The Mind on Vipassana: Inner Transcript

Here’s a short, approximate transcript of an Abhidharmic Vipassana sit.

It’s an approximation because the actual sit is, of course, no where near this computational but it’s the only way to really give even a partially accurate unfolding of events. The transcript kind of jumps around between the narration of the experience and the actual noting/labeling being used.

I sat down in the foyer since the sunlight was streaming through the windows.

Folding myself into the Burmese posture, and placing hands in the Cosmic Mudra, I sat in awareness of contact. Contact (touch): Buns on the floor; hands; lap’, bent knees head superimposed on a neck; warmth.

Contact (hearing): Voices from the other room; breathing; coffee cups being filled; cats padding across the floor.

Contact (seeing): Colors behind closed lids, flashing;

Contact (thinking): Contact, contact, contact, this feels nice, contact, contact…

With the senses planted in a holistic awareness, the mind’s designs unfold. Pleasantness, and neutrality. Perception: “This sunlight,” contact: “feels,” valence: “good.” Thoughts: “I wonder what’s on TV?” Attention drifting, planted back in contact: Mindfulness.

Inquiring thought: Is there unpleasantness? Scanning (attention) contact. Thought: “No.”

Contact: Soft equanimity, subtle joyfulness. Contact: Bickering voices of parents in the other room. Affliction: Pride, mean-spirited amusement at their unskillfulness. Mindfulness: Pride is an affliction, all beings are suffering.

Wholesome factor: Shame. Valence: Unpleasantness. Volition: Vow to do better. Wholesome factor: Compassion for all those suffering afflictions.

Mindfulness: Return to sense contact. Contact: Soft equanimity, subtle joyfulness, physical pleasure. Valence: Pleasant.

Open awareness for an undetermined time.

Inquiring thought: Are there any impulses? Scanning contact. Thought: “No.”

Huatou: Who is free of impulses?

Impulse: Sudden urge to write. Inquiring thought: Where did this arise? Scanning memory. Thought: “Don’t know.”

Impulse passes. Mind unaffected. I should probably clean my room today. Mindfulness: return to contact.

Concentration: Attention is resting equally over all senses. Weightlessness.

Open Awareness.

Affliction: Anger. Inquiring thought: Where did this arise? Scanning memory: Don’t kn…. dissatisfaction with meditation, desire for a more transcendent experience. Mindful antidote: Witness it without interfering or responding.

Anger increases, all contact grows unpleasant. Affliction: Restlessness.

Anger continues to increase. Mindful antidote: Introduce the opposite.

Thought: May all beings be at ease, may all beings be enlightened and free of all suffering. Volition: Desire to offering love and calm to all beings this very moment. Joyfulness rises, anger decreases.

Anger dissolves. Joyfulness evens out. Restlessness dissolves.

Joyfulness decreases into a subtle glow. Equanimity increases. Mindfulness: attention returns to contact.

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