How to perceive no self and diss=atifactoryness

Ivan Perez, modified 9 Months ago at 7/12/23 5:48 AM
Created 9 Months ago at 7/12/23 5:48 AM

How to perceive no self and diss=atifactoryness

Posts: 14 Join Date: 2/17/23 Recent Posts
when doing insight meditation how do you perceive the characteristics of no self and disatisfactoryness? Perceiving impermanence seems straightforward to me, just observing the arising and passing of sensations. but how does one observe the other two characteristics?
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Jim Smith, modified 9 Months ago at 7/12/23 11:08 AM
Created 9 Months ago at 7/12/23 7:42 AM

RE: How to perceive no self and diss=atifactoryness

Posts: 1682 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Magnus Frable
when doing insight meditation how do you perceive the characteristics of no self and disatisfactoryness? Perceiving impermanence seems straightforward to me, just observing the arising and passing of sensations. but how does one observe the other two characteristics?

This is how I do it. The quote is from my blog. I observe dukkha when I experience unpleasant emotions and cravings. I observe impermanence as dukkha arises and fades and as the sense of self changes from situation to situation. The changing sense of self is anatta (no permanent unchanging self). Details below, more at the link:
https://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2023/05/observing-mind.html
One method of observing the mind is to observe the activity of the mind in meditation and with mindfulness in daily life.
  • Observe thoughts, emotions, impulses, sensory experiences and the sense of self. Sensory experiences include, for example: seeing, hearing, touch, smell, hot/cold, pain/pleasure anything you experience with your senses outside or inside your body. The sense of self is explained below where its constantly changing nature is explained.
  • Notice the physical sensations in your body that accompany emotions.
  • Notice how suffering arises in the mind when emotions occur in reaction to situations, thoughts, or memories.
  • It is easy to see that disliking and not wanting are unpleasant, but also notice that liking and wanting are unpleasant. Wanting something you don't have is unpleasant. Worrying about losing something you like is unpleasant. The feeling of impatience is unpleasant. And the feelings of regret and loss after a pleasant situation has ended are unpleasant.
  • Also notice how your ego is involved in so many unpleasant emotions.
  • Notice that your sense of being successful depends on getting what you want/like and avoiding what you don't want/don't like, and so your ego, your sense of self, is involved in liking, wanting, disliking and not wanting.
  • Also notice how your sense of self (identity) is constantly changing. From one moment to the next you might think of yourself as a student, or a friend, or a parent, or a worker, or a manager, or a music lover, or a musician, or a person of your nationality or ethnicity or a sport fan, or an athlete, or someone who engages in a specific hobby, a winner, a loser, smart, stupid, better, worse, etc etc. Your identity, your "self", is not a constant unchanging thing.
  • Notice that when you relax, emotions fade, suffering fades, without anything being suppressed. Suffering, mental anguish, is a state of mind, when the mind/body is relaxed it is not in a state of anguish. If you're not sure how to relax, try taking a deep breath, or try breathing in a way you find relaxing. Also try to notice if there is muscle tension in your body and move those muscles a few times to release the tension. You can also do relaxing meditation to help relax and let go of emotions. If you can't relax, try metta or piti or sukkha.
When you observe these things, you are observing the three characteristics (suffering [dukkha], impermanence, and not-self) which helps you to develop detachment that leads to letting go. And when you do let go, when you relax instead of letting thoughts, emotions, and impulses take over your mind and body, you are interrupting the chain of dependent origination.



Another aspect to anatta that you experience when observing the mind is that every time your mind wanders in meditation it shows you that you don't control your own mind. If you can't control it, if it is independent, how can it be you or yours? And if you can observe it, it isn't you either. Your thoughts emotions, impulses, sensory experiences arise from unconscious processes, they are not you or yours. Even if you feel like you are using your mind to solve a problem, where did the impulse to solve the problem come form? You might think you are just an observer but that sense of being an observer, the sense of self, is just like any other thought or feeling, it arises from unconscious process, it isn't you or yours. Buddha called consciousness a magicians trick.
Ivan Perez, modified 9 Months ago at 7/12/23 9:14 AM
Created 9 Months ago at 7/12/23 9:14 AM

RE: How to perceive no self and diss=atifactoryness

Posts: 14 Join Date: 2/17/23 Recent Posts
thank u but i was looking more for a specific practice if u have one
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Smiling Stone, modified 9 Months ago at 7/12/23 11:15 AM
Created 9 Months ago at 7/12/23 11:15 AM

RE: How to perceive no self and diss=atifactoryness

Posts: 341 Join Date: 5/10/16 Recent Posts
Hello Magnus,
Just sit for longer (beyond your comfort zone -until you perceive some unease at sitting for long periods-), it's actually pretty straightforward! Anatta will develop naturally from the other two characteristics..
metta 
smiling stone
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Jim Smith, modified 9 Months ago at 7/12/23 11:20 AM
Created 9 Months ago at 7/12/23 11:18 AM

RE: How to perceive no self and diss=atifactoryness

Posts: 1682 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Magnus Frable
thank u but i was looking more for a specific practice if u have one


I don't understand what you are asking.

When I experience an unpleasant emotion or craving, that is unsatisfactoriness. With anatta, it's hard to observe something that isn't there, it's hard to observe that a permanent unchanging self isn't there, you have to observe everything that might be a permanent unchanging self (body, thougts, emotions, impulses, sensory experiences, sense of self, feeling of being an observer) and notice that it isn't permanent and unchanging and that you don't control it so it must be independent from you, and if you can observe it it must be outside yourself.

I watch the activity in my mind and observe the phenomena I described. I do this during sitting meditation (any kind of meditation, observing the breath, noting, walking meditation) and during daily life (washing the dishes, walking to the store, etc). Whatever technique I use to meditate, there is still activity of the mind going on. I don't try to stop my mind, I observe it, but the meditation technique will calm the mind and slow it down so I can see what is happening without getting carried away by thoughts emotions and impulses.
Adi Vader, modified 9 Months ago at 7/12/23 11:22 AM
Created 9 Months ago at 7/12/23 11:22 AM

RE: How to perceive no self and diss=atifactoryness

Posts: 291 Join Date: 6/29/20 Recent Posts
Please see this:

https://www.reddit.com/r/streamentry/comments/tucalw/vipashyana_geared_towards_the_quality_of_anatma/

And this:

https://www.reddit.com/r/streamentry/comments/ooq1p7/vipassana_the_progress_of_insight_part_2_insight/
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Ni Nurta, modified 9 Months ago at 7/12/23 3:14 PM
Created 9 Months ago at 7/12/23 3:14 PM

RE: How to perceive no self and diss=atifactoryness

Posts: 1100 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
no self - see if this sensation which you analyze is you or not
dukkha (unsatisfactoriness) - check if this sensation is satisfacotry or not
impremanence - check if given sensation really is gone or maybe it arose from the same source so to speak

The value of these practices is proportional to if you actually investigate these questions or just mechanically try to do least investigation possible to get some effects. If you do investigation and the answer you come up doesn't agree with 3C do not deny it or try to see it "the right way" - rather notice differences between one answer and the other. There is nothing inherently better in 3C vs anti-3C and both set of characteristics is ultimately true. The optimal way is to actually investigate and ask questions - if you will then you will know exactly in what way sensations are impermanent or permament, dukkha or sukkha or no-self or self.

Be hones with oneself related to sensations. Any aspects which seem eg. satisfactory vs unsatisfactory it is best to acknowledge and investigate deeper than just force oneself to see it as unsatisfactory. Same for self, if it feels it is you then note itand go deeper. If it feels it is not self then do the same and investigate deeper. etc.
Ivan Perez, modified 9 Months ago at 7/16/23 1:50 PM
Created 9 Months ago at 7/16/23 1:50 PM

RE: How to perceive no self and diss=atifactoryness

Posts: 14 Join Date: 2/17/23 Recent Posts
okay thank you. I already do that, I just wondered if maybe there was something i was missing. you've been very helpful thank u

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