Analytic meditation on selflessness

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.
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omnifriend
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Analytic meditation on selflessness

Post by omnifriend » Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:17 pm

Does anyone know how to do analytic meditation on non self or emptiness? Or have resources about it? Thank you

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Queequeg
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Re: Analytic meditation on selflessness

Post by Queequeg » Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:34 pm

omnifriend wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:17 pm
Does anyone know how to do analytic meditation on non self or emptiness? Or have resources about it? Thank you
You mean Vipasyana.

Non-self/emptiness: try to find your "self". Take that inquiry as far as you have the stomach for it.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

smcj
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Re: Analytic meditation on selflessness

Post by smcj » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:03 pm

Khenpo Tsultrim’s booklet “Progressive Meditation on Stages of Emptiness” has it. It’s in the first chapter. Subsequent chapters have examinations of the emptiness of phenomena. Good resource.
1.The problem isn’t ‘ignorance’. The problem is the mind you have right now. (H.H. Karmapa XVII @NYC 2/4/18)
2. I support Mingyur R and HHDL in their positions against Lama abuse.
2. Student: Lama, I thought I might die but then I realized that the 3 Jewels would protect me.
Lama: Even If you had died the 3 Jewels would still have protected you. (DW post by Fortyeightvows)

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Queequeg
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Re: Analytic meditation on selflessness

Post by Queequeg » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:37 pm

What some people call analytic meditation some people call thinking.

There are methods for focusing the mind and cutting down distractions, but in the end, its just thinking.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Analytic meditation on selflessness

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:40 pm

omnifriend wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:17 pm
Does anyone know how to do analytic meditation on non self or emptiness? Or have resources about it? Thank you
Some traditional ones are:

To take an object, say a chair, analyze it's part and see if you can find a chair. I.e., is a chair leg a chair, what about the cushion, etc.

Do the same thing with yourself, name three things that you believe define "you", it's impossible to name anything that is not in reference to something else, so how can it define "me"?

Another is with the body, examine your arm, if it is "your" arm, how can it also be you? In what sense is your arm you? If it's not you, and you are simply the owner of the arm, where is the owner, is it another part of your body, or your mind?

These are the three I've seen most of often at public teachings. My favorite books that cover this are Stages of Meditation on Emptiness that SMCJ mentioned by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso, and A Profound Mind by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

In some teachings I've seen "Vipaysana" and "Analytic Meditation" are used synonymously, but I have come to understand Vipaysana proper as direct experience of emptiness, whereas analytic meditation is just that - use of conceptual thought to examine phenomena. One is the map and one is (at least a brief taste of) the territory.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

omnifriend
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Re: Analytic meditation on selflessness

Post by omnifriend » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:54 pm

Thank you

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Queequeg
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Re: Analytic meditation on selflessness

Post by Queequeg » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:39 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:40 pm
In some teachings I've seen "Vipaysana" and "Analytic Meditation" are used synonymously, but I have come to understand Vipaysana proper as direct experience of emptiness, whereas analytic meditation is just that - use of conceptual thought to examine phenomena. One is the map and one is (at least a brief taste of) the territory.
Interesting. I understand Vipasyana to be a broad term that could include analysis or direct experience depending on one's development... direct experience is a sub-set that I understand as referred to as samadhi.

My sense is the terms vary in meaning between traditions.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Matt J
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Re: Analytic meditation on selflessness

Post by Matt J » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:56 pm

I think the best place to learn these practices is on a retreat. The instructions are fairly short and deceptively simple. However, if you are on a retreat and spend some time with them, then they have real power. I find that most people simply read the instructions and consider that they have understood them, or practice for a short period.

Having said that, some people have found this book helpful:

http://www.mahamudracenter.org/mmcmembe ... nguide.pdf
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

cjdevries
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Re: Analytic meditation on selflessness

Post by cjdevries » Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:05 am

The Dalai Lama's book "How to see Yourself as you really are" has instructions on various ways to investigate yourself, your existence, and how you exist or don't exist.

omnifriend
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Re: Analytic meditation on selflessness

Post by omnifriend » Wed Aug 21, 2019 7:45 pm

cjdevries wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:05 am
The Dalai Lama's book "How to see Yourself as you really are" has instructions on various ways to investigate yourself, your existence, and how you exist or don't exist.
. Just bought it. Thank you!

cjdevries
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Re: Analytic meditation on selflessness

Post by cjdevries » Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:38 pm

Cool! I found out about the book from Dalai Lama's personal doctor. I had the chance to ask him a question about dying and he recommended the book; he said the book was a great way to "find out who you really are."

SteRo
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Re: Analytic meditation on selflessness

Post by SteRo » Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:13 pm

The most condensed analysis I know is Nagarjuna's
If the self were the aggregates,
It would arise and cease.
If it were different from the aggregates,
It would have none of their characteristics. [XVIII.1]
which is a prasanga analytical reasoning based on the premise that if the self exists it has to be either identical with the aggregates or different from the aggregates and that there is no further possibility. It is further assumed that each of these two analytical alternatives contradicts the spontaneously appearing self in non-analytical delusive momentary experience and that this delusive appearance has been identified.

So this prasanga analysis can be effective only
1. if one is convinced that selflessness follows from reason and
2. if one accepts the premise and
3. if one can identify the appearance of the self in non-analytical delusive momentary experience and
4. if the analysis is performed in appropriately concentrated meditation.

What appears simple at first glance [verse XVIII.1] depends on conditions not easily met and may therefore not be appropriate for all individuals. But there are certainly a number of other approaches.

:namaste:

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Supramundane
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Re: Analytic meditation on selflessness

Post by Supramundane » Thu Nov 07, 2019 2:40 am

omnifriend wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 5:17 pm
Does anyone know how to do analytic meditation on non self or emptiness? Or have resources about it? Thank you
i believe you will find what you are looking for in the Lamrin.

if you wish to focus on the emptiness of self, there are two meditations in the Lamrin that i remember off the bat.

1. Meditate upon selflessness of compounded phenomena

Remember the law of the excluded middle; something must be single or multiple: it cannot be both. Absence of singularity: does the self exist with aggregates or separate from the aggregates? Absence of plurality: if the self is not plural but exists outside the aggregates, it should be independent (in which case it wouldn't reflect who you are and the changes that happen to you over time)

In this meditation, you break down the self to understand that it is empty.

2. Meditate upon selflessness of uncompounded phenomena

Abstract transitory phenomena have no inherent existence, i.e. notions such as years, days, miles, etc. In this meditation, you break down abstract phenomena to understand that they have no ultimate meaning.

This is set out in the Lamrin, but i believe probably all schools discuss this mode of meditation: it is known universally as Insight Meditation (as opposed to One-Pointed Meditation).

Always remember:

"The essence of the Buddha's doctrine is to become a kind and good human and to be altruistic". ---DL

Btw, most importantly, your question is a good one. A very good one. Don't ever stop asking questions.
metta

zerwe
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Re: Analytic meditation on selflessness

Post by zerwe » Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:18 am

Tsongkhapa's Four-Point Analysis. It can be found in the Middle Length Lam Rim.
The example of the Chariot. I believe Nagarjuna presented this and it was later expanded upon by Chandrakirti.
The Five (Sometimes Four) Great Madhyamaka Reasonings.

Meditation on Emptiness. Jeffery Hopkins

I am sure there are many, many, more.

Shaun :namaste:

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