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Sometimes when I'm meditating I notice that some of my noting is 'automatic' and I am not conscious or fully aware of it. For example, I may experience a memory and I then realise I am automatically noting 'angry' or 'pain' or 'sad'. What confuses me is that I am not sure I am feeling those things and, if I am, they are so slight that I am not even aware of them. I then feel unsure if I have noted my experiences or if I am just on autopilot. Should I allow myself to note automatically or should I attempt to remain in control of the noting task? Should I note this experience itself? The purpose of my question is to discern whether what comes up automatically can grant any insight or if it is just a lack of concentration on my part. Many thanks

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No, autopilot will not help you cultivate the important qualities of mind like sati and sampajañña. What is missing is viriya, the effort to send the mind out to the object, which is required to actually see it clearly. As the Buddha said in the satipaṭṭhāna sutta,

"viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā"

"one dwells ardent, fully-self-aware, remembering"

What you should do is note the knowing that you are on autopilot, the confusion, and any other reactions you might have towards it.

by (230 points)
Thank you Bhante
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