The Daily Cushion

“Insights Lead to Abandoning” by Sumith Siriwardana

10. “With his gaining of insight he abandons three states of mind, namely self-illusion, doubt, and indulgence in meaningless rites and rituals, should there be any.

He is also fully freed from the four states of woe, and therefore, incapable of committing the six major wrongdoings. This precious jewel is the Sangha. By this (asseveration of the) truth may there be happiness.”…/snp/snp.2.01.piya.html


One of the key aspects of Buddism is the teaching of life after death. According to the teaching, beings are subject to be born in one of the 31 realms of the world. The place of rebirth will be designed in accordance with one’s own Kamma (Volitional actions). However, Buddhism does not aim at producing future births. The teaching implies that all rebirth places are impermanent and they bring sufferings only due to decay and death. Therefore, the teaching aims at ending future births. As followers of the Buddha Dhamma, we should diligently work towards ending future rebirth sufferings by giving up craving for things in the world.

This ending process is impossible to carry alone. It needs support. This support comes from the association with Dhamma friends (Sotapattiphala Sutta – SN55.55). Dhamma friends are the first step on this path. They teach and bring us the Dhamma. When you listen and read Dhamma, you will know what you have never known before and it clears your doubts. Gradually, you will reflect on what you have listened to, read with your wise attention, and put into practice to see the results.

There are four stages of ending the effluents of future births. The first stage is called Sotapanna (Stream-Enterer), and the last stage is called Arahant (Fully Enlightened). Getting to the first stage is of the utmost importance because you will be guaranteed the final stage at a maximum of seven births.The Dhamma eye arises at Sotapanna Stage. This happens at seeing the cessation of Nama-Rupa (Mentality and Materiality) “Dassanena Sampanno” through your wisdom. Upon seeing this phenomenon, you will get a fruition mind, which replaces your ordinary mind. You gain an insight knowledge that all conditioned things are Anicca (Impermanent), Dukka (Suffering) and Anatta (Not-Self).

With this realization, three of the ten fetters (Samyojana) are completely abandoned (Rathana Sutta) and they will not arise again. Three fetters are,

1) Self Identification View (Sakkaya Ditthi) – Grasping the five aggregates as me, Mine and Myself and find them permanent, pleasant, and self. However, Sotapanna person will find all conditioned things impermanent, Suffering and Not-self even though he or she lives in conventional life.

2) Doubt (Vicikitsa) – Sotapanna person does not have doubts about 8 places such as* Doubt about Buddha* Doubt about Dhamma* Doubt about Sanga* Doubt about virtues* Doubt about previous lives* Doubt about future lives* Doubt about Dependent Origination* Doubt about coming and going

3) Indulgence in meaningless rites and rituals (Silabbata Paramasa) -Sotapanna Person does not go refuge onto any other except Buddha, Dhamma and Sanga. Sotapanna does not practice rituals in order to receive blessings for worldly matters.Sotapanna person has four distinct qualities such as1) Strong confidence in Buddha2) Strong confidence in Dhamma

3) Strong confidence in Sanga4) Strong confidence in virtues Sotapanna person does not do 6 major offenses such as killing father, Killing Mother, Killing Arahant, Injuring the Buddha, Splitting the Sanga, and Find another religious leader for refuge. Also, He or she does not commit woeful acts to be born in lower realms. He or she will be born a maximum of seven births in higher realms only. Therefore, we should keep our primary goal in reaching to the Sotapanna Stage in this life.


* Be always mindful of your virtues.

* Develop mindful concentration on Tranquility and Insight.

* Develop discernment on impermanence, suffering and not-self.



Find a secluded place. If you are at home, your room is fine but better at a time of less noisy and busy.


After sitting comfortably on a cushion or a pillow or floor, try to sit in a way that your knees are touching on the floor, for suggestions like the lotus position, half-lotus position, or Burmese way. However, if you have an ailment or a body pain, better sit in a comfortable position like a small chair, and just be relaxed.


Take refuge in the Triple Gems.

I take refuge in The Lord Buddha

I take refuge in The Dhamma

I take refuge in The Sanga

After taking refuge, place your hands on your lap and keep your right palm on top of your left palm. While looking at three feet in front, close your eyes. Relax and be aware that you are sitting now.


Observe your breath mindfully. Better if you can identify the touching point of your breath near your nostrils. Some might feel at the tip of the nose and some might feel inside of the nose and some might feel on top of the nose. Wherever you feel keep your attention (Sathi Nimittha), and allow your breath in and breath out. In the beginning, you might not feel the types of breath like long or short. But it is fine as long as you are aware of the breath in and breath out. Advanced practitioners can observe the types of breath.


Observe your different types of feelings such as pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral feelings and discern that they just arise, come into being and cease and there is nothing to attach.


Observe your different types of minds such as lustful minds, angry minds, deluded, concentrated minds, uplifted minds, shattered minds, etc. and discern that they just arise, come into being and cease and there is nothing to attach.


Observe five hindrances and aggregates and defilements arose by senses and discern that they just arise, come into being and cease and there is nothing to attach.


* Association with Dhamma friends is a way for awakening.

* Listening to Dhamma is a way for awakening.

* Reflect on Dhamma is a way for awakening.

* Practice Dhamma is a way for awakening.

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