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How do you contemplate anatta? - Dhamma Wheel

How do you contemplate anatta?

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
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Spiny Norman
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How do you contemplate anatta?

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Jun 03, 2013 1:58 pm

What method(s) do you use to develop insight into anatta? I'm particulary interested in hearing about "direct" methods, rather than indirect methods like contemplating anicca. I've been working with the 6 elements recently, but I'm not sure whether that qualifies as direct.

I'm familiar with what the suttas say, here I am more interested in your practical experience, what you actually do. Thanks.
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Re: How do you contemplate anatta?

Postby floating_abu » Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:11 pm

Do you mean meditation is a direct method, Spiny?

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daverupa
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Re: How do you contemplate anatta?

Postby daverupa » Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:26 pm

I contemplate how everything is conditionally present or absent, which eliminates the possibility that my self - of any ideation - is isolated and independent. But asmi-mana and sakkaya-ditthi cover different aspects of anatta, so I caution folks against trying to accomplish things out of order.

Sakkaya-ditthi drops first; the overall stink of experiential subjectivity is much more tenacious than that, so be careful how you understand the goal 'contemplate anatta' because it's easy to get despirited when the bar is set too high with respect to where one is starting out.

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Re: How do you contemplate anatta?

Postby IanAnd » Mon Jun 03, 2013 3:36 pm

"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV

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Re: How do you contemplate anatta?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jun 03, 2013 6:07 pm


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Re: How do you contemplate anatta?

Postby Dmytro » Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:12 pm



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reflection
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Re: How do you contemplate anatta?

Postby reflection » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:06 pm

Hi Spiny,

I don't think no self is hard to understand in a way, it's mainly hard to recognize and accept and that's why we need the right evidence and the right non-attachment to see it.

Since you ask for our methods/experiences:

To see what disappears in meditation. If something disappears, that's the best clue to seeing there is no self in that thing. For example, when the ability to make choices disappears, that is very convincing for understanding no self in the volitions. It's no future projection or intellectual idea and it is not trying to see things in our experience now, which means that experience will partly be the "me" trying to see things - so clouded to see anatta. Instead it's reflecting back on things already experienced, or not experienced depending on how you look at it. Technically this is another way of seeing anicca but it is very direct and hard to deny.

Contemplation (so no reflection, but future idea) of death, or disappearance of the aggregates, helps in seeing where attachments linger, which helps accept the no self in the aggregates. To recognize and acknowledge these attachments is an important part I think. That's what fuels letting go, which then gives new experiences. So in a way the two methods support each other and are not separate.

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Re: How do you contemplate anatta?

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:22 pm

Greetings Spiny,

This previous topic may be of interest...

Anatta as the basis for insight - What object? What benefit?
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=3529

Metta,
Retro. :)
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"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: How do you contemplate anatta?

Postby 5heaps » Tue Jun 04, 2013 4:43 am

you need to be studying nicely outside of meditation, and have a general virtuous attitude accompanying all your activities ie. renunciation, compassion, etc throughout the day. this is like fuel for a fire.
then you can use whatever object of observation you relate to best, or whatever reasoning particularly moves your mind. this is the fire, but how to generate it nicely?


for most the best is analyzing and observing the heap of feelings, and the internal attitude or qualities about oneself (self-identity) which grow with these feelings.

particularly the habit of forming bad self-identities due to unpleasant feelings through interacting with others is very good for generating in meditation and then observing. apply your nonlinguistic analysis to bear on the object, scrutinize if it really exists the way it appears to and consider the consequences if it did exist the way it appears.

for starters, it becomes obvious that the self-identity is an internal story based on the feeling. the bad feeling in turn is based on momentary conditioning through interaction with other people. does your mind necessarily need to move in that particular way, and generate this particular feeling? does the mind to respond with pain, unsteadiness, doubt, habitual tendency for self-appraising this solid me, etc, or is it in fact free and lacks such qualities? this should challenge the strong and substantial appearance of "a bad me" or "lousy me" or "i did something wrong"
A Japanese man has been arrested on suspicion of writing a computer virus that destroys and replaces files on a victim PC with manga images of squid, octopuses and sea urchins. Masato Nakatsuji, 27, of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, was quoted as telling police: "I wanted to see how much my computer programming skills had improved since the last time I was arrested."

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Re: How do you contemplate anatta?

Postby pegembara » Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:03 am

"Bhikkhus, form is not-self. Were form self, then this form would not lead to affliction, and one could have it of form: 'Let my form be thus, let my form be not thus.' And since form is not-self, so it leads to affliction, and none can have it of form: 'Let my form be thus, let my form be not thus.'

"Bhikkhus, feeling is not-self...

"Bhikkhus, perception is not-self...

"Bhikkhus, determinations are not-self...

"Bhikkhus, consciousness is not self. Were consciousness self, then this consciousness would not lead to affliction, and one could have it of consciousness: 'Let my consciousness be thus, let my consciousness be not thus.' And since consciousness is not-self, so it leads to affliction, and none can have it of consciousness: 'Let my consciousness be thus, let my consciousness be not thus.'

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.html
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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Re: How do you contemplate anatta?

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:55 am

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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Spiny Norman
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Re: How do you contemplate anatta?

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:56 am

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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Re: How do you contemplate anatta?

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:02 am

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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Re: How do you contemplate anatta?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jun 04, 2013 9:29 am


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Re: How do you contemplate anatta?

Postby binocular » Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:39 am


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Re: How do you contemplate anatta?

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Re: How do you contemplate anatta?

Postby daverupa » Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:50 am


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Spiny Norman
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Re: How do you contemplate anatta?

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:08 pm

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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Spiny Norman
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Re: How do you contemplate anatta?

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:11 pm

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama

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Re: How do you contemplate anatta?

Postby Spiny Norman » Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:13 pm

"My religion is very simple - my religion is ice-cream."
Dairy Lama


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