Three Characteristics?

Leonardo bruh sman, modified 2 Years ago at 8/31/19 2:50 PM
Created 2 Years ago at 8/31/19 2:48 PM

Three Characteristics?

Post: 1 Join Date: 8/31/19 Recent Posts
Hello guys, this is my first time posting here so pardon me if there are any mistakes. Plus, I am not a native speaker so I would like to apologise in advance.

So, I would like to know if I have 'achieved' the 3rd stage in the 16 stages of insight. A little bit about me: I've been practicing meditation for around 5 months using TMI and am currently at around stage 5/6. Long story short, after reading 'A discourse on Anattalakkhana Sutta' by Mahasi Sayadaw, I became interested in noting and tried it. As I did, realised several things:

1. Without consciousness, you won't be able to 'hear', 'see', etc. Although you might hear a 'sound', without being conscious about it, you won't be able to 'notice' it. And the moment you notice or become conscious of something, feelings arise

2. All the 5 aggregates are connected to each other. For example, consciousness makes feeling appear, and feelings can cause mental formations, memories or bodily movements to rise.

3. These things---the feelings, mental formations, thoughts, consciousness appear due to certain conditions. And because they appear due to certain conditions, you can't really control it. (Before realising this, I didn't only note but also try to discern the three characteristics in the thing that I note, is this okay?)

4. After reading the 'Discourse on Anattalakkhana Sutta', it's evident that these things aren't the 'soul', but they are merely aggregates. The reason for this is because they are connected or interdependent to each other. It's not the 'soul' that feels, as feelings won't arise if there is no consciousness or other aggregates. 

When I was doing noting, I also realise that the aggregates are so fast. For example, a feeling instantly rises after being conscious of a sound.

That's all guys. I would appreciate it if you guys can give me any feedback on how to progress beyond this level.
Paul, modified 2 Years ago at 9/1/19 8:39 AM
Created 2 Years ago at 9/1/19 8:38 AM

RE: Three Characteristics?

Posts: 71 Join Date: 1/24/19 Recent Posts
Hey L, sounds good that you’re reading up on Mahasi Sayadaw and getting into the traditional definitions and stages. I read that book while training at the Mahasi Centre in Yangon earlier this year. Those old texts can be dry, but revealing!

Sounds to me like you’ve probably seen the 1st insight knowledge of Mind & Body pretty clearly, and maybe also the 2nd of Cause & Effect. Although of course reading about these stages can lead us into thinking about it, and looking for signs of it, so much that we are ‘scripted’ into thinking it’s happened. So to be sure, you really have to just push on. You asked about how to progress, and as annoyingly simple as it sounds, the instructions remain mostly the same right through the entire path - just keeping noting, watching everything that appears to consciousness including mental stuff, and just keep on going, keep on going. Eventually everything unfolds, as if on its own, if you just keep going. 

If you really want to see progress, I’d recommend heading off to a Mahasi method meditation centre and putting in some solid time on the cushion. I can’t tell you much about western countries, but there’s a blog that lists a few places, here:

All the best!