Author Topic: How does insight come from 'nothing' ?  (Read 1897 times)

soma

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How does insight come from 'nothing' ?
« on: March 23, 2010, 07:47:45 PM »
Hi all !

I am wondering how insight comes from noting for example.
Lets say I am sitting and suddenly this heavy sensation emerges in my stomach. I emediatly recognice this sensation as sorrow.
Eventhough I will know the content of this sorrow I wont pay any attention to that - I will just stay with the feeling and note 'sorrow', 'sorrow┬┤
So I continue like this with every feeling, sensation and thought - give them my attention, noting them and so on.
There is no thought or analysis involved, just this witnessing and noting. How can insight come from this, insight on impermanence, unsatisfactoriness and no-self ?
I'm not doing any sitting Vipassana, just Shamata but when I'm not on the cushion I try to 'remember' myself all the time and note everything that goes on inside me without giving it any thought mostly, and doing this really works. But then again, how can true insight come from just 'being' ?

Jhananda

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Re: How does insight come from 'nothing' ?
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2010, 01:51:43 AM »
Hello Soma, you pose an excellent question.  When you describe being mindfully self-aware of physical and emotional sensations, then that is Sati, which is the 7th fold of the Noble Eightfold Path.  Now, many meditation teachers and Buddhist monks tend to conflate mindful self awareness (Sati) with insight (vipassana);  however, this is incorrect.  Other misguided meditation teachers and Buddhist priests claim the Buddha taught a meditation technique that the Buddha called "vipassana;" however, there is no place in the suttas where we can point to definitively in support of such a claim.

It has been my experience that if I can give rise to absorption, which the Buddha called 'jhana,' and do so every day, and even better learn to keep it with me all day with a silent and still mind, then I experience intuitive insight into many, many things.  So, keep up the "shamata" practice, which is other wise known as cultivating absorption, which is jhana.  By so doing you are likely to find intuitive, revelatory, insight as I do every day.  You may find reading the following essay of interest to you:

Dispelling Common Misconceptions Regarding Insight (vipassana) and Absorption (Jhana/dhyana)

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
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Re: How does insight come from 'nothing' ?
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2010, 03:52:20 AM »
Lets say I am sitting and suddenly this heavy sensation emerges in my stomach. I emediatly recognice this sensation as sorrow.
Eventhough I will know the content of this sorrow I wont pay any attention to that - I will just stay with the feeling and note 'sorrow', 'sorrow┬┤

If the feeling arises repeatedly there is benefit in investigating it as this is a sign of unconscious lack of resolution of this sorrow. This is best done when you are well established in calm but if it is coming up repeatedly now then examine it now.

Insight emerges naturally from the vacuum created by calm and the absorption states. When you have cleared out the clutter from a room it's easier to see inside.

Most of this clearing out is done in the Shamatha stages. After perfection of the Jhannas, Vipassana will remove the fine traces of hindrances and obstacles as they will be much more evident in the space left.

Warmly, in the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

soma

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Re: How does insight come from 'nothing' ?
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2010, 04:15:43 AM »
Thank you both for your replies !

Yes it is obviously so that insight arise from almost nowhere when the clutter is cleared away, but as you say, Matthew, and as I expected some things have to be delt with in the more conventional way - with thinking or contemplation plus intuition in a state of absorbtion.
I will have to do this since there are things that keep coming back over and over again off cushion and on it.

 

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