Ths is the way I did it myself, taken from my blog.
I would simply recall the two perceptions above (anicca and anatta) and ponder how when any phenomena is grasped at, hung onto, craved, averted from, lunged onto by a hungry mind, that because of the lack of the two perceptions above, suffering and mental stress ensues. With this notion in the forefront of the mind, that grasping at such phenomena in any way regardless of being pleasant, unpleasant or neutral is inherently stressful, phenomena is cognised. This will lead to de-grasping, letting go of, becoming dispassionate for all phenomena that makes up 'the field of experience', and the craving and the aversion will lose its fuel and thus strength and begin to fade. The dark night will fly by when this is done correctly, because if it isn't, phenomena will be reacted to as if 'permanent', 'of the self', and with ignorance of the very fact that the mind creates it own fabricated madness by grasping at impermanent and not of self phenomena.
So remember those three perceptions. And that's what the Buddha called them, "perceptions": the perception of inconstancy, the perception of stress, the perception of not-self. He never called them characteristics. He never talked about three characteristics. You do a search for the term, "three characteristics" in the Pali Canon, and you're not going to find it. The Buddha's talking about a way of perceiving that helps you see through your attachments, that helps you see through your delusions about where you can find happiness, so that the question that lies at the beginning of wisdom — What when I do it will lead to my true long-term welfare and happiness?" — finally gets its answer in the skills you've developed. And part of the strategy in mastering those skills is to master the tasks that are appropriate to the four noble truths. That's what we're doing: We're working on those tasks so that we can handle them skillfully. We want to skillfully comprehend stress and suffering, so we can understand why it is that we keep feeding on these things, even though they ultimately lead to disappointment. That helps us develop dispassion for the craving that keeps pushing us in that direction, so that we can let it go. At the same time, we're developing the path that puts the mind in a position where it can do this without feeling threatened, until it no longer needs that particular position, that particular center. Then you can take that apart as well. Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Nikolaiwhen any phenomena is grasped at, hung onto, craved, averted from, lunged onto by a hungry mind, that because of the lack of the two perceptions above, suffering and mental stress ensues
Is this true of all sensations? Is there a quality of dukkha in everything that is sensed? I ask this because sometimes the dukkha is clear, and other times it is not.For example, I was practicing this morning and noticed that my feet felt good on the carpet, but I can't say I felt any grasping with that. Could that sensation have happened dukkha free, or is it happening at a more subtle level (and thus the need for all this practice)?
Is this true of all sensations? Is there a quality of dukkha in everything that is sensed? I ask this because sometimes the dukkha is clear, and other times it is not.
Yes, it's true and it can be extremely subtle. You may have to work for a long time to pick up on the most subtle indications. And... don't mistake what you think of as "good" feelings for not being unsatisfactory. Any clinging/desire to keep it around is dissatisfaction because guess what? Impermanence.
Yes, it's true and it can be extremely subtle. You may have to work for a long time to pick up on the most subtle indications.
Okay, that makes sense. Since it's tied to perception of self it makes sense that it would take just as long to really see in all of its subtleties.