sundara wrote:In the book "7 Contemplations of insight" it says a story about Venerable Channa when he was doing contemplation of impermanence he felt his self was going into a abyss, he became frightened, because he didn't discern conditions. He thought he was going to be annihilated. I don't know how to discern conditions.
Conditions can refer to the 12 factors of dependent co-arising or to the five aggregates of clinging, both of which make up the conventional or relative "person." Insight into these two doctrines of the Dhamma
produces (or can
produce) equanimity with regard to formations (or phenomena, if you prefer).
Most likely the reason that Channa "felt his self
was going into an abyss" and about to be annihilated is because he wasn't able to see into the nature of anatta
with regard to the five aggregates. In other words, he mistook form for self, feeling for self, perception for self, volition for self, and consciousness for self. Seeing self
in the five aggregates, he only succeeded in increasing his own suffering ("he thought he was going to be annihilated").
Being able to discern the fact of the three characteristics of existence within the aggregates is tantamount to awakening, in one sense.
"The gift of truth exceeds all other gifts" — Dhammapada, v. 354 Craving XXIV