using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Buddhadharma : Win 2012
28 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY WINTER 2 0 1 2 want to do, what we hope to do, what we fear will happen to us, what others think of us, and so on. These beloved patterns are all manifestations of the “I” element, the lifetime habit we have of thinking in terms of “I” and “me” and “mine.” In the Pali canon, ahamkara, or “I-making,” and mamamkara, or “mine-making,” are the key attributes of self-view. If a story has “me” in it, it naturally tends to be much more interesting than other, more remote tales. Accordingly, much of the development of vipassana, or insight meditation, is about learn- ing to recognize the I-making and mine-making habits within the thoughts we experience. Aham- kara means “made of I-ness,” while mamamkara means “made of mine-ness.” True insight is not allowing those concepts to carry the mind away and, instead, seeing their emptiness and letting them go. Nada, Emptiness, and Suchness Most Buddhist practitioners, regardless of tradi- tion, are familiar with what are known as the three characteristics of existence: anicca, dukkha, and anatta (impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and not-self). These are the universal qualities of all experiences, and recognizing their presence is the most active aspect of vipassana meditation. There are, however, other universal character- istics of existence that can be similarly employed to help free the heart from all limitation and stress. Two of these characteristics, which oper- ate as something of a pair, are called suññata (“shunyata” in Sanskrit) and tathata, meaning, respectively, emptiness and suchness. Emptiness expresses the idea of saying “no” to the phenomenal world: “I’m not going to believe in this. This is void, empty, hollow, not entirely real.” Suchness is connected to emptiness in the same way the right hand is connected to the left. In contrast to its partner, however, suchness The inner sound carries on in the background, reminding us that everything is Dhamma, that everything is coming and going, changing. This is a truth we may have intuited for years but often forget because of the confusion that comes from becoming attached to our personalities, memo- ries, thoughts, and bodily discomforts. The stress of attaching to all our experiences since birth has kept our attention entranced and bewildered. Nevertheless, we can use the pres- ence of the nada sound to break the trance, to help us know the feelings and moods for what they are: patterns of nature coming and going and doing their thing. They are not who or what we are, and when seen with insight, they can never really satisfy or disappoint us. Inner listen- ing leads to a knowing awareness with which we can more easily recognize the transparency, emptiness, and insubstantiality of these experi- ences and let them go. Nada and the Thinking Mind As you develop inner listening as a formal method of meditation, you may begin to notice how listening to an auditory object helps you learn to listen to your thoughts and moods with less subjectivity. In many respects, the chatter of our think- ing mind has no more meaning than the buzz of the nada sound. The chatter is just a continu- ous, murmuring stream of vibrations formed into conceptual patterns. So we learn to listen to our thinking with the same freedom from involve- ment or identification that we would have lis- tening to a splashing fountain or a chorus of birdsong. It’s no big thing, nothing to get excited about. Of course, that’s easier said than done, because we do tend to be infatuated with our stories, par- ticularly the ones featuring ourselves about the good we’ve done, the bad we’ve done, what we You can use the inner sound just as you would use the breath to directly support the establishment of shamatha, making it the primary object of attention and letting it fill the whole space of your present experience.