THE DAILY CUSHION

📜 DIGHA NIKAYA 7 – With Jāliya Sutta

“KNOWING & SEEING BEYOND ‘BODY & SOUL’ VIEWS” by Steve Lin

“So I have heard. At one time the Buddha was staying near Kosambi, in Ghosita’s Monastery.
Now at that time two renunciates—the wanderer Muṇḍiya and Jāliya the pupil of Dārupattika—came to the Buddha and exchanged greetings with him.

When the greetings and polite conversation were over, they stood to one side and said to the Buddha, “Reverend Gotama, are the soul (jīva, life force) and the body (sarīra) the same thing, or they are different things?”

❣️ “Well then, reverends, listen and pay close attention, I will speak.”

☀️ “Yes, reverend,” they replied. The Buddha said this:
“Take the case when a Realized One arises in the world, perfected, a fully awakened Buddha … That’s how a mendicant is accomplished in ethics. …

☀️ They enter and remain in the first absorption (Jhana) … When a mendicant knows and sees like this, would it be appropriate to say of them: ‘The soul and the body are the same thing’ or ‘The soul and the body are different things’?”

“It would, reverend.” 😱

☀️ “But reverends, I know and see like this. Nevertheless, I do not say: ‘The soul and the body are the same thing’ or ‘The soul and the body are different things’. …

They enter and remain in the second absorption (Jhana)… third absorption (Jhana) … fourth absorption (Jhana). When a mendicant knows and sees like this, would it be appropriate to say of them: ‘The soul and the body are the same thing’ or ‘The soul and the body are different things’?”

“It would, reverend.” 😱

☀️ “But reverends, I know and see like this. Nevertheless, I do not say: ‘The soul and the body are the same thing’ or ‘The soul and the body are different things’. …
They extend and project the mind toward knowledge and vision … When a mendicant knows and sees like this, would it be appropriate to say of them: ‘The soul and the body are the same thing’ or ‘The soul and the body are different things’?”

“It would, reverend.” 😱

☀️ “But reverends, I know and see like this. Nevertheless, I do not say: ‘The soul and the body are the same thing’ or ‘The soul and the body are different things’. …
They understand: ‘… there is no return to any state of existence.’ When a mendicant knows and sees like this, would it be appropriate to say of them: ‘The soul and the body are the same thing’ or ‘The soul and the body are different things’?”

👍❣️ “It would not, reverend.”

☀️ “But reverends, I know and see like this. Nevertheless, I do not say: ‘The soul and the body are the same thing’ or ‘The soul and the body are different things’.”

❤️ That is what the Buddha said. Satisfied, the two renunciates were happy with what the Buddha said.

https://suttacentral.net/dn7/en/sujato

📜 THREE INSIGHTS FROM SUTTA

📌 Two Pali words are important to understand the sutta.

👉🏽 Sarīra: physical body composition (flesh and bones). This is not rūpa which is unique body image of each individual.

👉🏽 Jīva: life force, breath, sometimes interpreted as soul

📌 The Buddha teaches that seeking answers about whether the physical body and a soul is futility and only prevents “understanding … there is no return to any state of existence.”

📌 Deep knowledge, insight, and Jhana meditation leads beyond the need for understanding “body & soul” but rather focuses on “not returning to any state of existence” (rebirth of body/soul)…It doesn’t matter if same or not. 👍😌❣️

🙏 THREE TIPS FOR MEDITATION FROM SUTTA

📌 Practice Jhana meditation, as taught by The Buddha, to see beyond ‘body and soul’ views.

📌 “… extend and project the mind toward knowledge and vision…” to see beyond the limiting and uncertainty of views about “body & soul”.

📌 Use “knowledge & insights” gained in Jhana meditation (Samādhi) to see beyond body and breath and escape the rebirth “state of existence”.

🙏 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 FROM SUTTA

📌 Observe and release all five hindrance … to enter Jhana 1…The five hindrances (pañcanivarana) are sensual desire, ill will, sloth and torpor, restlessness and worry, and doubt.

📌 Use the key component of “release” to enter each Jhana absorption.

📌 Each Jhana requires further observation and release… including release of all connection to identity (body/breath).

📌 Body and breath become ‘subtle and unrecognizable’ as one enters the fourth Jhana and beyond into the immaterial Jhanas.

The Abandoning of the Hindrances

The five hindrances (pañcanivarana) are sensual desire, ill will, sloth and torpor, restlessness and worry, and doubt. This group, the principal classification the Buddha uses for the obstacles to meditation, receives its name because its five members hinder and envelop the mind, preventing meditative development in the two spheres of serenity and insight. Hence the Buddha calls them “obstructions, hindrances, corruptions of the mind which weaken wisdom”(S.v,94).The hindrance of sensual desire (kamachanda) is explained as desire for the “five strands of sense pleasure,” that is, for pleasant forms, sounds, smells, tastes and tangibles. It ranges from subtle liking to powerful lust. The hindrance of ill will (byapada) signifies aversion directed towards disagreeable persons or things. It can vary in range from mild annoyance to overpowering hatred. Thus the first two hindrances correspond to the first two root defilements, greed and hate. The third root defilement, delusion, is not enumerated separately among the hindrances but can be found underlying the remaining three.Sloth and torpor is a compound hindrance made up of two components: sloth (thina), which is dullness, inertia or mental stiffness; and torpor (middha), which is indolence or drowsiness. Restlessness and worry is another double hindrance, restlessness (uddhacca) being explained as excitement, agitation or disquietude, worry (kukkucca) as the sense of guilt aroused by moral transgressions. Finally, the hindrance of doubt (vicikiccha) is explained as uncertainty with regard to the Buddha, the Dhamma, the Sangha and the training.

The Buddha offers two sets of similes to illustrate the detrimental effect of the hindrances. The first compares the five hindrances to five types of calamity: sensual desire is like a debt, ill will like a disease, sloth and torpor like imprisonment, restless and worry like slavery, and doubt like being lost on a desert road. Release from the hindrances is to be seen as freedom from debt, good health, release from prison, emancipation from slavery, and arriving at a place of safety (D.i,71-73). The second set of similes compares the hindrances to five kinds of impurities affecting a bowl of water, preventing a keen-sighted man from seeing his own reflection as it really is. Sensual desire is like a bowl of water mixed with brightly colored paints, ill will like a bowl of boiling water, sloth and torpor like water covered by mossy plants, restlessness and worry like water blown into ripples by the wind, and doubt like muddy water.

Just as the keen-eyed man would not be able to see his reflection in these five kinds of water, so one whose mind is obsessed by the five hindrances does not know and see as it is his own good, the good of others or the good of both (S.v,121-24). Although there are numerous defilements opposed to the first jhana the five hindrances alone are called its factors of abandoning. One reason according to the Visuddhimagga, is that the hindrances are specifically obstructive to jhana, each hindrance impeding in its own way the mind’s capacity for concentration.

The mind affected through lust by greed for varied objective fields does not become concentrated on an object consisting in unity, or being overwhelmed by lust, it does not enter on the way to abandoning the sense-desire element. When pestered by ill will towards an object, it does not occur uninterruptedly. When overcome by stiffness and torpor, it is unwieldy. When seized by agitation and worry, it is unquiet and buzzes about. When stricken by uncertainty, it fails to mount the way to accomplish the attainment of jhana. So it is these only that are called factors of abandonment because they are specifically obstructive to jhana.(Vism.146: PP.152)

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/gunaratana/wheel351.html?fbclid=IwAR0CQAKPeLCNmhuwsqR9WF8pmO-zxe3BNT_Qw3Z0EXZs8JgabPeq0c-Qlyg#ch3.1

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