This meditation offers suggestions to realize that our subjective experience of “selfing” is an ever-changing process that emerges from the interaction of our sensory system with memories that go back over a lifetime and which fabricate a view of an enduring and autonomous self. This meditation is meant to accompany the talk “Review Of Anatta”, recorded after the talk and posted the same day.
This guided meditation focuses on identifying the subjective characteristics of anatta (ah-nah-tah), the absence of an enduring, autonomous self. Anatta is the third of the Three Characteristics: Anicca, Dukkha and Anatta. During the meditation attention is first stabilized with mindfulness of breathing meditation and this quiets the mind such that one can contemplate the interdependence of the human body with the environment on increasingly more subtle levels and then contemplate further on the “accumulation of a self” through language and other socially stimulating encounters over the course of a lifetime. Deep contemplation of these issues can illuminate the absence of an autonomous self that doesn’t require interactions with the physical or social environments. Another focus of contemplation is to deepen awareness of whole-body sensations along with the breath, including environmental sounds, in an undifferentiated way, relinquishing the “observer” belief. The more fully one releases the mind from “observing” these phenomena to “being” the phenomena, the less interest there is in a subject-object dualistic perception, thereby experiencing reality in a more fundamental, non-self way.