This article is part of an article series on Buddhist Insight Meditation that started with Meditation – Method, Effects and Purpose within Buddhism.

Insight refers to a clear awareness of what is happening as it is happening. Thus as the mind is calmed and a certain level of concentration is developed it is no longer necessary for the mind to stay all the time with the feeling of breath. The focus of the mind may be allowed to move to sounds, memories, emotions, perceptions and mental formations one at a time.

When experiencing these states the feeling of breath is forgotten until the subject of mental focus fades away at which time the mind is returned to the breath. Every time the mind returns to the breath, it comes back with a deeper insight into impermanence, the unsatisfactory nature of phenomena and selflessness.

For myself personally, when I rest my mind upon the breath paying bare attention and simply being aware I observe a flow of strange unconnected thoughts and imagery constantly arising within my own mind unbidden and seemingly out of nowhere only to disappear, as suddenly as they came, back to nowhere almost as soon as my attention is focused upon it. The ungraspable nature of the mind is apparent in this.

Thus someone who meditates destructs the apparent stability of things and sees directly the world as a process, a flow. The discovery of the apparent nature of the mind spurred me onto the observation of other phenomenon to see if such a thing as this constant arising, abiding, and dissolving that is occurring within the mind is occurring in all phenomena.

As mindfulness develops your resentment of change, dislike of unpleasant experiences, greed for pleasant experiences and notion of self-hood will be gradually replaced by the deeper insight into impermanence, the unsatisfactory nature of phenomenon and selflessness. This knowledge of reality in your experience will help you to foster a more calm, peaceful and mature attitude towards life.

What was thought previously to be permanent is seen to actually be changing with such an inconceivable rapidity that our minds cannot keep up with all the changes. The subtlety of impermanence and the subtlety of selflessness are seen. This insight lights the way to peace, happiness and can provide you with the wisdom to handle the daily problems of life skillfully.

In the next article in this series we will continue to examine The Effects of Buddhist Meditation.


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