THE DAILY CUSHION

📜 DIGHA NIKAYA 10 – Subha Sutta

“DEEP BLISS ARISES WHEN THE FIVE HINDRANCES END” by Brad Hunter

☀️ “In the same way, as long as these five hindrances are not given up inside themselves, a mendicant regards them as a debt, a disease, a prison, slavery, and a desert crossing.

☀️ But when these five hindrances are given up inside themselves, a mendicant regards this as freedom from debt, good health, release from prison, emancipation, and sanctuary.

☀️ Seeing that the hindrances have been given up in them, joy springs up.

📌 Being joyful, rapture springs up.
📌 When the mind is full of rapture, the body becomes tranquil.
📌 When the body is tranquil, they feel bliss.
📌 And when blissful, the mind becomes immersed.

☀️ Quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unskillful qualities, they enter and remain in the first (Jhana) absorption, which has the rapture and bliss born of seclusion, while placing the mind and keeping it connected.

☀️ They drench, steep, fill, and spread their body with rapture and bliss born of seclusion. There’s no part of the body that’s not spread with rapture and bliss born of seclusion.

From Section 2. The Spectrum of Immersion (excerpt)

FULL SUTTA –
https://suttacentral.net/dn10/en/sujato

📜 BLISS:

📌 PĪTI – Joy

📌 SUKHA – Happiness

Subha Sutta—with Subha

“But when these five hindrances are given up inside themselves, a mendicants regard this as freedom from debt, good health, release from prison, emancipation, and sanctuary. Seeing that the hindrances have been given up in them, joy springs up. Being joyful, rapture springs up. When the mind is full of rapture, the body becomes tranquil. When the body is tranquil, they feel bliss. And when blissful, the mind becomes immersed. Quite secluded from sensual pleasures, secluded from unskillful qualities, they enter and remain in the first absorption, which has the rapture and bliss born of seclusion, while placing the mind and keeping it connected. They drench, steep, fill, and spread their body with rapture and bliss born of seclusion. There’s no part of the body that’s not spread with rapture and bliss born of seclusion.”

TEACHINGS FROM THIS PASSAGE

• When the hindrances are absent—even for a moment—joy begins to well up.

• Staying with the ‘internal’ felt sense of joy (‘secluded’ from the outer world), rapture, tranquility and bliss can begin to spread throughout the body.

• The entire body becomes suffused with these pleasant sensations while the mind remains content, clear and ‘connected’ to the experience itself.

MELTING THE HINDRANCES—CLEARING THE PATHEMBODIED METTA MEDITATION

• Take a few kind breaths, releasing tension and calming the body formation… Bring to mind the goodness that brings you to the practice, the basic orientation of non-harming in your heart. Feel joy and confidence in that. Take a few moments to consider the obstacles and difficulties in your life that you’ve overcome. Feel joy and confidence in your perseverance and insight. Think of the peace that you touch into in meditation, however fleeting and tentative it may seem. Feel joy and confidence in this ‘little’ peace and ease. Appreciate that this narrow entryway can open into the depths of wisdom and serenity.

• Bring attention to the right side of the body. Breathe kindness and goodwill deep into the body from the right side. (2 minutes) Breathe kindness and goodwill deep into the body from the left side. (2 minutes) Repeat with the front of the body, the back, below and above. (2 minutes or longer for each direction)

• Suffusing, pervading, soaking the body in kindness and goodwill. Leaving no part of the body untouched by this breath awareness, imbued with kindness and goodwill.

• Hold a soft, spacious focus in the heart space. Begin breathing compassion and forgiveness into and throughout the body. Permeating every cell of the body with compassion and forgiveness. Leaving no part of the body untouched.

• Still abiding, centered in the heart space, breathing in gladness and joy. Feel it soaking from the narrower passage of the physical breath in the core of the body, outwards through the organs, bloodstream, nervous system, bones and marrow, flesh, muscles and skin. Then, breathing in gladness and joy through the pores to skin, soaking in through skin, muscle, flesh, organs, bloodstream, nervous system, bones and marrow. Every nerve and cell receiving gladness and joy, being soothed by and rejoicing in the presence of gladness and joy. Leaving no part of the body untouched. Allow this pleasant abiding to deepen into silence, stillness and tranquility. Without being forced it may naturally open into equanimity.

MEDITATION TIPS

• Study the hindrances and the imagery/similes for the hindrances, and learn the antidotes for each and begin to practice them. http://www.noblepath.org/…/The_Five_Hindrances_and…

• Trust that cultivating fully-embodied, wakeful awareness, imbued with kindness, compassion, joy and peace, will eventually dissolve all hindrances.

• Treat the hindrances as opportunities to grow the path, rather than enemies. (Aversion, for example, only piles aversion upon aversion, fuels doubt and self-doubt, increases restlessness and worry, can lead to simply giving up and going into stupor, or running off seeking satisfaction in sensory pleasures.)

• Cultivate patient endurance for the most stubborn or your hindrances. Often they are ‘masking’ unhealed wounds, ancient sankharas that are driving much of our behavior and providing rickety scaffolding to shore up personality view. Going beyond the hindrances can yield spiritual treasure where one had assumed only poverty. There is the possibility of finally healing places that we thought would remain forever raw and painful.

“In our lives we have two possibilities: indulging in the world or going beyond the world. The Buddha was someone who was able to free himself from the world and thus realized spiritual liberation. In the same way, there are two types of knowledge: knowledge of the worldly realm and knowledge of the spiritual, or true wisdom. If we have not yet practiced and trained ourselves, no matter how much knowledge we have, it is still worldly, and thus can not liberate us. Think and really look closely! The Buddha said that things of the world spin the world around. Following the world, the mind is entangled in the world, it defiles itself whether coming or going, never remaining content. Worldly people are those who are always looking for something, never finding enough. Worldly knowledge is really ignorance; it isn’t knowledge with clear understanding, therefore there is never an end to it. It revolves around the worldly goals of accumulating things, gaining status, seeking praise and pleasure; it’s a mass of delusion which has us stuck fast.” (Ajahn Chah)

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