THE DAILY CUSHION

“The Body (form) Limits Insights & Wisdom?” By Steve Lin

“The pleasure and happiness that arise from form: this is its gratification. That form is impermanent, suffering, and perishable: this is its drawback. Removing and giving up desire and greed for form: this is its escape. The pleasure and happiness that arise from form… feeling … perception … choices … consciousness: this is its gratification. That consciousness is impermanent, suffering, and perishable: this is its drawback. Removing and giving up desire and greed for consciousness: this is its escape.”

“Sir, how does one know and see so that there’s no ego, possessiveness, or underlying tendency to conceit for this conscious body and all external stimuli?”

“One truly sees any kind of form at all—past, future, or present; internal or external; coarse or fine; inferior or superior; far or near: *all* form—with right understanding: ‘This is not mine, I am not this, this is not my self.’ One truly sees any kind of feeling … perception … choices … consciousness at all—past, future, or present; internal or external; coarse or fine; inferior or superior; far or near, *all* consciousness—with right understanding: ‘This is not mine, I am not this, this is not my self.’ That’s how to know and see so that there’s no ego, possessiveness, or underlying tendency to conceit for this conscious body and all external stimuli.”

Please read the full Sutta.

https://suttacentral.net/mn109/en/sujato

📜 INSIGHTS FROM SUTTA

📌 The Buddha taught to view the body with clear understanding as impermanent…“So you should truly see any kind of form at all—past, future, or present; internal or external; coarse or fine; inferior or superior; far or near: *all* form—with right understanding: ‘This is not mine, I am not this, this is not my self.’”

📌 Clear seeing causes the attachment to body to fade.“Seeing this, a learned noble disciple grows disillusioned with form, feeling, perception, choices, and consciousness.”

📌 The mind becomes “free and clear” as body attachment and identity fades.“ Being disillusioned, desire fades away. When desire fades away they’re freed. When they’re freed, they know they’re freed. They understand: ‘Rebirth is ended, the spiritual journey has been completed, what had to be done has been done, there is no return to any state of existence.’”

“Form” is first of five aggregates (collects) and barriers to deeper insights and wisdom.

🧘🏽‍♂️ MEDITATION TIPS

📌 Observe the body with “right view”… impermanent and not a self.

📌 Reflect on “possibility of having many past bodies” to see need to let go of needing a body.

📌 As long as you want and need body, you will have rebirth.

🙏 PREPARATION FOR GUIDED MEDITATION

🧘🏽‍♀‍ MEDITATION PLACE📌 Find a comfortable place that is quiet to sit and meditate with few interruptions and distractions to the senses.🧘🏽‍♀‍ RELAX📌 After sitting comfortably on a cushion or pillow or floor, place hands in lap and close the eyes.🧘🏽‍♀‍ TRIPLE GEM (1-2 min)📌 Prepare the mind and concentration by taking “Refuge in the Triple Gem”.📌 Visualize each one in the mind (as an object) and generate faith and warm feelings with each one. Don’t rush this.📌 I take refuge in The Buddha.📌 I take refuge in The Dhamma.📌 I take refuge in The Sangha.🧘🏽‍♀‍ SATIPATTHĀNA WARM UP (3-5 min)📌 “The Breath”📌 Begin to focus in the breathing without attaching or stressing about it. Just relax and observe the breath.📌 As you breath in… observe it and release.📌 As you breath out… observe it and release.📌 Observing the rhythm of the breath is essential to relax the body and to practice releasing.📌 Use the out breath to practice releasing.📌 Relaxed smiling is good to use to help relax.📌 I often will use the phrase “Peace” (in breath)📌 “Release” (our breath)📌 Continue observing breathing until it becomes very subtle or almost unnoticeable.🧘🏽‍♀‍ SATIPATTHĀNA WARM UP (3-5 min)📌 “The Body”📌 As the breath fades, the mind relaxes, the body also begins to relax.📌 Observe the body as a (body) form. It’s not self, but only a shell, a rupa, that temporarily supports consciousness.📌 As observing, the body, let the breath and body fade.🧘🏽‍♂‍ SATIPATTHĀNA WARM UP (3-5 min)📌 “The Mind”📌 As the breath fades and the body relaxes, the mind tends to become active or stay busy.📌 As thoughts arise, don’t engage with them. Observe them and then let them fade.📌 They will rise and they will fall unless there is engagement to feed the thoughts.

🧘🏽‍♂️ SELF-GUIDED MEDITATION

📌 Contemplate on the true nature of the body

📌 Contemplate on the possibility of past bodies (don’t speculate or fixate in this,on consider the possibility) … helping to have right view and release clinging

📌 Contemplate on “attachment to body form limits insights and wisdom”📌 Observe the freedom of mind as “attachment to body” is released.

📌 Observe insights arise as “attachment to body” is released.

📌 Observe deep joy (Piti) arise as “attachment of the body” is released.

Utilize or use the current form (body) to gain insights for nirvana, insights, emancipation, and eventually for full enlightenment.

“And what is form? The four great existents [the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, & the wind property] and the form derived from them: this is called form. From the origination of nutriment comes the origination of form. From the cessation of nutriment comes the cessation of form. And just this noble eightfold path is the path of practice leading to the cessation of form, i.e., right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. The fact that pleasure & happiness arises in dependence on form: that is the allure of form. The fact that form is inconstant, stressful, subject to change: that is the drawback of form. The subduing of desire & passion for form, the abandoning of desire & passion for form: that is the escape from form.”For any brahmans or contemplatives who by directly knowing form in this way, directly knowing the origination of form in this way, directly knowing the cessation of form in this way, directly knowing the path of practice leading to the cessation of form in this way, directly knowing the allure of form in this way, directly knowing the drawback of form in this way, directly knowing the escape from form in this way, are practicing for disenchantment — dispassion — cessation with regard to form, they are practicing rightly. Those who are practicing rightly are firmly based in this doctrine & discipline. And any brahmans or contemplatives who by directly knowing form in this way, directly knowing the origination of form in this way, directly knowing the cessation of form in this way, directly knowing the path of practice leading to the cessation of form in this way, directly knowing the allure of form in this way, directly knowing the drawback of form in this way, directly knowing the escape from form in this way, are — from disenchantment, dispassion, cessation, lack of clinging/sustenance with regard to form — released, they are well-released. Those who are well-released are fully accomplished. And with those who are fully accomplished, there is no cycle for the sake of describing them.” https://www.accesstoinsight.org/…/sn22/sn22.057.than.html

At Savatthi. “Monks, forms are inconstant, changeable, alterable. Sounds… Aromas… Flavors… Tactile sensations… Ideas are inconstant, changeable, alterable.”One who has conviction & belief that these phenomena are this way is called a faith-follower: one who has entered the orderliness of rightness, entered the plane of people of integrity, transcended the plane of the run-of-the-mill. He is incapable of doing any deed by which he might be reborn in hell, in the animal womb, or in the realm of hungry shades. He is incapable of passing away until he has realized the fruit of stream-entry.”One who, after pondering with a modicum of discernment, has accepted that these phenomena are this way is called a Dhamma-follower: one who has entered the orderliness of rightness, entered the plane of people of integrity, transcended the plane of the run-of-the-mill. He is incapable of doing any deed by which he might be reborn in hell, in the animal womb, or in the realm of hungry shades. He is incapable of passing away until he has realized the fruit of stream-entry.”One who knows and sees that these phenomena are this way is called a stream-enterer, steadfast, never again destined for states of woe, headed for self-awakening.”

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/…/sn25/sn25.002.than.html

“Knowing and seeing like this, their mind is freed from the defilements of sensuality, desire to be reborn, and ignorance.Tassa evaṃ jānato evaṃ passato kāmāsavāpi cittaṃ vimuccati, bhavāsavāpi cittaṃ vimuccati, avijjāsavāpi cittaṃ vimuccati.When they’re freed, they know they’re freed.Vimuttasmiṃ vimuttamiti ñāṇaṃ hoti.They understand: ‘Rebirth is ended, the spiritual journey has been completed, what had to be done has been done, there is no return to any state of existence.’‘Khīṇā jāti, vusitaṃ brahmacariyaṃ, kataṃ karaṇīyaṃ, nāparaṃ itthattāyā’ti pajānāti.”

https://suttacentral.net/mn7/en/sujato

VIPASSANA INSIGHT

“Vipassanā is not a meditation technique. It’s a quality of mind—the ability to see events clearly in the present moment. Although mindfulness is helpful in fostering vipassanā, it’s not enough for developing vipassanā to the point of total release. Other techniques and approaches are needed as well. In particular, vipassanā needs to be teamed with samatha—the ability to settle the mind comfortably in the present—so as to master the attainment of strong states of absorption, or jhāna. Based on this mastery, you then apply samatha and vipassanā to a skillful program of questioning, called appropriate attention, directed at all experience: exploring events not in terms of me/not me, or being/not being, but in terms of the four noble truths. You pursue this program until it leads to a fivefold understanding of all events: in terms of their arising, their passing away, their drawbacks, their allure, and the escape from them. Only then can the mind taste release.

This program for developing vipassanā and samatha, in turn, needs the support of many other attitudes, mental qualities, and techniques of practice. This was why the Buddha taught it as part of a still larger program, including respect for the noble ones, mastery of all seven approaches for abandoning the mental fermentations, and all eight factors of the noble path. To take a reductionist approach to the practice can produce only reduced results, for meditation is a skill like carpentry, requiring a mastery of many tools in response to many different needs. To limit ourselves to only one approach in meditation would be like trying to build a house when our motivation is uncertain and our tool box contains nothing but hammers.”

~ Thanissaro Bhikkhu “One Tool Among Many: The Place of Vipassanā in Buddhist Practice”
https://www.dhammatalks.org/books/NobleStrategy/Section0012.html

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