Message Boards Message Boards

Insight and Wisdom

Practicing Insight

Toggle
Practicing Insight
Answer
6/30/18 9:41 PM
Hi,

I’m struggling to understand how to practice insight with the first Jhana.

are there any instructions or examples I could read about.

i don’t understand what it means in MCTB by finding ,metal formations to be impermanent, or checking an awareness of both fingers.

sorry i couldn’t find anything with the search bar
thanks for any help.

RE: Practicing Insight
Answer
7/2/18 2:02 PM as a reply to Matt 0983.
Hi Matt, if you read MCTB thoroughly, you should find the answers there.

When you are beginning the Jhanas perform two functions - they are positive reinforcement to keep meditating, and they increase your concentration.  The traditional instructions are to do jhana, and then practice insight after jhana.  Those who do noting practices often omit jhana, as they are able to encourage concentration through focussing on sensations instead.

Also when, you are beginning, the mental formations are feelings (attraction and aversion) and emotions (fear, anger, disgust, happiness etc).  They are impermanent because they don't last (and also they aren't satisfying, and aren't you).  The aim is to watch them float by (arising, persisting, ceasing) without identifying with them.  Later, the observation of mental formations can include more complicated mental objects and deeper deconstruction of the characteristics of the emotions.

I think by checking awarness of both fingers you mean alternating noticing first one finger and then the other.  If you are calm while having your thumb and index finger lightly touching on each side,  you can notice how the awareness of touch moves from one side to the other.  It feels a little like touching your pulse (the sensation arises and then stops), but it isn't.  If it just attention moving from touching on one side to touching on the other side.  To practice noting, try to get really good at noticing these and other sensations quite precisely, and then steadily increase the tempo of noting from once or twice a second to 10 or 20 times a second.

But I do recommend reading MCTB thoroughly.  It's important to have a thorough grounding and to be aware of the risks, and how to handle them.

RE: Practicing Insight
Answer
7/2/18 2:34 PM as a reply to Matt 0983.
Sorry if MCTB was confusing, and hopefully MCTB2 (the second edition), will help.

What are you trying to do? What outcome do you want from practice? What are your goals?

RE: Practicing Insight
Answer
7/2/18 4:07 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
That is ok, I could do with reading it again but I couldn’t understand it and I read quite a lot of it.
My goals are to end suffering so I think the Buddhist view is interesting in that regard, however I believe in the monad being part of our ultimate self and I know jhana to be a means of accessing that awareness. I believe in hypothesis testing however and I want to be able to use the Buddhist method to continue to deepen my practice to end suffering. I hope that helps.

So if I am reading right, when you come out of jhana you note the sensations and the awareness naturally produces insight into the impermanence of their nature at that stage. Or should I be doing dry insight into understanding their impermanence before hand. Because I’m still not sure how by noting the sensations they become impermanent, perhaps that is something that will show itself with jhana?

RE: Practicing Insight
Answer
7/2/18 5:26 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
P.S. I think MCTB is one of the most easily understood Buddhist resources available. So don’t worry too much about that!

RE: Practicing Insight
Answer
7/7/18 1:06 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Ok, I have re-read MCTB and I found this as well: https://dharmatreasure.org/wp-content/uploads/Meditation-and-Insight-III.pdf

I
 am understanding better. What I am understanding is that we see when the object of attention fades so does the consciousness attending to the object. That helps me to understand how nama and rupa are impermanent. Does that make sense.

I will wait until I have first Jhana anyway, but I thought I would prepare myself for then.