Waxing Techniques - Solutions To Frequently Asked Questions

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The locals insist that if a giant straightened out all the wrinkles in New Zealand, it would be the size of Australia! Thats a stretch for sure, but the country really does have few flatlands. The South Island even has Colorado inspired snowcapped mountains! The homes and streets in Wellington were surprisingly no different from a middle class neighborhood in Des Moines, very Americanized, but with no street signs! When I inquired about this apparent oversight, I was told that I should know where Im going. . . . Hmm.

MZC: Achaan Chah talks about liberation depending on the recognition of the radical separateness of awareness, the "one who knows and the five skandas" (form, feeling, perception, volition, consciousness). I question this. How can we separate the one who knows and what is known? The meditator, according to Achan Cha, separates awareness from the object and can focus on the awareness.

Next, bring your awareness to your lower belly, just below the navel. Notice the sensation of the breath, the rise and fall of the abdomen with each in and out breath. Notice the length and depth of your breath without judgment or manipulation. After several minutes you can also bring your awareness to the natural gaps between the in and out-breaths. If you can, stay alert to the entire cycle of the breath.

BN: The word Buddha can mean knowing, knowing something. The five skandas may be the object of meditation (and we come to see their impermanent and dependent characteristics) and there is the awareness of them. Yet still the awareness is part of the characteristics of phenomena. I agree. I don't think that awareness can be truly separated from the characteristics of phenomena. Of course awareness is fundamental and essential to mindfulness.

When a thought arises, label it "Thinking." When a sensation arises, label it "Feeling." When a sound arises, label it "Hearing." Notice how the act of labeling something decreases its power to distract you. Do this and gently, relentlessly bring your awareness back to your breath. There is nowhere to go, nothing to do. Just sit, watching your breath. The key to greater inner freedom is your unwavering commitment to return to awareness, again and again.

BN: Right. So the less we are causes or conditions for the destruction of animals, that is a better situation, even though in theravada we can eat meat without breaking the precepts.

Place your hands either palms down over your knees, or the more traditional way is to cradle the back of your right or left hand in the palm of the other hand, with both palms up and resting on the feet. The tips of the thumbs touch below the navel.