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How does “Insight” fit into the meditation systems


Q&A: How does Vipassana fit into the stages of meditation?

Master Culadasa explains the path of insight from its beginnings to the ultimate awakening. This is a continuation of the question on what happens after the nine levels. He goes on to give more details on the experience of awakening.

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Culadasa: Let's just talk about how insight is achieve what that, what the nature of that insight is relatively important insight and how that culminates. And so I think that I think the most important thing that is necessary before insight connect. Is essentially stagnated. It's so many things and that through the download, we look at it and the beginning and the end of the same thing where there are different degrees of the same thing, but Benny, the beginning of any path or insight is a change and the way a person regards themselves and.

And of course the final stage that culmination of one side is that same thing that a much deeper level, but the first is which you can understand to intellectual reflection that although I think of myself as a, an of being living and a universe made up of many other separate and discreet answers.

Which I ended rat. If I reflect, I realize that is all and imprints are storytelling by the mine there as what my entire existence has consisted of is a series of experiences. It Buddha the Buddhist, the quarter of the Buddhist teaching, kind of Janney, as they pointed out that Dean and experience are Imam.

And then all of this good chains of being, and any other terms are just so sorry, is that the mind makes up what your entire life has consisted of is a sequence of experiences and what those experiences consist out is consciousness. And whatever is being taken as the object of consciousness in that experience in that moment.

So the beginning of insight is, and this kind of comes spontaneously. If you sit down and just meditate for long enough, and you're watching your graph and you're watching this and you're watching that, eventually it will Dawn on you that all that's happening here. I'm conscious that this object and then it passes away and something else rises up the minute passes away and something else by itself.

And then you notice that yeah, on there, connectedly charting the sensation of the fly landing, unmarked border head triggers. The next object of consciousness, which is the perception of the fly, which is followed by the next , which is the feeling of annoyance, which is followed by the next outfits of consciousness, which is the urge to brush it away.

And then if you actually performed an action, the object of consciousness is an intention. And then the next thing that follows is not any self doing anything, but right. Sensations of correspond to the body, pairing out action. So one approach to repasado is just tell somebody to sit down long enough.

They'll eventually they start to figure this out, but the shark of is finished this note in the beginning that, every reflect that your life is a series of experiences that they're causally connected to. There's both immediate causality, one moment for the next, but also there is a longer term pause, Alec, how you may react in this moment may be determined by experiences that you had.

And sometime in the past last week, last year on your two years old, who knows, but it doesn't matter attack. When you reflect even more, are you really. All of these experiences and the past and some bigger and other are influencing the experiences and you have in the present moment. And the reaction of your mind would present experiences is the south outed, which together with the past video, a little bit a part of the whole thing where it determines what you're experiencing, like future date.

So at that point you have attained with purification or. You retained the right view, but it allows you to began to penetrate more deeply in terms of the cultivation or insight. So usually traditionally it said that the insights that your actor are the inside of answer, the three characteristics that all phenomena, which you have to understand phenomena and and booted out.

Is, are these mental events, right? But by which you experience thing, whether it's the idea of something that you think exists, or whether it's a sensory experience, all of these are phenomenon and that the characteristic of all phenomenon is that they are in permanent and that they are empty.

As you said, in meditation. Once you have the right view when you began to realize that for example, you'll notice that sensations just come and go a constant flux and there is no permanent empathy in those sensations that all qualities of stinkiness where they're St before.

Some sort of temporal temporarily enduring substance or thing or object that is identified and associated with particular qualities, that this is all something that is actually projected by the mind to explain the sequence of sensations that are paying. And of course your line does a beautiful job of creating a coherent explanation based on all of your past experience.

And so at some point you will realize that everything is impermanent and that everything is mine, V8, that whatever the source views, all the sensations that you experienced. That near my out of those sensations manufacturers, the reality. And then this insight, when you carry it over into all the rest of your experiences, you, you realize that's why different people experience different things in their ways.

Every one of us, every person is doing the same thing that I am doing. Their mine is creating a reality to account for sensitive. At the level of, at the most basic level, all of our minds are very similar. So all of our minds and struck things that are very similar. So in terms of the most fundamental characteristics by which read this.

Our projected and external world, which is actually internal world. There's a lot of conventional reality because we can talk about an object like this, and we can agree on all kinds of its characteristic. And we compare our experiences, but

reality and forces far more elaborate than the description of individual objects. Certainly. And as soon as we knew to site and more complex level of reality, we re we just started were outside of the realm of conventional reality. There is no conventional reality back the level of values and judgments that we all have different values and judgment.

Part of. Our experience or our conventional reality includes those sayings. So they're not shared. And so if you get into one review, where that be video of that, we realize that things are not only is our mind and God pain with you over the universe. If we stick to just simple objects and the fact that we all see them in the same way, we might think that.

Our mind, you must be doing a really good job in producing a very accurate version of what's out there. And so therefore there must be an out there that corresponds per my vision and here, but when we look at it beyond just the most, very simple level, we discovered that's not true, that everyone is living in a different world than in reality.

The same thing happens to two people and then experience in very bad. Sorry, we've discovered that it is empty. The discovery of impermanence is not that there are gearing things that are come into existence last little while and then disappear is that everything was in blocks. If we begin to examine our minds, first we noticed that all sensation, Hans knowledge.

And we observed the sensation of your breath or the rise and fall of your abdomen or anything. And you'll see that all sensations are consents continually in flux. And the closest there is to any thickness Islam and in them is that there are certain patterns that your mind was capable of recognizing them that recur, but otherwise sensation, but realm of form is not been good.

And then when we began to reflect introspectively and we watch our mind, as our mind is constantly generating reality. we see the same thing that these metal objects that were, that I account for everything, the same thing that they are continuously changing. If we turn this from the external world for the examination of.

And we look for the self. We think we are the self that we think we are. There's that sense that it's permanent and it's men and I'm as long as I can remember, and I expect it to continue being there. So I have a sense of the software has permanent. And I also think of this cell that I have, or that are.

As being separate and distinct independent that myself, the one that my thing is really player as a whatever, and myself, it is separate and distinct from those things that are not solved, but very much defined this the way it is a separate. And the other thing is that this self is unitary, that there is just one of the.

And in terms of the permanence, it's always been the same one of me. So if we examine our sense of self, we find that, and then we say to ourselves okay, this is the self that I believe that I am and not, I feel like I am, and what is its function? The self is the experiencer and the self is the doer.

So in the next stage of. It's easier to sit. It's easy comparatively to see that the world is actually empty. And the sense that we have does not have a nature from its own side of the self existent nature of being the way, our mind projected activity that we can see. And if we practice a lot, then we can see it more and more often.

But as it is, magnitudes are zippered all the more difficult. You get past this feeling that we are a permanent unitary and separate cell, that is the experiencer of all of these sayings. And who's the decision maker and intender and initiator of our activity. So this is the really difficult one for us to work on, but when we examine it, would you say.

Observe what's taking place and our mind moment by moment while meditating not motivated. And of course we can supplement this with various kinds of analysis, but we have to do analysis and observation. We go in search are the permanent, separate and changings and pertinent, separate and unitary.

Everywhere. We look, it's not there because we find that the description of self we come up with is constantly changing. But we are at different self at different times and different circumstances and at best, whatever it is, that these five aggregates is constantly modifying and chain being changed.

Things external to it and buck hangs in smell it. And what you do discover is that there is a continuity and B in the sequence of experiences that makes us up there is caught. There is positive continuity, but we find that the aspect of permanence dissolves and disappears, and there is only a causal or Heimlich auth.

And here the two is as we go into it more deeply. One of the things that we will discover through direct observation is that there is no experiencer that when we look, we'll see, there are all those instances where we are seeing whether there's no sear, we're thinking that there's no thinker we're hearing, but there's no.

And we will notice that the hearer, that the cell, the idea of who we are is actually a separate mental object that arises independently of me saying, and painting, and is taken as an object. And that our mind creates a story that this, that, that makes us self when, to the peer or the seer and the thinker.

And so it's very important when we discovered. Likewise. When we examined carefully, we looked at pretty arising intentions and we see that the intentions are rise from a seemingly from nowhere is any attention and tension arises. And pers we look at that and we find that the source of that intentional museum that we called that chain of causality that leads to the present.

And the interpretation of the present experience on the basis of past gives rise, Shannon attention. What happens then is a sense of self or rises and appropriates the intention and says this as, as well. This happened to me, I feel this way about it. So I'm going to do such and such. And you can see that happening when you see that happening and you see you at the cell is just another netball object, another mental projection that is not always there.

It's only sometimes there is generated that sort of time. All of a sudden you have really deep insight and to the emptiness itself. And the other insight that needs to come with theories is recognizing that In a world and emptiness occupied by nothing but a mind projected cell, the self is empty and the world is empty that if the mine cleans for anything, it's trying to be like clinging to a clinging, to a branch per raising the glaze or playing to a burning firebrand.

It's only been only POS pain. And. All of these desires and fears and hopes and intentions that are based around a cell that doesn't really have a substantial existence of itself. Likewise can only lead to disappointment, frustration after pain and suffering. So this is in the prospect progress of insight.

We've come to recognize the impermanence of. And the mama of Manville Audra, we've come to recognize the emptiness of the apparent external reality and of yourself. And you've come to realize the inevitability of suffering. If you have a mind that grasp and thanks to these things and generates desire and aversion out of that, now insight comes in different at different levels.

This is profound insight. You can understand this intellectually and very. The second level is a Yukon. Why repeatedly bringing yourself into awareness of this and applying your intellectual, understanding over and over again, to rare experience, then this begins to change your intuitive view of reality.

So then now Assad, just an intellectual plane, but you intuitively recognize the acting assets things in may emptiness. But there is still nevertheless, there is still this working of your mind that still believes in itself, even though it sees that things are empty, both Amul actually theoretically would and generates emotions and emotional reactions from that very weak place, including desire and version held a man assertions of favor.

So the culmination of pants. Is when you have a direct experience of one finder and neither that basically penetrates to this fleet, this level at a erratic pace, the attachment to the self view and eradicates the attachment sort of view of things as being self resistant. And that is the primary factor that is eliminated going in first time or cheeks.

And terms of any of these paths, we're going to go through the same process. So a combination of analysis and observation, we are going to refine our view and then we're going to move and we find our understanding of the three characteristics. And then we are going to apply that whichever we'd bring the mind for a place that can undergo this profound change and fascinating.


Automated transcription

let's just talk about how insight is achieved, what that what the nature of that inside Yes. So relatively important inside. And how that culminate in the. So I think that I think the most important thing that is necessary. Before insight kinda occurred is it's interesting it it's like, so many things you, and the Buddha domino we look at it in the beginning and the end of the same thing. Whether they're but they're different degrees are the same thing. But benny beginning of any path or insight is a change in the way a person regards themselves and reality.

And of course, maybe the the final stage that culmination one site is that same thing that at a much deeper level. But the first is which you can understand to electrical gold reflection that Although I think of my myself as as an entity of being, living in a universe made up of many other separate and discrete entities, with which I interact. If I reflect, I realize that that is all and inference. I kind of storytelling by the mind that because what my entire existence has insisted up is a series of experience.

The buddhist the core the moon is teaching our They point out that being and experience are identical. And all descriptions of being and any other terms are just just so sorry the mind makes up. Because what your entire life has consisted of is a sequence of experiences. And what those experiences consist of is consciousness and whatever is being taken as the pots business in that experience in that moment. So the beginning of insight is and this can come spontaneously did you sit down and just meditate for long enough and you're watching your breath and your watching this me watching that.

You know, eventually gone on knew that... Well, you know, all all of it's happening here is one I unconscious it was object, and then it passes away and something else rises it up and then it passes you away in something else guys. And then you know was it... Yeah. On there connected way, sure. You know. The sensation of the fly landing on my forehead triggers the next object consciousness, which is the perception of a fly, which is followed by the next subject object of consciousness which it's the feeling of annoy, which is followed by the next of consciousness, which is they urge to russian away.

And then if you actually performed an action, the the object of consciousness is an attention, And then the next thing that follows is not any self doing anything, but rather sensations that correspond to the body of carrying out. Actually. So one approach to repo just tell somebody to sit down long in a eventually, they start to figure their out. But the shortcut is just know of getting that, you know, have you reflect, that your wife has a series of experiences that they're constantly connected to each other.

There's both immediate causality one moment for the next. But also, there is a longer term causality that how you may react in this moment may be determined by experiences that you had and and sometime in the past last week last year on year two years old, who knows, but doesn't matter type when you reflect even more you realize that all of these experiences in the past in some other are influence sending the experiences and you have any present moment. And the reaction of your line with has experience is is the stuff out of which together with the past that will be become a part of the whole thing where determines what your experiencing the future would be.

So at that point, you have attained the purification review. You retain the right view but allows you to we begin to penetrate more deeply in terms of the cultivation of insight. So usually, traditionally, it said that that the the the insights that after are the inside into treat characteristic that all phenomena, which you have to understand phenomena blah and do dah is are these mental events that by which you experience thing. Whether it's the idea of something that you think exists or whether it's a sensory experience, you know, all of these are but phenomenon and not.

And that the characteristic at all is that they are permanent and that they are empty. As you said in Medicaid, once you have the right view, you begin to realized that Well, for example, you'll notice that sensation is just covering go a constant block center. There is there is no permanent entity empathy in those sensations that all qualities of s, of where there seems to be some sort of temporal temporal enduring such thing or object that is identified and associated with particular qualities, that this is all something that is actually projected by the mine to explain the sequence of sensations that are taken place.

And of course your line does a beautiful job of creating a coherent explanation based on all of your class experience. And so at some point, you will realize that everything is imp and that everything is my create. That whatever source is of the sensations what we experience. That near nearby out of of sensations doctors a reality. And then this insight when you carry it over into all the rest of your experiences, you've you realize, that that's why different people experience different things and through there that ways.

Every one of us, every person is doing the same thing that I. Their mind is creating a reality to account sensation. At the level of at the most basic level, all of our minds are very similar So all of our minds and instruct things that are very similar. So in terms of the most fundamental, characteristics by which we described. Our projected external world, which is actually internal world. There's a lot of conventional reality because we can talk about an object this and we can agree in how time care listed and we compare our experiences.

But Reality course far and more elaborate than the description of individual objects that we'd encountered. And as soon as we move to slightly and more complex level of reality, we we we start we're outside of the realm of conventional reality. There is no conventional reality at the level of of values. And judgments that we all we all have different values and judgments. So, you know, part of our experience of our conventional reality includes those things so they're not shared. And so if you get to when we be kinda aware of that to be aware that we realized that.

Things are Not not only is our mind and talking with you over the universe, if we stick to just simple objects and the fact that we all see them in the same way we might think that... Yes. But our mind must be doing a really good job in producing a very accurate version what what's out there. And so therefore must be an out there that corresponds to my vision and here. But when we look at it beyond just the most very simple level, it's discover that that's not true. That everyone is living in a different world different reality.

The same thing happens to two people and then and very there that way. And so we've discovered that it stated is empty. On the discovery of and imp is not that there are enduring things that are come into existence last little while than disappear. It is that everything was in plus. If we begin to examine our minds I first we noticed that all sensations are constantly changed. And we observe the sensation here, Brett. Or the rise fall of your abdomen or anything and you see that all sensations are continually in flux and the closest there is to anything the system.

And in them, is that there are certain patterns that your mind was capable of recognizing and that curve? By otherwise, sensation the realm form is not good play. And then when we begin, to reflect retrospectively and we watch our mind as our mind is constantly generating and reality and reality we see the same thing that these these mental objects that would have account for everything. The same thing that they are continuously changing. If we turn this from the external world to the examination of the cell, and we look for the self we think we are the self that we think we are.

Well, there's that sense that it's permanent. It's been around the long right and remember, and I expect it to continue being here. So I have a sense of the software as. And I also think a this cell that I have or that I down as being separate and distinct independent. That myself, the one one thing is really clear is or whatever myself is, it is secretary and distinct from those things that at are not solved. That very much defines the way it hits set us. And the other thing is that the self is unitary that there is just one of me.

And in terms of the perm, it's always been the same one of it. Simply if we examine our sense self we find that. And then we say to ourselves, well, okay. This is the self that I believe that I am and i I feel like I am. You know, And what is its function? Well, the self is the experience here and south is the dealer. So in the next stage of insight, to see it's easier to see it's easy comparatively way to see. That the world is actually empty in the sense that it does not have a major on its own side, a self existent nature of being way our mind it to it.

That we can see. And if we practice this a lot then we can see it more and more often. But it's it is magnitude of difficulty more difficult to get past this feeling that we are a permanent unitary separate self that is the experience of all these things and is the decision maker and intended and ini of our activity. So this this is the really difficult one for us to work on. But when we examine, would you simply observe what's taking place in our mind. Moment while meditating and not meditating.

And of course, we can supplement this with various kinds of analysis. But if through analysis and authorization, we go in search our the permanent sector and not changing pertinent checker and unitary cell everywhere we look, it's not there, because we find that the description itself we come up with. Is constantly changing. But we are a different self at different times in different circumstances and you know, at best, whatever it is, you know, the the these five azure gets is constantly modifying the chain being changed both by things external to it.

And by name's now do it And so what you do discover is that there is a continuity and the and the sequence of experiences that makes us up. There is is positive. But we find that the aspect of permanent dissolves and disappears and that is only causal or climate hearing to this cell. As we go into it, more deeply, one of the things that we'll discovered direct observation is that there is no experience or. That when we look, we'll see there are all those instances where we are seeing what is no here.

We thinking that there's no thinker we're hearing, but there's period and we'll notice that we hear that the cell, the idea who we are is actually a separate mental object that arises independently of the same and thinking and is taken as an object. And then our mind creates a story that this that that makes this herself into the era the Seer and the thinker. And so it's very important when we discovered that. Likewise examine carefully, you look at the rising intentions and we see. That the intentions rise from seemingly from nowhere, is attention intention arises.

And first, we look at that and we find that the source of that intention is in that it called that chain of that leads to the present experience. And the interpretation of the president experience on the basis we past gives rise attention. What happens then is the sensor cell arises and appropriate the intention and says and and says, well, this happened to me, I feel this way about it so I'm going to do such and such. I've got it. And you can see there happening. When you see them happening and you see you at The cell is just another mental object another example projection that is not always there.

It's only sometimes there. It's generated that certain of time. And all of a sudden, you have really deep insight and the itself. The other insight that needs to come with is is recognizing that in a world of emptiness, occupied by nothing but a mine projected cell. The self empty in the world is empty that if the mind cleans to anything, is going to do, like, clinging to cleaning to a branch razor blades or cleaning to a burning fire. It's only kinda only cause pain. And that all of these desires and fears and hopes and intentions that are based around a cell that doesn't really have a substantial existence of its own.

Likewise can only leave the disappointment on frustration plan after paying suffering. So this is in the prospect progress of insight, you come to recognize the imp of a form and abnormal of natural. We come to recognize the emptiness of the apparent external reality and of the yourself and you come to realize the in of suffering If you have a mind that grasp claims to these things and generates desired inversion out of that. Now insight comes in different at different level. This is profound insight.

You can understand this intellectually very clearly. The second level is that you can why repeatedly bringing yourself into awareness service. Find your intellectual understanding over and over again to your experience. Then this begins to change your intuitive view of the reality. So then now it's not just an intellectual thing, but you intuitively recognize the acting or things in the itself. But there is still nevertheless. There is still this working of their mind that still believes in the cell even though it sees things you're empty both of intellectually physically.

And generate some emotions and emotional reactions from that very deep place. Including, desire and version of the manifestations of payment. So the the culmination of insight is when you have a direct experience of one client or another that basically penetrate the this level and it in eradicate pace the attachment to the self field. And in pace the attachments for a view of things as being self existent. And that that is the primary feather that is eliminated by the first time she or wake time.

So and terms of any of these paths, we're going to go through the same process. Through the combination of analysis and observation, we are going to retry part of view and then we're going to really refine our understanding with three characteristics.

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