The MIDL Meditation System is a systematic Satipatthana practice, designed for daily life. It contains a clear path of progression, based on the Noble Eightfold Path, and the Satipatthana Sutta. The path contains 7 Masteries of meditation skill, broken up into separate skillsets, that culminate in the fulfillment of the path.
Welcome on your journey, into MIDL Meditation. Your first step on the path, is to fulfill Mastery 1, by developing unification of your attention. You do this by following systematic training, in four mindfulness of breathing skillsets.
These 4 Skillsets are fulfilled by:
Skillset 1: Develop Skill in Softening
In Skillset 1, you prepare your breathing and mind, for mindfulness of breathing, by developing your skill in softening, and relaxing resistance.
Skillset 2: Develop Skill in Flexible Attention
In Skillset 2, you develop your skill in self-observation, to monitor your mind during mindfulness of breathing, and to develop insight into the minds true nature.
Skillset 3: Develop Skill in Unifying Attention
Mindfulness of Breathing:
In Skillset 3, you refine your skill in mindfulness of breathing, by separating its stages of development, into sequential parts. Once each skill in this Skillset has been developed, you will have the steadiness of attention needed to reach the level of access concentration.
Where to From Here?
Once completed, the skills learnt in Meditations 1-13 come together, to create a complete mindfulness of breathing practice. If you enjoy guidance, you can find a guided meditation for your daily mindfulness of breathing here:
Meditation: Daily Mindfulness of Breathing
From this point on you have two choices:
Which Path to Take?
Everything up to Mastery 5 needs to be developed, before starting Masteries 6-7. However, different meditators have different natural tendencies:
Skillset 4: Develop Skill in Complete Unification
In Skillset 4, you continue to train unification of your attention towards mastery of the four jhanas (absorptions). This goes beyond the level of guidance of a guided meditation. I am currently writing instructions in my new book on the complete MIDL Meditation System, and in the future will include a framework of instructions for jhana, on this website.
For your meditation practice to truly mature, it needs to transfer from seated meditation, into all aspects of your life. In Mastery 2, you will develop three levels of meditative skill:
Mastery 2, can be done concurrently with development of unification of attention, and meditative jhanas, in Mastery 1.
Skillset 5: Develop Skill in Meditating in Daily Life
Mindfulness of Movement
In Skillset 5, your task from this point is to transfer your meditation practice into your daily life. You do this by deliberately living your life, fully engaging it with effort towards full comprehension. this means facing that which you run away from, embracing that which you fear, and softening deeply into all aspects of your life.
Once you have developed skill of unifying your attention at least to the level of access concentration, you can start to intersperse your jhana practice, with insight practice. In Mastery 3, you develop insight into the habitually deluded mind, by training your skill in observing four areas of human experience:
These are observed in terms of the three characteristics to develop insight:
Skillset 6: Develop Insight into the Habitual Mind
In meditations 1-13 you created the structure for your formal seated meditation practice up to access concentration (initial unification of attention). This structure in MIDL is referred to as your Viewing Platform. From this Viewing Platform you can do many things, such as cultivating your attention, and passively, or actively, investigating reality. Once you have learnt an individual investigation skill, intentionally bring that investigation into your daily mindfulness of breathing. In Investigation 1, for example, you practice your daily mindfulness of breathing, while taking interest in the elemental qualities found within any experience that arises. All the other investigations are practiced like this in order to cultivate insight.
As insight weakens habitual defensive tendencies, it will also reveal weaknesses in your ability to connect with yourself, and others. In Mastery 4, you create the conditions to settle the mind, and unify it with the heart.
Skillset 7: Develop Skill in Balancing the Habitual Mind
Skillset 7 is concerned with calming, and developing skill, in working with the five characteristics of disturbance that arise within the deluded mind:
When applying these techniques, don't do it to suppress the five disturbances, but rather with the intent to develop insight into their true nature. Simply:
Skillset 8: Develop Skill in Wholesome Qualities
Skillset 8 is concerned with cultivating wholesome qualities of heart, that may be weak in you. When defensive habitual patterns become weak, wholesome qualities of heart will not miraculously appear. Even though the human potential is towards kindness, caring, compassion, generosity and gratitude, they are not an innate state found within all of us.
You practice your personality every day. If you normally act through anger, then love and kindness, may not come naturally to you. If you normally react with jealously, then you may not naturally feel joy for others, when they succeed, and you don’t. Wholesome qualities of heart, need to be intentionally cultivated, like anything else.
In Mastery 5, you develop the natural tendency of your mind, to incline towards abandoning, letting, go, relinquishing, giving up. A mind that no longer clings or grasps onto anything.
Skillset 9: Develop Skill in Deconditioning the Mind
In Skillset 9, you apply the wisdom you have so far developed, towards deconditioning habitual, defensive patterns, from your mind. To do this requires steadiness of attention, and further refinement of your skill in softening, and inclination towards stillness.
Once your meditative skill has matured, you will be able to intentionally bring up and be with, painful memories, or defensive tendencies. This will allow you to access the underlying vedana that drives reaction, and through softening your participation, you will gradually decondition the habitual tendency.
Skillset 10: Develop Skill in Abandoning Participation
In Skillset 10, you begin training in disentangling awareness from sensory objects. While appana samadhi was developed during jhana, to incline the habitual mind towards abandoning, and for clarity as a basis for insight. Nirvikalpa samadhi (objectless unification), is developed to accelerate the inclination towards abandoning, and disillusionment from insight, completely disentangling the habitual mind from all six sense fields, dissolving habitual clinging to the Five Aggregates Associated with Clinging:
Before starting Mastery 6, you need refined skill in Softening, Jhana and Nirvikalpa Samadhi, in order to enter deeper levels of the path. In Mastery 6, you observe and disentangle awareness from the six sense fields using your developed.
Skillset 11: Develop Skill in Disentangling Awareness
In Skillset 11, you continue to disentangle awareness. As many of the grosser habitual tendencies are now deconditioned, the natural inclination within your mind, towards abandoning, will increase. You will find that your mind now naturally relinquishes entanglement with sensory input. In this final stage of the path, you intentionally engage with the six sensory fields, to observe subtle clinging. And by applying your softening and Nirvikalpa Samadhi skills, you relinquish participation by subtly relaxing habitual engagement. Giving the deconditioned mind a gentle push, towards the unconditioned.
In Mastery 7, you enter into the final stage of deconditioning, in regards to the habituated mind. You aim to reach the stage of complete disentanglement, and fulfillment of the Four Noble Truths. A mind, no longer entangled with anything.
Skillset 12: Disentangle the Habitual Mind
In Skillset 12, you enter the final stage of deconditioning, to reveal a mind free from all habitual defensive tendencies. This stage of the path, requires refined sensitivity, softening, and complete disentanglement of awareness with sensory experience. This includes at the highest level of skill, disentanglement of awareness from itself. At this stage of the meditative path, all habitual ties are broken, the mind inclines towards the unconditioned.
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