Originally, this method called "Satipatthana-Vipassana Insight Meditation", was transmitted to us by a major Buddhist current, the Theravada. MBCT and MBSR are inspired by it, but it is always interesting in terms of practice to return to the fundamentals as taught by masters like here the Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw.
Focus on abdominal movements
When observing the rise and fall of the abdomen, the practitioner must keep his mind on this area of the body. He thus becomes aware of the upward movement of the abdomen during inspiration and its downward movement during expiration.
During the upward movement, he mentally notes "up", then "down" during the downward movement. If fixing the mind in this way does not make it possible to note these two movements, then one can place one or both hands on the abdomen.
The practitioner should not try to modify the natural breathing: neither breathe slowly while holding his breath nor breathe quickly or deeply. If he changed the natural flow of his breathing, he would tire quickly. He must therefore keep a natural breath and observe the rise and fall of the abdomen.
For the duration of the inflation-expanding movement, mentally note “up”, and during the deflating-retracting movement, mentally note “down”. Please understand that the repetition of these terms should not be in words. In Vipassana meditation it is more important to know the actual state of the object than to know it by name. It is therefore necessary for the meditator to make efforts to be fully aware of the upward movement from the beginning to the end and the downward movement from the beginning to the end, as if these movements were perceived by his eyes. As soon as the rise occurs, the awareness of it must coincide with the movement. As in the case of a rock hitting a wall, the upward motion when it occurs and the awareness of it must be consistently in sync. The same is true for the downward movement.
Complementary exercise: matter-spirit synchronicity and nothing else. Concentration on each phenomenon.
If one realizes that the mind is wandering while noting "rise, fall", for example when concentrating on the abdomen, one should not let it slip away, but follow it immediately. And note the imagination: "imagine, imagine", the thought: "think, think", the idea of leaving: "leaving, leaving", the idea of arriving at a place "arriving, arriving", and so immediately with each mental manifestation. Then return to the usual practice: “ascent, descent”.
When feelings of fatigue appear in the hands, legs or other parts of the body or even feelings of irritation, pain or itching, one should immediately follow them and note: "tired, hot, prickly , painful, itchy”, and so on, as the case may be. Then return to the usual practice: “ascent, descent”.
As for the actions of flexing or stretching the hands and legs, moving the neck or limbs, or rocking the body to one side or the other, they must be followed and noted as they occur. that they manifest. Then return to the usual practice: “ascent, descent”.
Like a person trying to make a fire, a meditator should work hard so that there is no interruption between the preceding act of noting and that which follows, nor between the preceding concentration and that which follows.
If the practice is continued in the manner indicated, the number of noted objects will gradually increase over time. In the beginning, there will be many omissions because the mind is used to wandering around without constraints. However, you should not lose heart. This difficulty is generally encountered at the beginning of the practice. After a while, the spirit can't skip school anymore because it's always surprised every time it escapes. This is why it is kept fixed on the object towards which it is directed.
At the time of the rising of the abdomen, the mind notices this object, and this is how the object and the mind coincide. At the time of the descent of the abdomen, the mind notices this object, and this is how the object and the mind coincide. There is always a couple made up of the object and the spirit, the latter knowing the object each time it notes it. These two elements, the material object and the mind knowing it, only occur in pairs, and apart from these two elements there is nothing else, whether in the form of a person or a "me". Everyone will intimately perceive this reality later (…)
This knowledge that matter and spirit manifest separately is called "knowledge which distinguishes between corporeality and spirit" (nama-rupa-paricceda-naṇa). It is the preliminary stage to all the progression of the knowledge of the Penetrating Vision. It is important that this preliminary step is developed in a fair way.
The importance that there is no break in scoring.
In the practice of Vipassana meditation, it is important to follow the example of a person trying to make a fire. In the past, a person had to rub two dry sticks non-stop until the fire caught in the fuel. As the sticks got warmer, more effort had to be exerted and rubbing continuously. It was only when the fire was lit that we were free to rest. Likewise, a meditator should work hard so that there is no interruption between the preceding act of noting and that which follows, nor between the preceding concentration and that which follows. Once the painful sensations have been noted, he returns to his usual practice of “ascent, descent”.
Translation: Christian Galliou