Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Wed May 27, 2009 8:14 am

Is there a tradition in Therevada for doing insight meditation on the 3 characteristics? If so, how should this be approached?
Thanks.

Rick
User avatar
Spiny O'Norman
 
Posts: 851
Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 8:46 am
Location: Suffolk, England

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed May 27, 2009 8:44 am

Greetings Rick,

These three characteristics are all observed during vipassana meditation.

So is your question actually asking about different vipassana techniques?

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14784
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Postby kc2dpt » Wed May 27, 2009 1:21 pm

"Thus, monks, any form whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every form is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.'

"Any feeling whatsoever...

"Any perception whatsoever...

"Any fabrications whatsoever...

"Any consciousness whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every consciousness is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.'

- SN 22.59
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
User avatar
kc2dpt
 
Posts: 956
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:48 pm

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Thu May 28, 2009 8:09 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Rick,

These three characteristics are all observed during vipassana meditation.

So is your question actually asking about different vipassana techniques?

Metta,
Retro. :)


Yes, Retro, that's right. I am OK observing arising and ceasing, but I'm not sure where to go next. I find that if I introduce the 3 characteristics into meditation I get quickly involved in concepts ( thinking about them ) rather than just observing....which doesn't feel right.

Rick
User avatar
Spiny O'Norman
 
Posts: 851
Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 8:46 am
Location: Suffolk, England

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Thu May 28, 2009 8:11 am

[quote="Peter 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.'
- SN 22.59[/quote]

Thanks Peter. I'm familiar with this but haven't actually used it in meditation - is this what you're suggesting?

Rick
User avatar
Spiny O'Norman
 
Posts: 851
Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 8:46 am
Location: Suffolk, England

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Postby tiltbillings » Thu May 28, 2009 8:14 am

Rick O'Shez wrote:
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Rick,

These three characteristics are all observed during vipassana meditation.

So is your question actually asking about different vipassana techniques?

Metta,
Retro. :)


Yes, Retro, that's right. I am OK observing arising and ceasing, but I'm not sure where to go next. I find that if I introduce the 3 characteristics into meditation I get quickly involved in concepts ( thinking about them ) rather than just observing....which doesn't feel right.

Rick



It shouldn't feel right. Introducing concepts into your practice is exactly what you are doing. Spend some time with this guy: http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/96/?q=&sort=rec_date
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19919
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Postby rowyourboat » Thu May 28, 2009 11:46 am

or go to his source:

http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/mahasi.htm


you might need some samatha in there for the understanding to really 'stick'. For satipatthana to truly develop you need to get into (not intentionally- it is just a development) a 'vipassana atmosphere' of seeing nothing but impermanence everywhere you look. Seeing arising and passing away is what will eventually lead up to it. How are you seeing arising and passing away and how long do you do it?
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
rowyourboat
 
Posts: 1949
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Fri May 29, 2009 8:13 am

rowyourboat wrote:or go to his source:

http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/mahasi.htm


you might need some samatha in there for the understanding to really 'stick'. For satipatthana to truly develop you need to get into (not intentionally- it is just a development) a 'vipassana atmosphere' of seeing nothing but impermanence everywhere you look. Seeing arising and passing away is what will eventually lead up to it. How are you seeing arising and passing away and how long do you do it?


Thanks. So are you saying that awareness of impermanence is "central" to vipassana, rather than awareness of non-self? Currently I am working and only doing 30 minutes meditation a day, which I am fully aware isn't enough to really get to grips with this stuff.

Rick
User avatar
Spiny O'Norman
 
Posts: 851
Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 8:46 am
Location: Suffolk, England

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Postby retrofuturist » Fri May 29, 2009 8:40 am

Greetings Rick,

Rick O'Shez wrote:So are you saying that awareness of impermanence is "central" to vipassana, rather than awareness of non-self?


The point is observing these characteristics rather than conceptualising and mentally proliferating them.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14784
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Postby puthujjana » Fri May 29, 2009 9:26 am

Rick O'Shez wrote:So are you saying that awareness of impermanence is "central" to vipassana, rather than awareness of non-self?


You can conclude the other two characteristics by observing impermanence:
"Now is what is impermanent painful or pleasant?" — "Painful, venerable Sir." — "Now is what is impermanent, what is painful since subject to change, fit to be regarded thus: 'This is mine, this is I, this is my self'"? — "No, venerable sir."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.html


with metta
:anjali:
"Once you understand anatta, then the burden of life is gone. You’ll be at peace with the world. When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness and we can truly be happy."
- Ajahn Chah
User avatar
puthujjana
 
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 8:13 am
Location: Hamburg, Germany

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Sat May 30, 2009 8:08 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Rick,

Rick O'Shez wrote:So are you saying that awareness of impermanence is "central" to vipassana, rather than awareness of non-self?


The point is observing these characteristics rather than conceptualising and mentally proliferating them.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Yes, I'm sure you're right. More time on the cushion is probably the answer.

Rick
User avatar
Spiny O'Norman
 
Posts: 851
Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 8:46 am
Location: Suffolk, England

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Postby Ben » Sat May 30, 2009 9:01 am

Hi Rick

I think that's probably a good way to approach the observation of tilakkhana.
My experience has been that as my awareness of one characteristic becomes acute, I simultaneously begin to become aware of the other characteristics.
Observation of the anicca characteristic of vedana (sensation) has been my principal technique.
Metta

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16314
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Postby Jechbi » Sat May 30, 2009 3:43 pm

Rick O'Shez wrote:... how should this be approached?

You don't have to approach them. They approach you. So for example if your meditation is on the breath, just keep doing that. It is anicca. It is anatta. It is dukkha.
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
User avatar
Jechbi
 
Posts: 1268
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:38 am

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Sun May 31, 2009 9:08 am

Ben wrote:Hi Rick

I think that's probably a good way to approach the observation of tilakkhana.
My experience has been that as my awareness of one characteristic becomes acute, I simultaneously begin to become aware of the other characteristics.
Observation of the anicca characteristic of vedana (sensation) has been my principal technique.
Metta

Ben


Yes, thanks, that makes sense.

Rick
User avatar
Spiny O'Norman
 
Posts: 851
Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 8:46 am
Location: Suffolk, England

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Sun May 31, 2009 9:12 am

Jechbi wrote:
Rick O'Shez wrote:... how should this be approached?

You don't have to approach them. They approach you. So for example if your meditation is on the breath, just keep doing that. It is anicca. It is anatta. It is dukkha.


In practice I find that my focus on the breath "lightens" after a period of time and I become aware in a more general way of what my mind is up to.

Rick
User avatar
Spiny O'Norman
 
Posts: 851
Joined: Sat May 23, 2009 8:46 am
Location: Suffolk, England

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Postby rowyourboat » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:08 pm

Hi Rick,

There are clear methods of vipassana which will take you to the heart of the matter. It will be helpful to read this:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... gress.html

Yes, impermanence is at the heart of the practice and leads to the understanding of dukkha and anatta. But it must be done in a certain way otherwise anatta can be difficult to understand. The method i mention above is one of the best internationally known (ie there are others) methods to do this IMO (having seen students from various traditions).

Here's another method (very simplified)

breath (is matter)+skin in nostril (is matter-rupa) and the observing mind (is mind-nama)
watch how matter (cause) gives rise to mind (effect) (the breath+skin must be there for a mind which perceives the breath to arise)
watch the intention (nama) before each in breath and each outbreath (rupa) (you are in control of the breath so there is an intention preceeding these actions- and you can see it if you slow it down and watch closely)
the intention to breath in/out is the cause (hethu) for the effect of the action of breathing in/out (phala)

without the cause there is no effect

now extrapolate this to everything you perceive in the external world from all the 6 senses

..and think of the breathing that you do without conscious effort..

Good luck on the path..

with metta

RYB
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
rowyourboat
 
Posts: 1949
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:31 pm

rowyourboat wrote:RYB

Hi RYB,

I just logged in and see that there are 20,000 posts! We have only been around since Jan. 1, 2009. I went to "view new posts" and see that you made the 20,000th post!

A cake will be sent, via electronic means, . . . :tongue:
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8221
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:33 pm

Image

Rubik's cube cake! :ugeek:
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8221
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Postby rowyourboat » Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:04 pm

well that takes the cake! :clap:
well done for all who started this forum
may it be a source of good dhamma for many years to come!
:twothumbsup:
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
rowyourboat
 
Posts: 1949
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: London, UK


Return to Insight Meditation

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests