During vipassana meditation mind experiences breathe automatically. no thoughts were coming. mind itself can be seen.is this anatta?


No. Anatta arises from seeing the arising and passing nature of conditioned phenomena wherever you look. You see that the whole body is like mass of bubbling particles. One set gets destroyed another arises. You also see that this process is not controllable and this process generates sensations which are essentially unsatisfactory. Unpleasant sensations are unsatisfactory, pleasant sensation are unsatisfactory when they end and neutral sensations are unsatisfactory as they are conditioned and pass away giving rise to unsatisfactory experiences.

In addition, craving towards any of the sensation gives rise to the notion or perception of a being. Such perceptions all end in unsatisfactoriness.

Whatever unsatisfactory is not worth identifying as self. This is Anatta.

  • experienceed the unsatisfying nature sometime back.caused to stop meditation even. but didn't see it as anatta. – user11976 Sep 6 '17 at 2:53
  • Do you see that every particle you are made of as unsatisfactory? Sometimes feeling disheartened can be mistaken as this though it is also unsatisfactory. In such a case ones knowledge is not solid as you might think there might be something else which is satisfactory. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Sep 6 '17 at 15:21
  • no.saw hearing is unsatisfactory. and thoughta are unsatisfactory. – user11976 Sep 6 '17 at 17:32
  • What I meant by seeing is what you see or experience. This is at the experiential level. – Suminda Sirinath S. Dharmasena Sep 7 '17 at 10:06
  • Your answer is good, but the word using is lacking. "Anatta-lakkhaṇa" appears clearer, not "anattā arises" because aggregates,anattā, arise naturally, but the practitioner comprehends the cycling of aggregates,anattā, then Anatta-lakkhaṇa appears clearer. People will confuse and think "aggregates are attā so I will comprehend let anatta arise." Actually, anattā is arising and vanishing even for a bird, so no one has to let anattā arise, but the practitioner comprehends the dependent origination to let Anatta-lakkhaṇa appears clearer. – Bonn Jan 15 '19 at 2:24

During vipassana meditation mind experiences breathe automatically. no thoughts were coming. mind itself can be seen.is this anatta?

Seeing anatta is seeing the natural absence of 'self' in things; such as the absence of self in a drop of water.

If the mind can see its knowing & consciousness (awareness) is without self; if the mind can see it is the physical body that breathes rather than a 'self' that breathes; if the mind can see the breathing is merely 'air' or 'wind' (rather than 'my breathing'); and if the mind can see the automatic happenings in meditation occur without any self; this is beginning to see anatta.


What you are describing is a state you reach when you practice meditation. This cannot be anatta since anatta is not a state, it is a property of existence present in all things.

Rather, your description looks like you have reached a state called access concentration. This is the first but important step in practice. This is the state where mind no longer gets lost in usual wanderings, and breathing becomes relaxed, with mind staying with the object of meditation (breathing). Thoughts don't arise or if they come, they stay in the background, because the subtle tension that gives rise to thoughts doesn't become strong enough to distract and goes to the background (This is what I believe you meant by mind itself can be seen).

Also, your description that mind itself can be seen also tells me that is not related to anatta, as that itself is a thought (without that you would not know that it is mind you are seeing), which means you are in the identification stage and not (yet) seeing the true nature of things. Observing anatta is seeing the grasping/identification activity in action and noting that that is not me (if it is, then who is the I that is watching it? - hence a contradiction so both are not me in essence).

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    @Dhammadhatu The questioner is concluding that something he has seen is mind in operation, which is a thought (as mind cannot be seen like foot or breathing, for example). Since he has not observed that it is a thought, a conclusion, which means there is an entity that is concluding that has not been observed and deconstructed, it is not an observation of anatta. For your second point, watching the self-grasping means that which is grasping is not me, as if it was, then who was the I that was watching it ? (Its an argument to indicate the fallacy of concluding that it is I doing the grasping) – sriram Sep 5 '17 at 20:19
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    How do you know this? By direct observation or reading scriptures? If you haven't seen the self in operation, how it concludes things that were not its own, how can you see that it is not "me" that is doing things? – sriram Sep 5 '17 at 20:44
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    Also everything is anatta doesn't mean that you are seeing it as anatta or being capable of seeing it as such. – sriram Sep 5 '17 at 20:53

When in meditation observe fabrications that arise in your mind. If you see that no matter what fabrication you observe, the observed fabrication is not you nor it's yours, that is the experience of anatta.

You said that during your meditation mind itself can be seen. Do it again and ask yourself if this mind you see is you and is it yours? If you clearly see that it is not you nor it's yours, that is the experience of anatta.

Next, experience anatta by observing as much fabrications as possible in your mind.

Next, experience anatta by observing as much fabrications as possible outside your mind, in the world/universe.

No matter where you'll observe, inside or outside, you'll experience anatta.

Na matter where you'll search, you'll experience anatta.

If at the end of your search for self (atta), you experience anatta and just anatta (no self), then you'll know anatta: all is not self. All is empty of self.

This is knowing anatta by experience.

Once anatta is known in the way I described, then the realization of the dhamma is not far away.

  • This post was marked down because, while the theory was excellent, it contained the words "you", "yours", "you'll" & "I" too many times to represent anatta. Also, the emphasis upon "fabrications" gives the impression it is theoretical because, in real meditation, the breathing/body, feelings, defilements, impermanence & conditionality are first discerned as anatta. To discern the anatta in fabrications is very subtle and very advanced and many other more gross phenomena are discerned as anatta far more easily & naturally, as the questioner described. . – Dhammadhatu Sep 5 '17 at 19:26

I don´t know. If you look inside whilst thinking, ask yourself "What is this?" Try to find the one who is thinking. Then the thought just vanishes, because it is Not-Self, not you nor anything else, but a changing phenomenon that comes and goes. Just let it go by asking What is This? There is no answer in your brain, you just need to see that there is nothing behind a thought but emptiness (no entity)

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