I'm a beginner in Vipassana meditation and wondered is there a clear list of what I should contemplate on?
I understand simply, that I should consider anicca, dukka, and anatta. Is this linked to the Four Mindfulnesses?
In the Tibetan tradition I've looked at Lam Rim and a series of 21 daily contemplations, which was nice, clear and straightforward.
I'm so confused now I'm trying to understand Theravadan meditation.
Sorry for my ignorance.
Hey JadeRabbit! I just thought I would share my opinion - the more the merrier, right? LOL
I'm sharing on the basis that you are capable of making decisions for yourself, and I have no expectation that you will treat me as a teacher of Buddhism. I am not. Got it? Good
In one of the great classics of Theravada Buddhism, the Vimuttimagga (The Path of Freedom), practitioners who are of the personality that "walks in infatuation" are advised to not undertake meditative practice before cultivating other qualities beforehand. This direction is in the middle of a bundle of advice that goes to analysing the different types of people and their most eminent mental characteristics. The advice is clearly that anyone who wants to practice meditation, ought first find a greatly accomplished teacher, and perfect the virtuous behaviours.
Wow... that's not what you read in modern dhamma books! Now, I'm not going to advocate that position. And I'm not going to disagree with the advice of those who have already shared suggestions with you. But I did want to let you know that I, and others, are of an opinion that meditation practice is something that should begin after a very serious period of moral cultivation - the boring stuff like cutting down on excessive indulgence, etc. Indeed, my very personal opinion, is that meditation practice can be harmful for some people, and can manifest as sort of self-hypnosis that creates an even bigger and more attenuated ego than that contended with prior.
So I say this to share with you that there are different perspectives on "where to begin", and mine is - not with meditation, and definitely not with vipassana. However, there are an enormous number of people who will say the exact opposite
of me, and that vipassana practices will cultivate great skillful qualities for you which will naturally encourage moral behaviour.
How do we contend with this? Well, you can do as you wish - that's your prerogative
How do I contend with a diversity of views - I read the suttas, I study the commentaries, and I commit my introspection to the most serious and egoless place that I can find. Then I do it all again. And again. And again. And again
Anyway, good luck with your vipassana meditation and I hope you achieve great successes