, will not be confused. If someone clings to the concept of self, he is inclined to regulate and direct sati, but he does not know the right way. If one’s practice is not natural, it is complicated and creates confusion. If awareness is natural, if it studies and considers the realities that appear, there will be understanding, no confusion.

Topic ID  198