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Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Posted: Wed May 27, 2009 8:14 am
by Spiny O'Norman
Is there a tradition in Therevada for doing insight meditation on the 3 characteristics? If so, how should this be approached?
Thanks.

Rick

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Posted: Wed May 27, 2009 8:44 am
by retrofuturist
Greetings Rick,

These three characteristics are all observed during vipassana meditation.

So is your question actually asking about different vipassana techniques?

Metta,
Retro. :)

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Posted: Wed May 27, 2009 1:21 pm
by kc2dpt
"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

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Posted: Thu May 28, 2009 8:09 am
by Spiny O'Norman
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

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Posted: Thu May 28, 2009 8:11 am
by Spiny O'Norman
[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

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Posted: Thu May 28, 2009 8:14 am
by tiltbillings
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" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Posted: Thu May 28, 2009 11:46 am
by rowyourboat
or go to his source:

http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/mahasi.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


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?

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Posted: Fri May 29, 2009 8:13 am
by Spiny O'Norman
rowyourboat wrote:or go to his source:

http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/mahasi.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


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

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Posted: Fri May 29, 2009 8:40 am
by retrofuturist
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. :)

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Posted: Fri May 29, 2009 9:26 am
by puthujjana
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" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
with metta
:anjali:

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Posted: Sat May 30, 2009 8:08 am
by Spiny O'Norman
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

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Posted: Sat May 30, 2009 9:01 am
by Ben
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

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Posted: Sat May 30, 2009 3:43 pm
by Jechbi
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.

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Posted: Sun May 31, 2009 9:08 am
by Spiny O'Norman
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

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Posted: Sun May 31, 2009 9:12 am
by Spiny O'Norman
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

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:08 pm
by rowyourboat
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" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:31 pm
by DNS
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:

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:33 pm
by DNS
Image

Rubik's cube cake! :ugeek:

Re: Insight meditation on the 3 characteristics?

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:04 pm
by rowyourboat
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: