We explore further the nature of samadhi practice, then examine the relationship of samadhi practice and insight practice generally. We focus for most of the talk on practicing "three ways of seeing"--seeing impermanence, dukkha (reactivity, unsatisfactoriness), and anatta (not-self)--with an emphasis on practicing with seeing impermanence.
We explore how the ordinary experience of dukkha becomes dukkha ñāṇa, understanding of the universal characteristic (samañña lakkhaṇa) of dukkha. We look at the how the perception of impermanence (anicca-saññā) creates anxiety when the heart intuits the groundless of experience, and how the unfolding of this anxiety is mapped by the dukkha ñāṇas of classical Theravāda Buddhism. Finally, we see how the experience of dukkha gives way to that of not-self (anattā), when the heart stabilises through the maturity of mindfulness (sati) and equanimity (upekkhā).
Here we look at one aspect of the teaching of anattā, that of life-after-life, or rebirth. We see that this teaching does not say that any being or thing transfers from one life to the next, and yet because we are caught up in identity we can’t help but think in such terms. We also look at some characteristics of our culture that make it particularly difficult for us to come to terms with this teaching.
We continue with Anattalakkhaṇa Sutta, here focusing on the turning point represented by disenchantment (nibbidā). This creates a process of the fading of obsession, liberation and the exhaustion of birth. The Buddha expresses as a state of intimacy, conveyed by the statement, “There is no more of this!”
After teaching the first Buddhist meditation retreat to the five ascetics, the Buddha introduces the topic of not-self (anattā) with Anattalakkhaṇa Sutta. Tonight we look at the Buddha’s perspective on how we create a self by clinging to five categories or “bundles” (khandha) of experience. The key moves are: “This is mine;” “I am this;” and “This is my self.”