Anxiety and Tilakkhana

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    • #26187
      sybe07
      Spectator

      Hi All,

      The sutta’s teach that contemplation on anicca, dukkha and anatta leads, after some time, to Nibbida and dispassion. I like to share my experience, not to discourage anybody but just to be honest about this and ask for some advice.

      It does not happen this way to me. It seems contemplating those tilakkhana makes me more anxious, more aware that nothing is under controle, it is impredictable. The body can become seriously ill any moment. I can die any moment. The computer, car, can crash any moment. Also loved one can die any moment etc.

      This growing awareness does not come with a sense of peace or more calm, but, in stead, it makes me more anxious.

      Ofcourse i can see this is how reality is, rationally, but emotionally, i cannot really deal with it, it seems. Are there more people who share this experience and how do you deal with it? Stop contemplating tliakkhana? Or, what advise do you have? Is this some phase to go threw?

    • #26191
      Lal
      Keymaster

      I think the issue could be the following. I do not know anyone’s mind, so I cannot say Sybe’s case falls under this category.

      One must follow the Path in a systematic way. There are two Eightfold paths.
      – One must have completed the first mundane path and removed the ten types of miccha ditthi before starting on the Noble Eightfold Path. That means one should have the “right mindset” to be able to comprehend anicca, dukkha, anatta.
      – If one has any of those ten “wrong views”, one’s mind is not capable of grasping Tilakkhana.
      – For example, if one does not believe in kamma/kamma vipaka, then the whole basis of Tilakkhana falls apart. Such a mind would not accept anicca Nature to be correct.

      This is explained in many posts. See, for example, “Micchā Ditthi, Gandhabba, and Sōtapanna Stage.”

      Again, I am not saying that Sybe’s case falls under this category.

      Another possibility is one may not have been able to make the “connection.” I suggest the video which I posted yesterday under a different topic.
      Good Discourse on Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta

      Please post any comments on that video under that topic.

    • #26197
      sybe07
      Spectator

      I listened to the desana. I find it to extreme to conclude body, mind, anything is not under control. Being a human is so difficult because ‘controll’ is an extreme but totally no control is also an extreme. Mr. Tennakoon thinks mind, body, anything is not in control. I do not agres. If body would really be out of control, you have a problem. But moving our legs, choosing to do this or that, is not out of control. Urinating, defecating becomes very problematic when this is really out of control, but for most people it is not.
      There is also a certain control over the mind. One cannot say, because i cannot concentrate mind on an object for 4 minuten, that this shows mind is not under control. We can control the mind to a certain extent. For example, we can phantasize about a beautiful woman or man and even arise lustful feelings and bodily reactions. We can concentrate on a taks. It is not true that mind is totally out of control.

    • #26220
      Lal
      Keymaster

      See my posts on January 3rd and 4th, 2020 under the topic “Good Discourse on Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta.”

    • #26539
      Lal
      Keymaster

      It seems that some people may still have problems in publishing a comment. Cubibobi (Lang) says his comment was published. Following is his comment.

      Hi all,

      This forum hit the spot for me because of what I’ve been working on recently.

      I’d like to first echo Lal’s comments about following the path in a systematic way, starting with removing the 10 wrong views. Recently, my effort has been focused in this area since I am striving for the Sotapanna stage, and miccha ditthi is the kilesa removed at this stage.

      For me, the effort to remove the 10 miccha ditthis has given the most “bang for the bucks” at this stage, especially miccha ditthi number 4 about not believing in kamma / kamma vipaka. This helps make my mind lighter and calm down anxiety. The more you work on this, the more readily you catch yourself having wrong views, and then discarding them, and your mind becomes lighter. At times, you hear wrong views uttered by others (including some calling themselves Buddhists), and your mind automatically rejects those; as an example, many long-time “Buddhists” are still ambivalent about rebirths.

      As an aside, I’ve been listening about this topic from Ajahn Sona, where he covers a number of the 10 wrong views:

      The Noble Eightfold Path (1): Right View

      Ajahn Sona said that having the right views is like having illumination, and at times I felt like that, not as in seeing light, but as in a better understanding of Dhamma.

      I also listened to the discourse by Chaminda Tennakoon mentioned above, and was quite struck by it. His desana is related to the deeper wrong views of nicca, sukha, atta, and he used the word “fulfilling” repeatedly, which is quite fitting. From this, it follows that anicca would be “unfulfilling”; this may be the best single English word for anicca. Anyhow, this word resonated with me, and after listening to the desana, I felt that I absorbed a little more of”anicca”.

      Finally, if you are at the same stage I am, you may want to spend more time listening to desanas (some are from Lal right here on puredhamma.net), in addition to reading posts. One of the conditions for the Sotapanna stage is “words of another”, and for me, the spoken words do feel different. Once you determine that someone is teaching correct Dhamma, listening to him/her brings joy and calms down anxiety.

      Best to all,

      Lang

    • #27404
      KNDS
      Participant

      When we understand dhamma, the anxieties disappear and everything is clear. Anxieties are due to attachments. Fear of losing something or someone we hold tight thinking they are permanent, and stay the same for ever. This is the opposite of nature – all things, ideologies are in constant flux and change.
      Also, when we loosen our attachments and spread love and kindness to all, the world becomes beautiful too because you treat everything with equanimity. The child next door is no different than your own child.
      There is also no real concrete “birth” and “death” events. We “become” (appear) and pass away. Where were we before we were born? We do not know.
      Meditating makes our minds peaceful because it makes us understand the true nature of the world.

    • #27407
      Lal
      Keymaster

      Thank you for the comment KNDS!

      “..Also, when we loosen our attachments and spread love and kindness to all, the world becomes beautiful too because you treat everything with equanimity. The child next door is no different than your own child.”
      – True!

    • #27460
      y not
      Participant

      Hello KNDS,

      What you say about Dhamma and its effects on anxiety I have experienced. It is clear you have too. However, the troubles with the body remain; if anything, they increase in number, but one knows those last only as long as the body lasts.

      In my experience, towards the end a host of physical conditions rear their head (past kamma) but now that does not lead to anxiety. They come together and queue up, as it were, while there is still time, to manifest the unexpended kamma vipaka. Deterioration of the body as a whole can be managed only to a negligible degree. Not so the mind. And a lucid mind is necessary to grasp and to contemplate the Dhamma.

      So I urge anyone who has come across the Dhamma to go into it with all that they have; tomorrow may not come. In my case I made it ‘just in time’. My struggle now is to re-charge and use the mind, if only for Dhamma time.

    • #29522
      oetb
      Participant

      ..anything is not in control. I do not agres. If body would really be out of control, you have a problem. But moving our legs, choosing to do this or that, is not out of control. Urinating, defecating becomes very problematic when this is really out of control, but for most people it is not.
      There is also a certain control over the mind. One cannot say, because i cannot concentrate mind on an object for 4 minuten, that this shows mind is not under control. We can control the mind to a certain extent. For example, we can phantasize about a beautiful woman or man and even arise lustful feelings and bodily reactions. We can concentrate on a taks. It is not true that mind is totally out of control.

      I see the issue of having control as follows:
      One of the definitions of anicca I’ve read from Lal is: We cannot maintain things to our satisfaction. (or something similar)
      I think that when it is talked about not having control, it is not referred to as no having control never, but to as having control that we cannot maintain as we want forever. When aging we can lose capabilities to the extent of not being capable of controlling when to urinate or defecate, we can develop mental illness, parkinson for example, and not we able to control correctly our body, alzheimer and losing some mindfulness capabilities, etc. We can have accidents too and therefore lose some habilities. Also, when departing from the body, actions with the manomayakaya are not slowed down due to a karaja kaya, and then it is more difficult to reflect on our intentions before doing the actions, i.e. we have less control.
      But that does not mean that we never have control. Indeed, there are times when we have control, and it is a precious time for learning Dhamma and practicing dana, sila, and bhavana.

      As for the anxiety, I think that when a person has not experienced niramisa sukha and reflects too much about anicca, he fills trapped because he begins to understand that (mundane) satisfaction is no possible in the long term and does not know any other kind of satisfaction. That creates friction or restlessness in the mind.

      Lal emphasizes the importance of beginning with the mundane eightfold path, and it must be for some important reason. I think it is to allow one’s mind to have glimpses (tastes) of niramisa sukha and to understand that that kind of satisfaction is a better one. When one ho knows niramisa sukha (and also have overcome micca ditthi) reflects on anicca, instead of feeling trapped and generating mental friction, he will recognize a way out of anicca (and then a way out of dukkha and anatta) in niramisa sukha and generate dispassion for this world of 31 realms. Then he begins with the Noble Eightfold Path.

      Of course, all I said is what I have understood from what I have read and reflected on. If I have misunderstood something, I beg someone to correct me.

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