Mal wrote:Do you need to see impermanence "as it happens", or is an inference of impermanence sufficient? For instance - in the moments of mindfulness while eating a sandwich the pain in my mouth ulcer is permanent! But I know the pain will go away "in the future".
In this case, Mal, you use this remembering (that all phenomenas are impermanent) as valve. This value is as good as your real experiances of impermanence and as good as you maintain to rememeber it.
But it's not like seeing the impermanence of the in-breath at the moment of cessation - that's seeing the impermanence in the moment as it happens.
This is a very good observation, Mal, as many people think that they need to search for something that they already know. We don't know yet. So that abservation (panna) gives the possibility to let go of this perceptions compensation and make the step forward into faith (saddha) if sati (mindfulness) recognices it by remembering this is not and this is also not.
So we keep on watching and the perceptions will be subtiler and subtiler as well as the sensations. This essay is maybe useful to understand the process: De-perception
It's over more great that you use mindfulness not only in fromal meditation. The concept if insight meditation is useable all the time. Once we have seen impermanence in the phenomena well, it will be more and more a good out-let. Not only to gain more insight through letting go, but also in our daily issus it fades away all kind of suffering.
Isn't no-self easier to see?
I don't think so, it is sometimes dangerous. As there is only no-self when there is a self. If it is more over even based on a philosiphy or intelectuall constructed idea, it could also easy lead to something we might call crazy wisdom. Sometimes how ever it is also a good valve.
The line of this attributes is all copounded things are impermanent and therefor not-self and therefore unsatisfactory. So if we just focus on anicca, there is no danger of any strange ego-trip (eternalist of nihilist irritations) at the beginning.
My baseline philosophy is that any event that happens to me isn't me so *anything* I see is no self.
It's good to put away any philosophy and idea while doning insight meditation.
The mouth ulcer pain is just pain, it isn't my self.
What is the mouth (for expample) "I see this in the moment in regards to the ulcer pain, if I'm mindful." in this case it is not really observing but regarding the mouth as not-self which could be easy a rejecting of it as not part of me, but still there is a "my" that rejects!!
Some masters recommend noting "breath", "thought", etc, so why not note characteristics?
One can only not what he knows already. Of cause it is possible to note even ideas, but if we are careful, we will see that this ideas are also not lasting. Its how ever better to simply observe and not "this is not" and "that is not" if the idea of "ohh that is anicaa" arises and put further effort on the foot of saddha (faith in finding the unconditioned while observing anicca like it realy is without the blur of ideas)
Knock over two skittles with one ball? Maybe not all the time!? (Hard work...)
One ball is quite enought, even it seems that mulittasking is possible, there is just one event after the other. That is quite more hard work and needs a lot of patient. A kind of changing our general ways of trying to be productive and efficient. So again a kind of latting go.
Step by step, only the focus on the next step will make our travel successful and secure.
I found this short and easy readable work Vipassana Meditation Lectures On Insight Meditation
very useful which even makes it possible to train insight without a physical teacher amoung daily life is the time and the livelihood makes it possible (virtue).
Wish you that it might be useful for you.