In ordinary day to day life when we see something our instantaneous reaction is to respond with like, dislike or just a neutral feeling towards what we have seen. This will cause us pleasant (likes) or unpleasant (dislikes) or neutral feelings towards the object or the person.
All of these events happen at a tremendous speed in ordinary life and we may only be aware of lingering likes and dislikes, when we see an object. However they are a series of events, dependently arisen that cannot be separately seen under ordinary circumstances to an untrained person. The main reason for this is our distorted perception of the reality. We see everything as permanent, satisfactory and self.
Now how do we see this process as separate events, step by step or with precise clarity? This is what we train during insight practice, the observation of these separate events with precise clarity.
However before insight practice begins we usually need to bring the mind to a state of one pointed concentration (samadhi) through a form of meditation. This is commonly done through breath meditation (Anapana Sati). This sets the stage for the insight practice or Vipassana practice.
This model helps us to understand the deeper workings of the mind and the application of the four foundations of mindfulness in relation to this. This helps us to understand why we do these forms meditations and how they will work for us in relation to the workings of the mind.
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