Seeing Impermanence

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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Spiny O'Norman
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Re: Seeing Impermanence

Post by Spiny O'Norman » Sun Oct 18, 2009 1:29 pm

sundara wrote:It's all very well but how is that going to resolve my predicament as a human being.
Impermanence is also very liberating, it means things always change, we are not stuck with the present situation.

Rick

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catmoon
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Re: Seeing Impermanence

Post by catmoon » Sun Oct 18, 2009 7:58 pm

sundara wrote:What are the fruits of contemplating impermanence?
Just from personal experience, contemplating impermanence is like a vaccine against suffering. If you look down the road and see loss and change coming, it greatly reduces the shock and pain of unhappy occurances.

For example, my parents were old and I knew they would soon die. I contemplated this and got through it pretty well because I was not expecting them to live forever in perfect health.

Sanghamitta
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Re: Seeing Impermanence

Post by Sanghamitta » Sun Oct 18, 2009 8:15 pm

One of Ajahn Chahs monks told a story about awareness of impermenance and not clinging. He said that Luang Por Chah was given a cup that he used to drink his tea. It was particularly beautiful. A visitor noticed this and remarked on its beauty. Luang Por said, " it is beautiful, and in my mind I have seen it fall to the floor and break many times."
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

shjohnk
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Re: Seeing Impermanence

Post by shjohnk » Sat Oct 24, 2009 5:09 am

rowyourboat wrote:A Buddha is not required to say that everything is impermanent. Ask any man on the street. However a buddha is required to find a path through and beyond impermanence. This is where the meditative practices of vipassana/insight comes in.
Yes, but 'the man on the street' still grasps at things he knows are impermanent. Like you said, it takes insight to realise the futility of this. With me, I have, hopefully, taken the first small step towards this :smile:

sundara
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Re: Seeing Impermanence

Post by sundara » Sun Nov 01, 2009 4:40 pm

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 annhialated. I don't know how to discern conditions.

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IanAnd
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Re: Seeing Impermanence

Post by IanAnd » Mon Nov 02, 2009 6:38 am

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

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catmoon
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Re: Seeing Impermanence

Post by catmoon » Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:32 am

Just a question- what is it you find so disturbing about contemplating impermanence anyhow?

notself
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Re: Seeing Impermanence

Post by notself » Mon Nov 02, 2009 6:52 pm

sundara wrote:Apart from seeing the flowers decay, what other things in the 5 aggregates are beneficial to contemplate impermanence that can lead to calm?
If you are under 60, look at your baby pictures and ask yourself what happened to that child.

If you are over 60, look in a mirror. :tongue:
Though one may conquer a thousand times a thousand men in battle, yet he is indeed the noblest victor who conquers himself. ---Dhp 103

rowyourboat
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Re: Seeing Impermanence

Post by rowyourboat » Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:55 pm

Hi Sundara,before seeing causality it is important to see 'Nama Rupa'-the mental
and material components of reality. A way to do this is to simply categorize every bit ofyour experience under matter and mind. If you see something the visual object and the eye are material,the mind that l
perceives the sight (gives a name to it, decides how pleasant unpleasant or neutral it is for example)as mind. If a sound is heard the sound and the ear which heard it as material and the mind which heard it as mental component. Doing this to 6 sense bases until you stop seeing dogs and cars but seeing only mind and matter automatically isthe 'first insight knoledge of the delineation of mind and matter'.

The next step is to see that these material components are the cause of the mental components. This is then extended in everyway to see everything which happens through the day as cause and effect. So you stop seeing tables and mats but see causes and effects everywhere. I hope this helps. Only possible with good samadhi-otherwise it will remain at the level of theory. This is a 'yonisomanasikara' right contmplation method that we use in my tradition.

With metta
With Metta

Karuna
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