Meditation for beginners - Anicca

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
justindesilva
Posts: 824
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2016 12:38 pm

Re: Meditation for beginners - Anicca

Post by justindesilva » Mon Oct 22, 2018 5:11 pm

Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:32 am
newbee wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:07 pm
So how do I realize Anicca practically (say, be aware of the transitory nature of life everyday). Are there any guided meditation teachings for newbies online (audio/video/books)?
You can start with the breath, then broaden awareness to other aspects of experience. I find it is easier to notice change.
Breathing in and out itself shows anitya. What we breathed in does not last and is not permanent. It changed to CO2 So we breath that out and breath in another fresh air. So is our thoughts. Our thougts too keep on changing each moment. Our concentrstion on breath hence is impermanent which is anicca.

pegembara
Posts: 1314
Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 8:39 am

Re: Meditation for beginners - Anicca

Post by pegembara » Tue Oct 23, 2018 3:39 am

You may like the so called beginner's handbook by Bhante G.
Once your mind is free from thought, it becomes clearly wakeful and at rest in an utterly simple awareness. This awareness cannot be described adequately. Words are not enough. It can only be experienced. Breath ceases to be just breath; it is no longer limited to the static and familiar concept you once held. You no longer see it as a succession of just inhalations and exhalations; it is no longer some insignificant monotonous experience. Breath becomes a living, changing process, something alive and fascinating. It is no longer something that takes place in time; it is perceived as the present moment itself. Time is seen as a concept, not an experienced reality.

This is simplified, rudimentary awareness which is stripped of all extraneous detail. It is grounded in a living flow of the present, and it is marked by a pronounced sense of reality. You know absolutely that this is real, more real than anything you have ever experienced. Once you have gained this perception with absolute certainty, you have a fresh vantage point, a new criterion against which to gauge all of your experience. After this perception, you see clearly those moments when you are participating in bare phenomena alone, and those moments when you are disturbing phenomena with mental attitudes. You watch yourself twisting reality with mental comments, with stale images and personal opinions. You know what you are doing, when you are doing it. You become increasingly sensitive to the ways in which you miss the true reality, and you gravitate towards the simple objective perspective which does not add to or subtract from what is. You become a very perceptive individual. From this vantage point, all is seen with clarity. The innumerable activities of mind and body stand out in glaring detail. You mindfully observe the incessant rise and fall of breath; you watch an endless stream of bodily sensations and movements; you scan a rapid succession of thoughts and feelings, and you sense the rhythm that echoes from the steady march of time. And in the midst of all this ceaseless movement, there is no watcher, there is only watching.

In this state of perception, nothing remains the same for two consecutive moments. Everything is seen to be in constant transformation. All things are born, all things grow old and die. There are no exceptions. You awaken to the unceasing changes of your own life. You look around and see everything in flux, everything, everything, everything. It is all rising and falling, intensifying and diminishing, coming into existence and passing away. All of life, every bit of it from the infinitesimal to the Indian Ocean, is in motion constantly. You perceive the universe as a great flowing river of experience. Your most cherished possessions are slipping away, and so is your very life. Yet this impermanence is no reason for grief. You stand there transfixed, staring at this incessant activity, and your response is wondrous joy. It's all moving, dancing and full of life.

As you continue to observe these changes and you see how it all fits together, you become aware of the intimate connectedness of all mental, sensory and affective phenomena. You watch one thought leading to another, you see destruction giving rise to emotional reactions and feelings giving rise to more thoughts. Actions, thoughts, feelings, desires--you see all of them intimately linked together in a delicate fabric of cause and effect. You watch pleasurable experiences arise and fall and you see that they never last; you watch pain come uninvited and you watch yourself anxiously struggling to throw it off; you see yourself fail. It all happens over and over while you stand back quietly and just watch it all work.

Out of this living laboratory itself comes an inner and unassailable conclusion. You see that your life is marked by disappointment and frustration, and you clearly see the source. These reactions arise out of your own inability to get what you want, your fear of losing what you have already gained and your habit of never being satisfied with what you have. These are no longer theoretical concepts - you have seen these things for yourself and you know that they are real. You perceive your own fear, your own basic insecurity in the face of life and death. It is a profound tension that goes all the way down to the root of thought and makes all of life a struggle. You watch yourself anxiously groping about, fearfully grasping for something, anything, to hold onto in the midst of all these shifting sands, and you see that there is nothing to hold onto, nothing that doesn't change.

You see the pain of loss and grief, you watch yourself being forced to adjust to painful developments day after day in your own ordinary existence. You witness the tensions and conflicts inherent in the very process of everyday living, and you see how superficial most of your concerns really are. You watch the progress of pain, sickness, old age and death. You learn to marvel that all these horrible things are not fearful at all. They are simply reality.

Through this intensive study of the negative aspects of your existence, you become deeply acquainted with dukkha, the unsatisfactory nature of all existence. You begin to perceive dukkha at all levels of our human life, from the obvious down to the most subtle. You see the way suffering inevitably follows in the wake of clinging, as soon as you grasp anything, pain inevitably follows. Once you become fully acquainted with the whole dynamic of desire, you become sensitized to it. You see where it rises, when it rises and how it affects you. You watch it operate over and over, manifesting through every sense channel, taking control of the mind and making consciousness its slave.

In the midst of every pleasant experience, you watch your own craving and clinging take place. In the midst of unpleasant experiences, you watch a very powerful resistance take hold. You do not block these phenomena, you just watch them, you see them as the very stuff of human thought. You search for that thing you call 'me', but what you find is a physical body and how you have identified your sense of yourself with that bag of skin and bones. You search further and you find all manner of mental phenomena, such as emotions, thought patterns and opinions, and see how you identify the sense of yourself with each of them. You watch yourself becoming possessive, protective and defensive over these pitiful things and you see how crazy that is. You rummage furiously among these various items, constantly searching for yourself - physical matter, bodily sensations, feelings and emotions - it all keeps whirling round and round as you root through it, peering into every nook and cranny, endlessly hunting for 'me'.

You find nothing. In all that collection of mental hardware in this endless stream of ever-shifting experience all you can find is innumerable impersonal processes which have been caused and conditioned by previous processes. There is no static self to be found; it is all process. You find thoughts but no thinker, you find emotions and desires, but nobody doing them. The house itself is empty. There is nobody home.

Your whole view of self changes at this point. You begin to look upon yourself as if you were a newspaper photograph. When viewed with the naked eyes, the photograph you see is a definite image. When viewed through a magnifying glass, it all breaks down into an intricate configuration of dots. Similarly, under the penetrating gaze of mindfulness, the feeling of self, an 'I' or 'being' anything, loses its solidity and dissolves. There comes a point in insight meditation where the three characteristics of existence - impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and selflessness - come rushing home with concept-searing force. You vividly experience the impermanence of life, the suffering nature of human existence, and the truth of no self. You experience these things so graphically that you suddenly awake to the utter futility of craving, grasping and resistance. In the clarity and purity of this profound moment, our consciousness is transformed. The entity of self evaporates. All that is left is an infinity of interrelated non-personal phenomena which are conditioned and ever changing. Craving is extinguished and a great burden is lifted. There remains only an effortless flow, without a trace of resistance or tension. There remains only peace, and blessed Nibbana, the uncreated, is realized.
http://www.vipassana.com/meditation/min ... nglish.php
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

newbee
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:13 pm

Re: Meditation for beginners - Anicca

Post by newbee » Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:58 am

paul wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:39 am
newbee wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:06 am
Oh! Yes, we focus, even celebrate, one aspect seen in the world but seldom think about change and decay, which are equally natural! I haven't looked at things from this perspective. You've introduced an entirely new line of thinking.
We look at an apple to feel the shock of the new, but turn away from its discarded core or a decayed apple in the street feeling disgust. That response is innately conditioned by the unwholesome root of greed, but impermanence must be worked at until it develops its own feeling component, the gravity of seeing objects in a time-space. Continuity of a thing as it is, is an illusion which must be broken through, and that insight diverges from the view of the ordinary untaught worldling. These daily life observations are fortified by meditation on the impermanence of the body, and the body is the most effective teacher. Ven. Analayo describes the long-term effect of this practice:

“Continuity in developing awareness of impermanence is essential if it is really to affect one’s mental condition. Sustained contemplation of impermanence leads to a shift in one’s normal way of experiencing reality, which hitherto tacitly assumed the temporal stability of the perceiver and the perceived objects. Once both are experienced as changing processes, all notions of stable existence and substantiality vanish, thereby radically reshaping one’s paradigm of experience.”—-“Satipatthana”, Analayo.

Note: Maha Satipatthana sutta DN 22, Satipatthana sutta MN 10
:goodpost:
Thanks Paul.

newbee
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:13 pm

Re: Meditation for beginners - Anicca

Post by newbee » Wed Oct 24, 2018 5:02 am

DooDoot wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:32 am
Welcome :hello:
If you ask questions; I trust many members will be happy to do their best to answer them. Buddhism is actually a path of asking your own questions (rather than blindly attaching to teachings).
Hello DooDoot,

The help from members here is very encouraging.
I would encourage you to be unconcerned about this matter and jut focus on what you wish to learn.
Excellent. The Pali suttas say there are two types of teachings: (i) mundane: and (ii) ultimate truth. Impermanence is an ultimate truth.
DooDoot wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:32 am
The main meditation is called "Anapanasati", which means "mindfulness when/with breathing". You can start by watching the impermanence of every in-breath and every out-breath.
I totally agree with this approach. I'll put into practice what is immediately perceivable rather than worrying about what to believe.
DooDoot wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:32 am
You should ensure you sit with a naturally erect spine; which means you might have to sit on a backless stool rather than sit cross-legged. Having a naturally erect and comfortable posture will allow you to sit longer. Sitting for 30 minutes each morning and each evening is great for starting.
I was thinking about about how to sit and maintain posture.
Thank you for the guidance. :twothumbsup:

newbee
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:13 pm

Re: Meditation for beginners - Anicca

Post by newbee » Wed Oct 24, 2018 5:04 am

justindesilva wrote:
Sun Oct 21, 2018 12:51 pm
May I express my view on meditation for a beginner.
It is best to sit and count the inbreaths and outbreaths upto ten , say for about ten minutes each morning for sometime. After a few days the meditator will get accustomed to the system. Then watch the short breaths and long breaths.
Also watch the breath when in anger and slow it down on concentration counting one to ten and repeating.
Much more to say but a feeling of meditation will be experienced.
justindesilva wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 5:11 pm
Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:32 am
newbee wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:07 pm
So how do I realize Anicca practically (say, be aware of the transitory nature of life everyday). Are there any guided meditation teachings for newbies online (audio/video/books)?
You can start with the breath, then broaden awareness to other aspects of experience. I find it is easier to notice change.
Breathing in and out itself shows anitya. What we breathed in does not last and is not permanent. It changed to CO2 So we breath that out and breath in another fresh air. So is our thoughts. Our thougts too keep on changing each moment. Our concentrstion on breath hence is impermanent which is anicca.
Invaluable advice, thank you. :thumbsup:
Dinsdale wrote:
Mon Oct 22, 2018 11:32 am
newbee wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:07 pm
So how do I realize Anicca practically (say, be aware of the transitory nature of life everyday). Are there any guided meditation teachings for newbies online (audio/video/books)?
You can start with the breath, then broaden awareness to other aspects of experience. I find it is easier to notice change.
@Dinsdale Thanks. :smile:

newbee
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2018 12:13 pm

Re: Meditation for beginners - Anicca

Post by newbee » Wed Oct 24, 2018 5:06 am

@pegembara :goodpost:

This is very clear and deep! So much to reflect and meditate upon. :thanks:
pegembara wrote:
Tue Oct 23, 2018 3:39 am
You may like the so called beginner's handbook by Bhante G.
Once your mind is free from thought, it becomes clearly wakeful and at rest in an utterly simple awareness. This awareness cannot be described adequately. Words are not enough. It can only be experienced. Breath ceases to be just breath; it is no longer limited to the static and familiar concept you once held. You no longer see it as a succession of just inhalations and exhalations; it is no longer some insignificant monotonous experience. Breath becomes a living, changing process, something alive and fascinating. It is no longer something that takes place in time; it is perceived as the present moment itself. Time is seen as a concept, not an experienced reality.

This is simplified, rudimentary awareness which is stripped of all extraneous detail. It is grounded in a living flow of the present, and it is marked by a pronounced sense of reality. You know absolutely that this is real, more real than anything you have ever experienced. Once you have gained this perception with absolute certainty, you have a fresh vantage point, a new criterion against which to gauge all of your experience. After this perception, you see clearly those moments when you are participating in bare phenomena alone, and those moments when you are disturbing phenomena with mental attitudes. You watch yourself twisting reality with mental comments, with stale images and personal opinions. You know what you are doing, when you are doing it. You become increasingly sensitive to the ways in which you miss the true reality, and you gravitate towards the simple objective perspective which does not add to or subtract from what is. You become a very perceptive individual. From this vantage point, all is seen with clarity. The innumerable activities of mind and body stand out in glaring detail. You mindfully observe the incessant rise and fall of breath; you watch an endless stream of bodily sensations and movements; you scan a rapid succession of thoughts and feelings, and you sense the rhythm that echoes from the steady march of time. And in the midst of all this ceaseless movement, there is no watcher, there is only watching.

In this state of perception, nothing remains the same for two consecutive moments. Everything is seen to be in constant transformation. All things are born, all things grow old and die. There are no exceptions. You awaken to the unceasing changes of your own life. You look around and see everything in flux, everything, everything, everything. It is all rising and falling, intensifying and diminishing, coming into existence and passing away. All of life, every bit of it from the infinitesimal to the Indian Ocean, is in motion constantly. You perceive the universe as a great flowing river of experience. Your most cherished possessions are slipping away, and so is your very life. Yet this impermanence is no reason for grief. You stand there transfixed, staring at this incessant activity, and your response is wondrous joy. It's all moving, dancing and full of life.

As you continue to observe these changes and you see how it all fits together, you become aware of the intimate connectedness of all mental, sensory and affective phenomena. You watch one thought leading to another, you see destruction giving rise to emotional reactions and feelings giving rise to more thoughts. Actions, thoughts, feelings, desires--you see all of them intimately linked together in a delicate fabric of cause and effect. You watch pleasurable experiences arise and fall and you see that they never last; you watch pain come uninvited and you watch yourself anxiously struggling to throw it off; you see yourself fail. It all happens over and over while you stand back quietly and just watch it all work.

Out of this living laboratory itself comes an inner and unassailable conclusion. You see that your life is marked by disappointment and frustration, and you clearly see the source. These reactions arise out of your own inability to get what you want, your fear of losing what you have already gained and your habit of never being satisfied with what you have. These are no longer theoretical concepts - you have seen these things for yourself and you know that they are real. You perceive your own fear, your own basic insecurity in the face of life and death. It is a profound tension that goes all the way down to the root of thought and makes all of life a struggle. You watch yourself anxiously groping about, fearfully grasping for something, anything, to hold onto in the midst of all these shifting sands, and you see that there is nothing to hold onto, nothing that doesn't change.

You see the pain of loss and grief, you watch yourself being forced to adjust to painful developments day after day in your own ordinary existence. You witness the tensions and conflicts inherent in the very process of everyday living, and you see how superficial most of your concerns really are. You watch the progress of pain, sickness, old age and death. You learn to marvel that all these horrible things are not fearful at all. They are simply reality.

Through this intensive study of the negative aspects of your existence, you become deeply acquainted with dukkha, the unsatisfactory nature of all existence. You begin to perceive dukkha at all levels of our human life, from the obvious down to the most subtle. You see the way suffering inevitably follows in the wake of clinging, as soon as you grasp anything, pain inevitably follows. Once you become fully acquainted with the whole dynamic of desire, you become sensitized to it. You see where it rises, when it rises and how it affects you. You watch it operate over and over, manifesting through every sense channel, taking control of the mind and making consciousness its slave.

In the midst of every pleasant experience, you watch your own craving and clinging take place. In the midst of unpleasant experiences, you watch a very powerful resistance take hold. You do not block these phenomena, you just watch them, you see them as the very stuff of human thought. You search for that thing you call 'me', but what you find is a physical body and how you have identified your sense of yourself with that bag of skin and bones. You search further and you find all manner of mental phenomena, such as emotions, thought patterns and opinions, and see how you identify the sense of yourself with each of them. You watch yourself becoming possessive, protective and defensive over these pitiful things and you see how crazy that is. You rummage furiously among these various items, constantly searching for yourself - physical matter, bodily sensations, feelings and emotions - it all keeps whirling round and round as you root through it, peering into every nook and cranny, endlessly hunting for 'me'.

You find nothing. In all that collection of mental hardware in this endless stream of ever-shifting experience all you can find is innumerable impersonal processes which have been caused and conditioned by previous processes. There is no static self to be found; it is all process. You find thoughts but no thinker, you find emotions and desires, but nobody doing them. The house itself is empty. There is nobody home.

Your whole view of self changes at this point. You begin to look upon yourself as if you were a newspaper photograph. When viewed with the naked eyes, the photograph you see is a definite image. When viewed through a magnifying glass, it all breaks down into an intricate configuration of dots. Similarly, under the penetrating gaze of mindfulness, the feeling of self, an 'I' or 'being' anything, loses its solidity and dissolves. There comes a point in insight meditation where the three characteristics of existence - impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and selflessness - come rushing home with concept-searing force. You vividly experience the impermanence of life, the suffering nature of human existence, and the truth of no self. You experience these things so graphically that you suddenly awake to the utter futility of craving, grasping and resistance. In the clarity and purity of this profound moment, our consciousness is transformed. The entity of self evaporates. All that is left is an infinity of interrelated non-personal phenomena which are conditioned and ever changing. Craving is extinguished and a great burden is lifted. There remains only an effortless flow, without a trace of resistance or tension. There remains only peace, and blessed Nibbana, the uncreated, is realized.
http://www.vipassana.com/meditation/min ... nglish.php

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