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Insight and Wisdom

Looking at the 3 characteristics in daily life


How does one maintain awareness of the 3 characteristics in daily life?

If possible, in simple step for step instructions? emoticon

RE: Looking at the 3 characteristics in daily life
11/7/15 8:56 AM as a reply to MangaDesuYo.
I found noting with mental labelling to be helfpul.  While you're not exactly directly looking for any of the three by noting, switching between different notes seems to highlight impermanence, the phrasing of the note does the not-self thing, and the unilateral judgement of everything leads to equanimity, which can show how its' all unsatisfactory.  Noting with labelling was the easiest daily life technique for me because the process of coming up with a mental label forces you to stay focused.  Even if you're only using 30% of your attention to stay with the meditation, it will still probably work.  

I would also just 'notice' without mental labels.  An example of this would be watching a leaf fly through the air and trying to 'freeze-frame' the image of it as many times as possible before it hit the ground.  I would try to speed up my perception of many things in daily life.  When listening to music I would try to catch as many little mini notes as possible.  It got really intense for me because I would do this for many hours every day.

The overarching theme for me, that was helpful, was just having a lot of motivation and devotion to the cause.  I was even willing to let my work performance slip slightly when I would be focused on meditating at work.  I would also sometimes be distracted in conversations with people for the same reason.  In the end, it was all worth it for the positive side-effects of the path moments.

RE: Looking at the 3 characteristics in daily life
11/8/15 7:19 AM as a reply to MangaDesuYo.

Remember penetration of one of the 3 characteristics results in penetration of all 3.

I depend on my formal meditation sessions to eventually seep into the rest of my life. I make little effort during the rest of the day to practice.

Shinzen Young suggests we do 6-8 mini-sessions of 2-5 minutes during our regular activities to do a meditation. Self-inquiry is a good practice for this.

RE: Looking at the 3 characteristics in daily life
2/21/18 2:26 PM as a reply to Noah.
You mentioned changing the phrasing of the noting leads to insight into emptiness. What do you mean by "phrasing"?

RE: Looking at the 3 characteristics in daily life
2/21/18 3:09 PM as a reply to MangaDesuYo.
The 3 characteristics can seem like a bit of an abstract concept at first and this always confused me as to whether I was doing it"right" or not. I would add that noting is especially useful because it gets you used to seeing things without glossing it over with a tapestry of fabrications. Noting practice is essentially stripping down the sense fields to small bits that is then comprehended in real time. That way, the delusions that give rise to our stories and karma (permanence, self and satisfaction) are dissolved. It is then a case of remaining with experience and losing our addiction to ourselves and our stories.

This may not be the right way of explaining, but I thought I'd try and foster an intuitive approach as it's easy to get lost in the details and not realise it. It takes going against the flow of everything you used to do to be happy, in order to be happy.

RE: Looking at the 3 characteristics in daily life
2/22/18 3:50 PM as a reply to Dom Stone.
In my very limited experience, I have tried to see the things mentioned by other meditators to great frustration. What is this observing of the watcher? for e.g. and I beat myself silly over trying to see the specifics of what they see. The reality of investigating doesn't work that way for me and to add on to what Pawel says - I have found that focusing on clear-seeing is optimal. Some wise person said (Daniel MI?):
Whatever you can work on is what you can perceive moment to moment.
Noting is greatly misunderstood as a magic pill - beginners firing off noting without having interest in the object can lead nowhere. I humbly suggest that you find out what it does (with speed and all other varying parameters) instead of being fed, everyone is unique and probably at a stage of progress differing from general advice. Being mindful of what you are naturally inclined towards (4 mindfulnesses) and use that. I found it rewarding to watch feeling / consciousness and setting off alarms when encountered with coarse mental sensations (e.g. ill will) - easy to detect.

[This post is not written to anyone in particular. This information may be useful for those looking for off-cushion practice alternatives.]

RE: Looking at the 3 characteristics in daily life
2/22/18 3:24 AM as a reply to Dom Stone.
Are you referring to qualities of emptiness and the stuff from which conditioned reality depends upon? Perhaps I should have said delusions of conditioned reality (permanence, self and satisfaction), as I think that discussing properties of emptiness can confuse when the mind is not even yet trained to constantly question what it sees.

While I agree with you, that didn't stop me from over complicating things back then. It wasn't until halfway through first path when I suddenly realised, properly "Ahhh, so all this meditation stuff is just to get me to stop making things up", when before I thought it was like some magic practice that just somehow got people enlightened. Before this was the time I forgot to note "thinking, thinking", when I was delighting in what a "good meditator" I was becoming.

I think that the 3 characteristics is a natural intuitive thing to try notice, however without right view, we could do the most stupid things and still think we are meditating which is why some people need a teacher.

RE: Looking at the 3 characteristics in daily life
2/22/18 5:21 PM as a reply to MangaDesuYo.

I will explain what I do when I work with 3c in daily life.

What works for me is:

1- frist trying to have awareness of my whole body, you can start focusing on your feet, little by little try to be aware of all your body, what I trying to be aware about sensations and emotions. When I do this I can feel a lot of sensations and and I can see the attention move spontaneously from one place to another or having a few sensations here and there. Is like a symphony of sensations and emotions arraising and pasing away. 

When this is happening, when you are aware of that at frist you can reflect for exemple, you can make it more short or larger I just wrote the frist that comes to my mind right now:

"All this sensations are arising and pasing away, I can see it, im aware of it, indeed I can see all this impermenance."

"I dont have any control of this sensations that are happening right know, they are arrising, doing their thing and then passing away, Im not in control of it. There are sensations but no one having them."

"I see myself attached and craving to good sensation and feelings, and rejecting bad feelings or sensations. I see my attachment and raction of my body sensations, to my emotions etc..this is indeed lead me to suffer".

With the practice you don't need to say all of this, you don't need to say nothing you just see it. If you keep practing you can get and ongoing awarness of it. At diferents moments you will see a Charactersitic with more intensity than another. 

For exemple: If you have a big discussion with someone maybe you will feel anger, frustration or resenment and probably you will feel bad or trying to take away this feelings, then you can see the suffering of it, also you can see that there is anger but in a deep level no one having this emotion, so its more easy to just make space for that emotion to manifest, allowing to let do their thing and stay with some point it will disapper and then you can also see the impermanence.

If you want to go more deeper, you can stay with the emotion and see the intensity of it and see how it goes up and down with intensity, you can make and scale to 1-10, and track the emotion and is 1 now 0 etc. You can do this also if you have some pain or body tension.

Also you can play more with it...if you are focusing in the emotion, for exemple anger, that is bad, you can also be aware of the feeling of the wind in your head and body, the sensation of the feet in contact with the ground when you are walking..., the sun touching your skin etc, this mix of bad emotions/diferent sensations can help to put "distance" and see your  self in a more global expirience, also you can see that not everything is "black or white"...and also black and white can be at the same time..., is just is what it is in this present moment, and its ok... also helps with disattachment and not taking what you are expiriencing so seriusly, a small taste of freedom...emoticon

When we do this practice of 3 charactersitics in daily life we have a paradox becouse we are taking distance of the expirience but at the same time going really deep on it, its amazing emoticon!

I didn't talk to much about thinking and mental proces but it would be something similar but more difficult to "see", at least for me. I dont know how to explain propietly with my level of english...Is like to see the illusion of the thinker and the self. See that we are really attached of some kind of thinking process that we say "ah! this is totally me!", the trick is to see that is just and ilusion and then go layer after layer, you will see thinking is just a stream of energy that comes and goes and we are continuously identifying with that process, seeing this is more easy to just accept and be open with that arrise in the thinking process, the judgment of what is good or bad its reduced, we only observe what is manifesting...

Recently I had powerfull insights about the thinking thing that break the idea of myself so its early to say anything about it, need time and prespective.

well this is my contribution, have fun with your daily practice...can be very powerfull emoticon