Exercise 9-12: Mental formations & Consciousness
(9-10): Selective watering
The objects of Exercise 9-12 are mental formations and consciousness. It may not be easy to understand the difference from the object of Exercise 5-8 (Feelings). In fact, feelings and perceptions (series of notions in the head) belong to 51 mental formations but they are spun off from mental formations because their impact is outstanding. So, there are 49 kinds of mental formations in Exercise 9-12. Meanwhile, there are 8 kinds of consciousness in Buddhism and they are the source of the body, feelings, perceptions and mental formations. 8 kinds of consciousness are the Sense consciousness (five senses), Mind consciousness (conscious mind), Manas (ego) and Store consciousness (Alaya consciousness, subconscious mind).
Feelings in Exercise 5-8 are limited to feelings manifested in Mind consciousness (conscious mind), but mental formations and consciousness in Exercise 9-12 include the seeds of mental formations which are stored in Store consciousness (Alaya consciousness, subconscious mind). So, the realm of Exercise 9-12 is much deeper than the realm of Exercise 5-8. And we take care of both of them (mental formations and the seeds). Briefly, if we water the wholesome seed, the wholesome mental formation will manifest, and if we water the unwholesome seed, the unwholesome mental formation will manifest.
Therefore, the selective watering will be as follows:
1) Water the wholesome seeds.
2) Do not water the unwholesome seeds.
3) Maintain the wholesome mental formation if it is manifesting.
4) Transform the unwholesome mental formation (to the wholesome mental formation) if it is manifesting.
5) Water the unwholesome seed intentionally to let the unwholesome mental formation manifest and to transform it to the wholesome mental formation and return it to Store consciousness as the wholesome seed.
(Note) 5) has a high risk unless you are an advanced practitioner, so is not recommendable for beginners.
If you are mindful, you can recognize what is going on inside and around yourself. So, if you practice the selective watering as soon as you recognize what's going on, you can control your mind as you wish. And it will be wise also that you request people around you to practice the selective watering to you as well as you do it by yourself. This selective watering means the "Right Diligence" of the Noble Eightfold Path.
(to be continued)