Archive for November, 2008

impermanence and occasions of experience - how I see it

Friday, November 21st, 2008

While not the next post I thought I would have in this series of blogs on impermanence, it works nonetheless.

for part 1 click here

This past Sunday I attended a one day vipassana meditation retreat.  A full day spent on my cushion from 10am to 5pm.  It was wonderful!

As always it was difficult, yet liberating and it further strengthened my resolve to continue to take steps on the path of the Dharma/Dhamma.

Which brings me to my experience… during the course, every hour or so we would have a 10 min break to stretch and of course answers any calls of nature.

It was during one of these 10 min breaks I had a visualization of some elements of impermanence and the numerous occassions of experience that arise and pass at startingly super speeds in the mindfield.

While nothing noted below is really mind boggling, it was the actual visual metaphor that popped into my head after the fact that really clarified the experience.

I won’t spend a long time describing this, as either it will make sense or it won’t (for anyone reading this that is familiar with the 5 aggregates/skandhas you can apply them to this picture)

While standing and staring blankly at a wall across from me, into my field of vision came the form of a person walking by. I noted this visual experience and then noted that the form and pattern of this person was familiar to me and one that was accompanied by pleasant feelings. It was here I noticed a slew of memories quickly form in my mind further confirming that his person is a “friend”.. I noted this.  Less than a second later my friend had walked outside the field of my vision.

TO my surprise, that was it. Awareness just returned to “staring” at the wall with all the accompanying sensations. It was as if nothing had happened. A whole experience came into being and then dissipated into..???

At that moment a picture popped into my mind’s eye that summarized all of what I just described.. and then I allowed it to play out..
So, what was this?

It was a process, within a myriad of processes. “I” am too a process.. an ever changing flux and flow of processes without a a stable permanent rooted fixture to contain them.

An AHA!! moment.

(warning..the pictures below are VERY simple and not that pretty. The do however serve as a basic approximation of what I experienced..not to mention I could really never get a grasp of the whole photoshop thingy)

If this at all intrigues you….turn on the visualizer in your music player and allow it to enlighten looks much cooler that way  :)

below is the occasion of experience where my friend walked through my awareness.. entering the field of vision..the feeling and thought process plateau and then the moving out of awareness..

this next graph illustrates the numerous smaller occasions of experience that arise and pass in awareness continuously.. the breath, the blinks of an eye, a brief thought, a sound etc ..  The large rise and fall you see in the graph could also represent the larger occasion of experience of my friend walking by

this final picture is my visual approximation of what perhaps a very highly aware/enlightened individual might be able to hold in their awarenes.. a multidimensional multiple spectrum of occasions. 

Holding the small occasions in awareness, then seeing the rise and fall of the larger personal occasions of experience, then seeing how larger collective occasions arise and pass away.. i.e. the ability to hold fourth person perspectives, see the collective group think, additional dimensions etc.. 



Impermanence Anitya Anicca part I

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

So I am thinking I might do a little series of blogs around the notion of impermanence as it is the main focus of my practice/life right now (although that will change ;)  )

In order to start.. we’ll need a definition



Sanskrit: अनित्य anitya; Pāli: अनिच्चा anicca; Tibetan: མི་​རྟག་​པ་ mi rtag pa; Chinese: wúcháng; Japanese: 無常 mujō; Thai: อนิจจัง anitchang) is one of the essential doctrines or Three marks of existence in Buddhism. The term expresses the Buddhist notion that every conditioned existence, without exception, is inconstant and in flux, even gods.

According to the impermanence doctrine, human life embodies this flux in the aging process, the cycle of birth and rebirth (samsara), and in any experience of loss. The doctrine further asserts that because things are impermanent, attachment to them is futile, and leads to suffering (dukkha). Under the impermanence doctrine, all compounded and constructed things and states are impermanent.

stay tuned for more…