The Three Characteristics as both a vehicle and final destination? [Jason S

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The Three Characteristics as both a vehicle and final destination? [Jason S

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The Three Characteristics as both a vehicle and final destination? [Jason Snyder]


Jason Snyder - 2014-05-05 01:53:40 - The Three Characteristics as both a vehicle and final destination?

In reference to the Vipassana advice that we should be focused on the sensations of the moment while keeping in mind the Three characteristics (3Cs):

Should all of our attention be focused on the immediate present, without any conceptualizing or filtering, with the expectation that insight into the 3Cs will then just kind of descend like manna from heaven as a result? Or, after we get sufficiently concentrated, should we use one of the 3Cs as a platform, as a lens from which to interpret sensations? In other words, is insight into the 3cs only an end result, or is it also a vehicle to get there?

For example, Rob Burbea recommends the practice of noting things as "empty" as a way to gain insight into no-self. This is different then just noting things without any presupposition. Another example of using insight as a vehicle is direct pointing, where we are noticing sensations and asking or telling ourselves, "not me, not mine". 

Thanks in advance for your input!

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Richard Zen - 2014-05-05 03:38:30 - RE: The Three Characteristics as both a vehicle and final destination?

The three C's are perceptions.  They aren't the result.  They lead you to relinquishing clinging.  Impermanence as a perception goes against the grain of solidity that people habitually react to.  Stress/dukkha of clinging to impermanent things teaches you to fantasize/ruminate/cling less.  The fact that you don't truly own anything that is impermanent means no self.  Seeing all five aggregates with the 3C's should create major disenchantment and relinquishment of attachment.  Then you should notice more mental peace.  The goal is more pervasive mental peace (even in normally stressful situations).  The progress on the path is continuing to refine more elusive clingings we haven't seen clearly enough with the 3 Cs and continue relinquishing clinging and developing MORE peace.  I'm pretty sure this can span a lifetime.  There are so many things you can cling to throughout the day (especially goals that could be frustrated), and this will include Buddhism, staying in the present moment, disliking a wandering mind, disliking a lack of progress, etc.

Eg's When we really like something our amygdala looks at only the good side of an object.  When we really dislike something we only look at the bad side of an object.  Nothing is permanently good or bad.  Nothing is permanently solid or non-existent.  It's inbetween. Some objects used in the proper way can be useful and used in improper ways, very dangerous.  Rob Burbea's idea of seeing things as "empty" has to do with impermanence.  If you want to go deeper on how perceptions are malleable you can look into the example of the hammer by Martin Heidegger.  Look at "Present-at-hand" versus looking at objects as "ready-to-hand".  We look at perceptions to find usefulness for our gratification.

All we need to cling is a perception of a object, that we want to have or to get rid of, being separate from an attaching "self".  Try to find little aversions and desires here and there and notice your perception is measuring something and wanting to decide "is it good for me or bad for me?"

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Dream Walker - 2014-05-05 05:20:04 - RE: The Three Characteristics as both a vehicle and final destination?

Jason Snyder:
Should all of our attention be focused on the immediate present, without any conceptualizing or filtering, with the expectation that insight into the 3Cs will then just kind of descend like manna from heaven as a result? Or, after we get sufficiently concentrated, should we use one of the 3Cs as a platform, as a lens from which to interpret sensations? In other words, is insight into the 3cs only an end result, or is it also a vehicle to get there?
It is both. I note without a lens and every once in a while use the lens and see the "object" (whatever comes up) as not lasting, isn't me and does not satisfy. Most of the time I just note but in each stage of Nana's I spend a little time with the 3C's.
Good luck,
~D

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Jack Hatfield - 2014-05-06 11:20:52 - RE: The Three Characteristics as both a vehicle and final destination?

Here is a guided meditation by Ron Burbea on the Three Characteristics that might help you: http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/210/talk/9543/

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Adam Dietrich Ringle - 2014-05-06 16:23:37 - RE: The Three Characteristics as both a vehicle and final destination?

While sutra practice will eventually find a conclusion for itself, tantra practice wants to continue into infinity.

Just ask these guys:



Note the lame Buddha sitting up top. He doesn't want to waste his breath preaching about the three characteristics.

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Adam Dietrich Ringle - 2014-05-06 18:19:32 - RE: The Three Characteristics as both a vehicle and final destination?

That is my interpretation of what you are asking, and my interpretation of the picture. Now I am curious to see what you have to say? ! emoticon

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Daniel M. Ingram - 2014-05-07 04:10:08 - RE: The Three Characteristics as both a vehicle and final destination?

As to method:

Definitely use them as a filter, as otherwise we tend to not notice them as much and focus on solving things, specifics, and the like, whereas just noticing sensation after sensation arise on their own violating the tense illusion of a separate, continuous self is total gold and really fast for those who can just do this simple thing.

As to result:

Impermanence is understood, as the field is so fresh and new and fascinatingly changing each moment.

No-Self is understood directly, so that the fresh, natural, causal field just does its thing and knows itself, as it always did.

Suffering is not a result, finally, as when the other two are known, and the suffering of dualistic illusion and clinging the illusions of stability, solidity, will, separateness, etc. is directly perceived clearly as it is, the suffering of delusion and ignorance stops, as the thing flips over to the other way of knowing things, the better way, the clear, direct way.
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RE: The Three Characteristics as both a vehicle and final destination? [Jas

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The one thing that I think I failed to mention in my post, and that I realize now is so very important, is that the buddha is not an island. He is observed too. So if you find an island that is made up of the three characteristics, then it will have to transcend the illusion of subject and object.
Nice new format...
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RE: The Three Characteristics as both a vehicle and final destination? [Jas

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New format is dope.
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Jason Snyder, modified 8 Years ago at 5/7/14 8:23 PM
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RE: The Three Characteristics as both a vehicle and final destination? [Jas

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Thanks folks, responses really helpful...some more then others emoticon
Jack Hatfield, modified 8 Years ago at 5/25/14 8:47 PM
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RE: The Three Characteristics as both a vehicle and final destination? [Jas

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I would like to revisit this. Here are some possibilities. 1). We can ignore what we learned about the 3 C's conceptually and just do our vipassana practice hoping that what we have learned  about the 3 C's will seep through into our meditation practice and life. 2). We can set an intention before our meditation session to use one or all the 3 C's as a filter but not consciously address them during our meditation. 3). Consciously address one or all the 3 C's during our meditation practice. Ideas?
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Jason Snyder, modified 8 Years ago at 5/25/14 9:18 PM
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RE: The Three Characteristics as both a vehicle and final destination? [Jas

Posts: 186 Join Date: 10/25/13 Recent Posts
Jack Hatfield:
I would like to revisit this. Here are some possibilities. 1). We can ignore what we learned about the 3 C's conceptually and just do our vipassana practice hoping that what we have learned  about the 3 C's will seep through into our meditation practice and life. 2). We can set an intention before our meditation session to use one or all the 3 C's as a filter but not consciously address them during our meditation. 3). Consciously address one or all the 3 C's during our meditation practice. Ideas?


Lately I have been finding the 1) and 3) approaches to be necessary complements to one another. I usually start with the straight up Vipassana practice - either noting or open awareness, without trying to look for the 3C's. Sometimes it works out well, I get ensconsed in the moment and suddenly and unexpectedly, there is a moment of perceiving sensations completely without a self. But oftentimes nothing seems to be happening and when I switch to direct inquiry (i.e., asking "where am I", labeling "who hears"or "who feels", or directly trying to "see" that I don't exist as an identity) and get immediate traction. But if I do this too much it starts to feel like I am over-psychologizing, trying too much to understand it intellectually, and then I have to switch back to just noticing mode. 

Surprisingly enough I have recently found Sam Harris's guided meditation to be a nice mixture of both approaches...Starting with the noticing and then directly trying break down the wall between subject and object. 

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