We in the Imagine Clarity team believe that a perfect theme as we transition into the new year is to get back to basics. We can do so by improving our self-awareness through the experience of discerning “what reality is presenting”, that is, what is immediately arising and coming into contact with our six fields of perception—the five sensory and mental. What is really being presented, and what labels, categories, preferences, and judgments are we superimposing?
Many of us have been exposed to stressful situations this year. In such circumstances, we run the risk of getting caught up in constant rumination or becoming uptight and narrow-minded. To distinguish what is being superimposed from what is being presented and not conflate the two, not fuse the two—sometimes to such an extent that we can no longer tell the difference—, is crucial.
The Role of Insight
There are many forms of Vipaśyanā or insight meditation. In the coming weeks, we propose to explore a discipline called the four (close) applications of mindfulness, known as satipaṭṭhāna in the Pali language. These simple but powerful techniques for cultivating close mindfulness allow anyone to realise for themselves that the ability to sustain mindfulness is a learned skill. The training of the four applications of mindfulness is an especially effective remedy to our habitual superimpositions and misinterpretations for which we can fall while engaging with our everyday life.
By closely minding and exploring the body and breath, we relax and ground ourselves in physical presence. Coming face to face with our feelings we step by step stabilise our self-awareness against habitual reactions. Examining mental events, we sharpen our perceptions without becoming attached. Ultimately we see all phenomena as they are, and we approach the ground of deep insight and wisdom.
Mindfulness of the Body
Like most Imagine Clarity practices, the Four applications of Mindfulness training starts with the easiest object of practice and then progresses towards subtler and more difficult ones. Among these four—body, feelings, mind, and other events—the body is the most concrete and serves as an ideal starting point to anchor our practice. As we progress, our minds become more refined, and we are in a position to attend to subtler objects.
So, our recommendation for this week is to practice with three sessions on the theme of Mindfulness of the Body
, either by integrating them into your existing daily routine or starting afresh. This will serve as a preparation for our next theme on Mindfulness of Feelings.Start the course now
If you have any practice-related questions, please do not hesitate to contact us!
With good wishes,
The Imagine Clarity Team