Detachment from the self

Conditioned realities have to be known as they are before nibbana, the unconditioned reality, can be experienced. Panna which is developed can experience realities as impermanent, dukkha and anatta. One of these characteristics is experienced at a time, there cannot be the experience of all  three characteristics at the same time. It depends on one's accumulations which of these characteristics is experienced more often. Acharn Sujin asked us what comes to our mind when we see a cockroach, a snake or any other animal. Some people may consider the characteristic of dukkha, others the characteristic of impermanence and others again the characteristic of anatta. Bhante Dhammadharo said that he often considers dukkha: “There is always something interfering with permanent happiness, something goes wrong even if it looks so nice, but, it is no good, no good!”

Acharn Sujin said that she asked us about our attitude, even though panna has not reached the stage that the characteristics of impermanence, dukkha and anatta can be directly experienced, in order to show us that our different feelings about reality are dependent on our accumulations. She said that it may seem that the characteristics of impermanence, dukkha and anatta are known merely by thinking about them, but that this is not so. The nama or rupa which appears can be directly known as impermanent, dukkha or anatta. She said that it is very important to remember that they are known by a reality which is not self. At this moment things appear as a whole, there is the whole world with all the people, there is self. Even when we consider nama and rupa, paramattha dhammas, there is bound to be a notion of my understanding, we believe that there is I who understands. When there is a moment of insight there is no notion of self who knows. There is no I, no world; the six doors are separated, there are only realities appearing through one doorway at a time. Acharn Sujin stressed that insight is developed together with detachment, detachment from the self. When insight has been developed to the stage of knowing the true nature of realities it arises naturally in daily life, for example, while one looks at people and all the things around oneself. The moment of insight is not intellectual understanding, it is developed panna which directly knows the nama or rupa which appears as it is.

Topic 257