THE DAILY CUSHION

📜 DIGHA NIKAYA 11 – Kevaṭṭa Sutta

“The Ending of Name (mind) & Form (body)” by Steve Lin

” When he said this, I said to him:

‘Once upon a time, mendicant, some sea-merchants set sail for the ocean deeps, taking with them a land-spotting bird. When their ship was out of sight of land, they released the bird. It flew right away to the east, the west, the north, the south, upwards, and in-between. If it saw land on any side, it went there and stayed. But if it saw no land on any side it returned to the ship.

 In the same way, after failing to get an answer to this question even after searching as far as the Brahmā realm, you’ve returned to me.

Mendicant, this is not how the question should be asked: “Sir, where do these four primary elements cease without anything left over, namely, the elements of earth, water, fire, and air?”

This is how the question should be asked:

“Where do water and earth,
fire and air find no footing;
where do long and short,
fine and coarse, beautiful and ugly;
where do name (nama)and form (rupa)
cease with nothing left over?”

And the answer to that is:

“Consciousness that’s invisible,
infinite, radiant all round.
Here’s where water and earth,
fire and air find no footing;
here’s where long and short,
fine and coarse, beautiful and ugly;
here’s where name (nama) and form (rupa)
cease with nothing left over—
with the cessation of consciousness,
that’s where this ceases.”’”

That is what the Buddha said. Satisfied, the householder Kevaddha was happy with what the Buddha said.

– Last section of the sutta

📌 FULL SUTTA IN YOUTUBE:

👉🏽https://www.youtube.com/playlist…
👉🏾 The section of the study is (1:10) in YouTube.

📌 FULL SUTTA- https://suttacentral.net/dn11/en/sujato

📜 THREE INSIGHTS FROM SUTTA

📌 Kevaddha and others wanted to know how to end rebirth of the body elements.

📌 Even Brahma and the divine realms didn’t know.

📌 The Buddha teaches that it’s not only about body (four elements) to end, it’s about mind & body together. This is a portion of the“dependent origination” steps he teaches.

👉🏾 Ending rebirth (NĀMARŪPA) requires the ending of consciousness (viññāna). This is why meditation practice is essential.

😌 TIPS FOR MEDITATION

👉🏽 Contemplate … that “ending rebirth can only happen in the mind” by ending ignorance and sankhara mind conditions.

👉🏽 Review & contemplate the order of “Dependent Origination” and how ignorance and sankhara mind conditions are causes of consciousness.

👉🏽 Use meditation time to observe and release those things that are fueling and contributing to consciousness.

🙏 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.

👉 TRIPLE GEM (1-2 min)

📌 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 kamma (intentions) are a cause to mind conditions (sankhara).

👉🏽 Contemplate reduction of kamma (intentions), especially wrongful or ignoble actions of intention

👉🏽 Observe ignorance & sankhara mind conditions that fuel mind consciousness…

👉🏽 Observe the way consciousness fuels “Nāmarūpa” (mind/body).

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.15.0.than.html?fbclid=IwAR0SpNTC7fqzmcb4U5R9WxMCwDSsDdf9C00zM40rgcSCD-N7nQSt0-TAQfo

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)

THE DAILY CUSHION

📜 DIGHA NIKAYA 9

“LETTING GO OF DOUBTS & VIEWS” by Sumith Siriwardana

☀️“Potthapada—having other views, other practices, other satisfactions, other aims, other teachers—it’s hard for you to know whether perception is a person’s self or if perception is one thing and self another.”

☀️“ Well then , lord, if—having other views, other practices, other satisfactions, other aims, other teachers—it’s hard for me to know whether perception is a person’s self or if perception is one thing and self another, then is it the case that the cosmos is eternal, that only this is true and anything otherwise is worthless?”… (continued)

☀️“Potthapada, I haven’t expounded that the cosmos is eternal, that only this is true and anything otherwise is worthless.”

☀️ “Then is it the case that the cosmos is not eternal, that only this is true and anything otherwise is worthless?”

☀️ “Potthapada, I haven’t expounded that the cosmos is not eternal, that only this is true and anything otherwise is worthless.”

☀️ “Then is it the case that the cosmos is finite … the cosmos is infinite … the soul & the body are the same … the soul is one thing and the body another … after death a Tathagata exists … after death a Tathagata does not exist … after death a Tathagata both exists & does not exist … after death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist, that only this is true and anything otherwise is worthless?”

☀️ “Potthapada, I haven’t expounded that after death a Tathagata neither exists nor does not exist, that only this is true and anything otherwise is worthless.”

☀️ “But why hasn’t the Blessed One expounded these things?”

❤️👉🏽 “Because they are not conducive to the goal, are not conducive to the Dhamma, are not basic to the holy life.”

❤️👉🏾 “They don’t lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding. That’s why I haven’t expounded them.”

Full Sutta
https://suttacentral.net/dn9/en/thanissaro

VIPASSANA INSIGHT

“abhikkantaṃ, bhante, abhikkantaṃ, bhante. Seyyathāpi, bhante, nikkujjitaṃ vā ukkujjeyya, paṭicchannaṃ vā vivareyya, mūḷhassa vā maggaṃ ācikkheyya, andhakāre vā telapajjotaṃ dhāreyya: ‘cakkhumanto rūpāni dakkhantī’ti; evamevaṃ bhagavatā anekapariyāyena dhammo pakāsito.”

> In this pharse, Potthapada exclaimed happiness in reverence to the Lord Buddha for clearing his doubts and revealing the truth. After this exclamation, Potthapada went forth for refuge of Buddha, Dhamma and Sanga as a lay follower.

> Clearing doubts of a person is not an easy task. It takes time, energy and it can be inconvenient too because of the fixed views. All these fixed views are just a generation of concepts of Me, I and Myself. Having a fixed view, one can not realize what other teachers preach because other teachings might not match with his or her concepts. If the other teachings contradict, they debate and fight.

> Potthapada was different though he was another acetic leader. He was flaxible and having “good eyes”. It reminded him that the Lord Buddha could provide answers to his questions which were discussed and debated by other religious leaders in the dabating Hall. The Lord Buddha answered in difference to other religious teachers based on Sila (Morality), Samadi (Concentration) and Panna (Descernment) and showed the path and fruition here and now and it cleared Potthapada’s doubts.

> Doubt is a hindrance in our meditative practice too. Doubts can be doubts about the teaching, practice, results, right or wrong etc. They put a barriar to proceed us further. This requires “good eyes” and one with good eyes can see. Good eyes are the initial desernment for developing confidence that this religious path could solve my problems questions and sufferings. This should come with questioning and answering.

> How do we clear our doubts and find the path that has been lost and light a lamp in the darkeness? It is the practice of The Noble Eight Fold Path based on Sila Samadi and Panna. Then, you could be able to find what has been hidden and right what has been overturned.

✏️ atthasaṃhita: (Pali)connected with the goal; useful, profitable; having meaning (see attha)

“It’s not easy!!! It requires letting go of views about self and past understanding about self.It’s leaving the safety of a self view… even if that view is destructive.So often we would rather cling to a destructive view that brings suffering than let go of that view to be free.” – Steve Linder

MIND TRAINING

> Find good Dhamma friends who know the correct Dhamma.

> Listen and read Dhamma to clear your doubts and gain a knowledge.

> Reflect the Dhamma by applying to your life.

> Practice accordingly to see results here and now.

GUIDED MEDITATION

> MEDITATION PLACE

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

RELAXAfter 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.

TRIPLE GEMS (1-2 MIN)

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.

THE BREATH

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.

FEELINGS

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.

MINDS

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.

DHAMMA

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.

SELF GUIDED MEDITATION

> Clearing your doubts is a way for awakening.

> Fixed views are barriers to your practice.

> Good eyes are a way for awakening.

“Most of us know so much that there are no bounds to our knowledge. When our knowledge has no bounds, it’s like a forest fire that burns everything in sight. In other words, we’re so smart that we outsmart ourselves. We know what’s right and wrong but can’t keep ourselves from doing what’s wrong. This kind of knowledge serves no purpose and can only cause us harm. That’s why it’s like a forest fire that goes out of control and destroys everyone’s orchards and fields. People like this end up a total loss. They know everything in the world except for themselves. Knowledge with no bounds can cause two sorts of harm: We ourselves are harmed by it, and other people get harmed as well.”

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/lee/skillof.html?fbclid=IwAR1j8RLeXVLkLSk2w9hE00Ebzb0gHmODB3XkKCsNGMxRIJqPyufjBNmYa28

“If you study the Dhamma without practicing it, it’s as if you’re missing parts of your body. If you study and practice, it’s like having two eyes, two hands, and two legs. You can do things a lot more easily than a person with only one eye, one hand, or one leg.”

“So, regardless of your background, whether you’ve studied a lot, or studied a little, it doesn’t matter. It’s not a question of simply adopting the Buddha’s views and getting to a point where you agree: “Yes — I now agree with the Buddha.” It’s more that he gives you a task to do, and as you do the task, you’re going to learn some important things about what actually is possible in the mind. And *that* possibility is there for everybody — which is why the Dhamma-eye is always the same for everybody.”~ Thanissaro Bhikkhu “The Dhamma Eye”

THE DAILY CUSHION

📜 DIGHA NIKAYA 8 – The Longer Discourse on the Lion’s Roar

“Marks of ‘The Lions Roar’ of The Buddha” by Steve Lin

❤️ “What should be said is this:

☀️ ‘The ascetic Gotama roars his lion’s roar;

👉🏽 he roars it in an assembly;
👉🏽 he roars it boldly;
👉🏽 they question him;
👉🏽 he answers their questions;
👉🏽 his answers are satisfactory;
👉🏽 they think him worth listening to;
👉🏽 they’re confident after listening;
👉🏽 they show their confidence;
👉🏽 they practice accordingly; and
👉🏽 they succeed in their practice.’

Full Sutta …. please read.
https://suttacentral.net/dn8/en/sujato

📜 THREE INSIGHTS FROM SUTTA

📌 Doubts will arise when we get our focus off the core teachings of The Buddha.

📌 Stream-entry (sotapanna) includes faith and confidence in The Buddha and his teachings from the suttas.

📌 To get rid of doubt of The Buddha and his teachings, focus on the study of the suttas, listening to quality dhamma talks, and practice the teachings including regular meditation.

🙏 TIPS FOR MEDITATION FROM SUTTA

📌 Observe any doubts that arise in thoughts and in meditation.

📌 Observe the cause of those doubts in thoughts and meditation.

📌 Release those thoughts about “causes”and doubts … replacing with faith growing thoughts.

When doubts arise… it’s important to recognize that doubt for what it is. But that’s not enough. Doubts arise from a cause… which needs to be understood. Look for insights in the causes of the doubts. What is fueling doubts?

🙏 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

📌 Focus the mind on The Buddha roaring his teachings in an assembly.

📌 Focus the mind on The Buddha roaring his teachings boldly.

📌 Focus the mind on The Buddha roaring his teachings where people can question him and he answers their questions.

📌 Focus the mind on The Buddha roaring his teachings with answers that are satisfactory.

📌 Focus the mind on The Buddha roaring his teachings where students think him worth listening to.

📌 Focus the mind on The Buddha roaring his teachings where they’re confident after listening.

📌 Focus the mind on The Buddha roaring his teachings they are able show their confidence.

📌 Focus the mind on The Buddha roaring his teachings and the students practice accordingly to those teachings.

📌 Focus the mind on The Buddha roaring his teachings and those who listen and practice the teachings are ‘successful in their practice.’

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

The Daily Cushion

📜 DIGHA NIKAYA 6

THE FINER THINGS ONE LEARNS UNDER TEACHING OF THE BUDDHA

By Steve Lin

“Surely the mendicants (Bhikkhus) must live the spiritual life under the Buddha for the sake of realizing such a (type) development of immersion?”

“No, Mahāli, the mendicants (bhikkhus) don’t live the spiritual life under me for the sake of realizing such a (type) development of immersion. There are other things that are finer, for the sake of which the mendicants live the spiritual life under me.”

“But sir, what are those finer things?”

☀️ “Firstly, Mahāli, with the ending of three fetters a mendicant is a stream-enterer, not liable to be reborn in the underworld, bound for awakening. This is one of the finer things for the sake of which the mendicants live the spiritual life under me.”

☀️ “Furthermore, a mendicant—with the ending of three fetters, and the weakening of greed, hate, and delusion—is a once-returner. They come back to this world once only, then make an end of suffering. This too is one of the finer things.”

☀️ “Furthermore, with the ending of the five lower fetters, a mendicant is reborn spontaneously and will become extinguished there, not liable to return from that world. This too is one of the finer things.”

☀️ “Furthermore, a mendicant has realized the undefiled freedom of heart and freedom by wisdom in this very life, and lives having realized it with their own insight due to the ending of defilements. This too is one of the finer things.”

“These are the finer things, for the sake of which the mendicants live the spiritual life under me.”

Read the full Sutta.
https://suttacentral.net/dn6/en/sujato

📜 THREE INSIGHTS FROM THE SUTTA

📌 We can become obsessed with one type of meditation and miss all the finer teachings of The Buddha

📌 The Buddha says that the most important and finer things under his teachings includes the removal of the fetters which causes Dukkha and rebirth

📌 Removal of these fetters leads to the ending Dukkha, ending of rebirth, and to the various stages of enlightenment…

🙏 THREE TIPS FOR MEDITATION FRIM THE SUTTA

📌 Our meditation “must” include the observation and release of the fetters.

📌 Samādhi meditation is incomplete alone but should include vipassana insight to end the fetters

📌 Ending the fetters takes time and daily routine practice … otherwise, they will never cease

🙏 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.

The Pali canon’s Sutta Pitaka identifies ten “fetters of becoming”:

– belief in a self (Pali: sakkāya-diṭṭhi)

– doubt or uncertainty, especially about the Buddha’s awakeness and nine supermundane consciousnesses (vicikicchā)

– attachment to rites and rituals (sīlabbata-parāmāsa)- sensual desire (kāmacchando)

– ill will (vyāpādo or byāpādo)

– lust for material existence, lust for material rebirth (rūparāgo)

– lust for immaterial existence, lust for rebirth in a formless realm (arūparāgo)

– conceit (māna)

– restlessness (uddhacca)

– ignorance (avijjā)

As indicated in the adjacent table, throughout the Sutta Pitaka, the first five fetters are referred to as “lower fetters” (orambhāgiyāni saṃyojanāni) and are eradicated upon becoming a non-returner; and, the last five fetters are referred to as “higher fetters” (uddhambhāgiyāni saṃyojanāni), eradicated by an arahant.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fetter_(Buddhism)

🧘🏻‍♂️ SELF-GUIDED MEDITATION

📌 Observe the first three fetters that arise during meditation…

1. belief in a self (sakkāya-diṭṭhi)

2. doubt (vicikicchā)

3. attachment to rites and rituals (sīlabbata-parāmāsa)

📌 Observe insights about each of these … take time… be open to things you might not enjoy discovering …

📌 Reflect on changes in lifestyle, actions, thoughts, and views that may need to change

📌 Release the need to be a permanent self and desire for rebirth and existence

📌 Release doubts in The Buddha and his teachings

📌 Release the need and dependence on religious practices, rites, superstitious religious activities, good luck chants and charms … these all prevent stream-entry and enlightenment.

Truly and honestly observing and seeing these fetters as they truly are in our minds and life can be very difficult. We often don’t want to admit or face the truth. This keeps us in ignorance and samsara cycles of Dukkha and rebirth. Once we learn to see the truth

The Daily Cushion

📜 The Digh Nikaya 5

“Sotapañña: Marks of Stream-Entry for Enlightenment” by Steve Lin

👉🏾 “And when he (The Buddha) knew that Kūṭadanta’s mind was…

📌 … ready, pliable, rid of hindrances, joyful, and confident he explained the special teaching of the Buddhas: suffering, its origin, its cessation, and the path.

👉🏾 Just as a clean cloth rid of stains would properly absorb dye, in that very seat the stainless, immaculate vision of the Dhamma arose in the brahmin Kūṭadanta: “Everything that has a beginning has an end.”

👉🏾 Then Kūṭadanta …

📌 …saw, attained, understood, and fathomed the Dhamma. He went beyond doubt, got rid of indecision, and became self-assured and independent of others regarding the Teacher’s instructions.”

Please read and listen to the full Sutta for our series study.

https://suttacentral.net/dn5/en/sujato

📜 THREE INSIGHTS FROM SUTTA SECTION

📜 THREE INSIGHTS FROM SUTTA SECTION

📌 To become a sotāpanna (stream-entry), the mind must be mind was ready, pliable, rid of hindrances, joyful, and confident

📌 It is essential to understand and have confidence in the special teaching of the Buddhas: suffering, its origin, its cessation, and the path.“Just as a clean cloth rid of stains would properly absorb dye, in that very seat the stainless, immaculate vision of the Dhamma arose in the brahmin Kūṭadanta: ‘Everything that has a beginning has an end.’”

📌 The condition of the mind determines the stream-entry…“… saw, attained, understood, and fathomed the Dhamma. He went beyond doubt, got rid of indecision, and became self-assured and independent of others regarding the Teacher’s instructions.”

🙏 THREE TIPS FROM SUTTA FOR MEDITATION

📌 Regular contemplate the “Four Noble Truths” about Dukkha suffering, its origin of craving , its ability for cessation, and the noble path.

📌 Train the mind to be “ready, pliable, rid of hindrances, joyful, and confident in the sutta teachings”.

📌 Train the mind to let go of doubt, get rid of indecision, and become self-assured and independent of others.

🙏 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 (, 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

📌 Observe readiness and pliability of the mind and smile with this mind condition… giving thanks

📌 Observe the doubt conditions of the mind… doubts in The Buddha, doubts In The Dhamma Sutta teachings, doubts in The Sangha

📌 Let “insights arise” about these doubts

📌 Observe the confidence and faith in The Buddha, doubts In The Dhamma Sutta teachings, doubts in The Sangha

📌 Let “insights arise” about this confidence

📌 Let go of doubt and embrace the confidence in the Triple Gem

📌 Observe conditions of the mind that’s associated with Dukkha suffering

📌 Observe conditions of the mind that’s associated with cravings leading to Dukkha suffering

📌 Observe conditions of the mind leading to the ending of craving and Dukkha

📌 Observe mind conditions that support daily practice of the Eightfold Path that ends Craving and Dukkha suffering.

📌 Contemplate the marks of the Sotapanna Stream-entry“A person who has seen the Dhamma and consequently, has dropped the first three fetters (Pāli: samyojana, Sanskrit: saṃyojana) that

1. bind a being to rebirth, namely self-view (sakkāya-ditthi),

2. clinging to rites and rituals (sīlabbata-parāmāsa), and

3. skeptical indecision (Vicikitsa).”

📌 Contemplate a mind that leans towards these three marks

📌 Give thanks and smile

RESOURSE: “Into the Stream” by Thanissaro Bhikkhu https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/study/into_the_stream.pdf

Listen to the full sutta by Bhanta Candana

The Daily Cushion

📜 DIGHA NIKAYA 4

“THE DANGER OF WORRYING ABOUT REPUTATION, TITLES, EDUCATION DEGREES, MONEY, & POWER” by Steve Lin

👉 Soṇadaṇḍa Struggles with His Ego, His Peers, & His Thoughts

“When the Buddha had eaten and washed his hand and bowl, Soṇadaṇḍa took a low seat and sat to one side. Seated to one side he said to the Buddha:

😱 ‘Master Gotama, if, when I have gone to an assembly, I rise from my seat and bow to the Buddha, that assembly might disparage me for that. And when you’re disparaged by the assembly, your reputation diminishes. When your reputation diminishes, your wealth also diminishes. But my wealth relies on my reputation.

😱 If, when I have gone to an assembly, I raise my joined palms, please take it that I have risen from my seat. And if I undo my turban, please take it that I have bowed. And Master Gotama, if, when I am in a carriage, I rise from my seat and bow to the Buddha, that assembly might disparage me for that. If, when I am in a carriage, I hold up my goad, please take it that I have got down from my carriage. And if I lower my sunshade, please take it that I have bowed.’

🙏 Then the Buddha educated, encouraged, fired up, and inspired the brahmin Soṇadaṇḍa with a Dhamma talk, after which he got up from his seat and left.”

Read Full Sutta – https://suttacentral.net/dn4/en/sujato

📜 THREE INSIGHTS FROM FULL SUTTA

📌 Friends and peers can negatively influence our practice and following the dhamma

📌 Our ego, expectations, and insecurities can negatively influence our practice and following the dhamma

📌 Even after hearing clear, powerful dhamma talks by The Buddha, Soṇadaṇḍa still worried about his reputation, image, and wealth more than following The Buddha.

🙏 MEDITATION TIPS FROM THE SUTTA

📌 Concern about degrees, education, wealth, and reputation is a clear sign of attachment and clinging.

📌 Meditation practice and nirvana can be greatly impacted by ego pursuits.

📌 Insights from the suttas and Dhamma talks will be greatly hindered by concerns of reputation and the fuel of ego.

🙏 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

📌 Observe any “desires and craving” for education, title, reputation, power, money…

📌 Observe how these can distract mind from gaining deep insights from the reading of the suttas and dhamma talks

📌 Observe how these can distract mind from gaining deep insights from meditation

📌 Observe how these can distract mind from gaining nirvana and awakening

📌 Release any cravings, attachments and … clinging to reputation … clinging or craving to titles, to power … attachment to money or wealth…

📌 Reflect on the sutta and how these concerns were a downfall and conflict inside the mind of Soṇadaṇḍa.

📌 Observe how your mind may be similar to Soṇadaṇḍa and his thoughts and cravings prevent nirvana and distract from truly following The Buddha’s teachings.

😱 Even after a powerful Dhamma from The Buddha… Soṇadaṇḍa was still worried about reputation. He did not want to be perceived as humble and bowing to the teachings of The Buddha for fear of losing reputation and wealth. He devised a plan of secret symbols to try and show The Buddha he was following him, so his peers would not know… so he wouldn’t lose his reputation and wealth.

Do we do the same??

The Daily Cushion

📜 DIGHA NIKAYA 3

“Each Person Has Different Readiness to Hear the Dhamma” by Brad Hunter

☀️ “… when the Buddha knew that Pokkharasāti’s mind was ready, pliable, rid of hindrances, joyful, and confident he explained the special teaching of the Buddhas: suffering, its origin, its cessation, and the path.

☀️ Just as a clean cloth rid of stains would properly absorb dye, in that very seat the stainless, immaculate vision of the Dhamma arose in the brahmin Pokkharasāti: “Everything that has a beginning has an end.”

9. Pokkharasāti Declares Himself a Lay Follower

☀️ Then Pokkharasāti saw, attained, understood, and fathomed the Dhamma. He went beyond doubt, got rid of indecision, and became self-assured and independent of others regarding the Teacher’s instructions. He said to the Buddha, “Excellent, Master Gotama! Excellent!

☀️ As if he were righting the overturned, or revealing the hidden, or pointing out the path to the lost, or lighting a lamp in the dark so people with good eyes can see what’s there, just so has Master Gotama made the Teaching clear in many ways. Together with my children, wives, retinue, and ministers, I go for refuge to Master Gotama, to the teaching, and to the mendicant Saṅgha.

☀️From this day forth, may Master Gotama remember me as a lay follower who has gone for refuge for life.”

https://suttacentral.net/dn3/en/sujato

FOUR TEACHINGS

• One can hear the same teachings a thousand times, but until the mind is settled, cleared, quiet and receptive enough—i.e. ripened through practice and investigation—insight will not arise.

• Meditation and its fruits have nothing whatsoever to do with social standing, ancestry or conditions of birth. The realization of supreme knowledge and conduct occurs when you’ve given up {clinging to} such things.

• Our fixed ideas, habits of mind and clinging attachments are ‘stains’ which need to be gradually and meticulously ‘washed out’. Then the Buddha taught him step by step, with a talk on giving, ethical conduct, and heaven. He explained the drawbacks of sensual pleasures, so sordid and corrupt, and the benefit of renunciation. And when the Buddha knew that Pokkharasāti’s mind was ready, pliable, rid of hindrances, joyful, and confident he explained the special teaching of the Buddhas: suffering, its origin, its cessation, and the path. Just as a clean cloth rid of stains would properly absorb dye, in that very seat the stainless, immaculate vision of the Dhamma arose in the brahmin Pokkharasāti: “Everything that has a beginning has an end.”

• Once again, a teaching is hidden in plain sight: ‘The immaculate vision of the Dhamma… “Everything that has a beginning has an end.”’ {Anyone can know this, at a conceptual level, but what is it to know cessation experientially? What is unspoken here that makes such a realization so profound that ‘in that very seat the stainless, immaculate vision of Dhamma arises’?}

MEDITATION TIPS

• As much as possible, both during the normal course of the day and in meditation, try to be mindful of what happens in the body and the mind when you go to clinging. Try to feel the unpleasantness of the contraction in the body and the heart space, and experience the narrowing of the mind’s natural expansiveness and openness. Appreciate the excitement of craving or aversion as a disturbance of the mind’s fundamental peace and freedom, rather than the promise of some kind of satisfaction and resolution.

• Be willing to challenge all of your assumptions and biases about the nature of the world and the nature of oneself—even the one’s that are barely perceptible, that you take for granted as ‘true’ and ‘obvious’. Appreciate that you actually feel more spacious and lighter when these burdens and mistaken views are dropped.

• If your practice really feels stuck, examine where you might be clinging. How do you relate to and practice virtue and the paramis? What is your relationship to your own practice in terms of right view, energies, expectations?

• Try to notice passing-passing, fading-fading, ceasing-ceasing of all conditioned phenomena, both in meditation and as you go about your day. If you are established in relative ease and equanimity, this does not have to be scary at all, and can actually be quite fun! Be curious. Be courageous. Be kind.

FROM KINDFULNESS* TO SUCHNESSPREPARATION

The respectful recollection of the Buddha’s Awakening. (Ajahn Sucitto) Bring to mind the Buddha’s sitting posture and, however you are able, try to at least maintain the sense of uprightness and dignity. Feel gratitude for the Buddha’s rediscovery of the path and his teachings.

Feel gratitude for all who practice the Dhamma. Gratitude especially for those who have committed their lives to the Dhamma and teachers who do their best to teach right view.

Appreciate and feel gratitude for the orientation of your own heart which has brought you to the Dhamma, however tentative, uncertain and challenging it can seem at times. Feel confidence that your heart is pointed in a direction that will one day yield ‘great fruit and great benefit’.

SELF-GUIDED MEDITATION

Breathing in long, the long in-breath is known. Breathing out long, the long out-breath is known. (Stay with the whole of the breath for several minutes. ‘Isn’t this a beautiful thing!’ Ajahn Viradhammo)

Breathing in kindness and goodwill. Breathing out kindness and goodwill. Breathing up into the face and head, relaxing and releasing tension and constriction. Suffusing the face and head with a sense of kindness and goodwill. Inviting this same pervading and suffusing to flow down the neck and shoulders, arms and hands. Down the front and back of the torso, inside and out. Suffusing the heart space, organs, solar plexus, diaphragm, belly, hara-region—right down to the base of the spine and pelvic floor. Soaking kindness and goodwill down through the hips and thighs, through the lower legs and feet. Entire body suffused, pervaded, soaking in the breath of kindness and goodwill. ‘Leaving no part of the body untouched.’

Breathing compassion and empathy in and out… (continue as above, or alternatively: ‘soaking in skin, muscle, bloodstream, nervous system, bones and marrow…’) etc. ‘Leaving no part of the body untouched.

Breathing in gladness and joy. Breathing out, release and letting go… throughout the entire body… ‘Leaving no part of the body untouched by gladness and joy…’Breathing in ease and tranquility, releasing all willful sense of doing on the out-breath… Opening to and receiving the Grace of Presence: timeless, peaceful, radiant, awake and aware.

Abide in this silent, still and peaceful knowing. (Briefly note how each shift in quality of attention to the breath results in the passing of one sense of embodiment, one field of experience, and the arising of another sense of embodiment/experiential field.)Fully embodied in this safe space of silent, peaceful knowing, turn your attention to the rising-passing-ceasing of the breath. To whatever extent you are comfortable, begin to enjoy ‘hanging out’ at the end of an out-breath, without immediately breathing in.

At first it might seem like ‘just nothing’… but keep returning to it, until you can notice ‘everything that has a beginning, has an end’… But wait—there is still this! No movement of breath. No thought. And yet, palpable silence, stillness, peaceful, timeless Awareness.

In a similar way, move attention around the body to the cessation of sensations, perceptions, sense-contact/impressions, feeling (pleasant-unpleasant & neutral), emotional tones and psychological moods. Note the emptiness at the ending of one thought and before the arising of another. Periodically repeating with Pokkharasati, everything that has a beginning has an end.

If you feel truly grounded, safe and peaceful enough, you might want to finally turn your attention to the I-conceit itself. Note first of all how amorphous, ungraspable, unreliable and ultimately in-conceive-able it is. (‘the forever unverifiable ghost.’—Bhikkhu Bodhi) Although ‘it’ always seems to be there—at least as reference point of subjectivity—personality view becomes really problematic, and causes much suffering, when it begins to congeal-coalesce-harden. That is, when the citta, masked by the I-conceit, is triggered by craving or aversion, when it feels threatened, or when it is pulled out of the timeless present into past or future, suffering is sure to follow if we act out of that deluded space. “It” also has ongoing beginnings and endings, ongoing becomings.

One can observe in the body as well, the contraction, tightening, stress of the corresponding embodied me-sense when the conceptual *I* is attempting in vain to harden into a be-ing. Note that, just as in hanging out in the silence at the end of an outbreath, you can take a step back from the *I* and observe it arising, passing and ceasing. Awareness does not become deceased by observing cessation… quite the opposite. We begin to awaken from the sleep-walking of samsara.

Mindfulness of death, if cultivated and frequently practiced, brings great fruit, great benefit; It merges in the Deathless, ends in the Deathless.

YOUTUBE READING OF DN 3

The Daily Cushion

DIGHA NIKAYA 2

“Samādhi Concentration Helps End the Defilements” by Sumith Siriwardana

“In the same way, when their mind has become immersed in samādhi like this—purified, bright, flawless, rid of corruptions, pliable, workable, steady, and imperturbable—they extend it and project it toward knowledge of the ending of defilements. This too, great king, is a fruit of the ascetic life that’s apparent in the present life which is better and finer than the former ones. And, great king, there is no other fruit of the ascetic life apparent in the present life which is better and finer than this.”

https://suttacentral.net/dn2/en/sujato

The Teachings of every Buddha are taught in the same way. This is because the natural principles are the same, and the defilements are always the same. No Buddha will teach differently or diverge from this. The practice is always to remove the defilements — whether great or small — from the heart. This follows from the basic principles of Dhamma, which they all teach. If we deviate from these principles, we’ll be the laughing stock of the defilements. (Ajahn Maha Boowa)

DISENCHANMENT (of Defilements)April 29, 2007 by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

One of the traditional principles of the teaching is that when the mind gains concentration, it’s able to see things as they are. Actually the Pali term means “seeing things as they’ve come to be.” There’s an interesting passage where the Buddha makes a distinction between bhava and bhuta. Bhava means a state of being, becoming, the process of becoming, which is a combination of past karma plus our present karma. But then bhuta means things as they’ve come to be: the raw material that comes in from the past before we’ve added our hype, added our salt-and-pepper and mustard and ketchup to make it what we want.

The trick is in learning how to see things as they’ve come to be before you dress them up, so that you can move on to the next step, which is disenchantment. Because as long as all you see are the things that you’ve dressed up and put all your condiments on, you’re going to want to eat them. But if you see the raw material before it’s been dressed up, before it’s been fixed up, you lose your taste for it. It’s like that Far Side cartoon. A group of cows is out in the pasture. One of them lifts up her head and spits out the grass and says: “Wait a minute. This is grass! We’ve been eating grass!” It’s the same with us human beings. We’ve been eating form, feeling, perception, thought constructs, and consciousness. This is a lot of what clinging means. It means feeding and taking our sustenance off these things. But if you look at the raw materials and you think of what kind of happiness you’re trying to build out of them, you realize you’ve set yourself up for a fall. The raw material simply can’t provide it.

One of the biggest issues in life of course is lust. If you actually look at what’s involved in the sexual act, it’s pretty disgusting. And so people spend a lot of time dressing it up. This last week I heard a group of people complaining when they heard about the whole idea of disenchantment and dispassion: Can’t we still have sex? In other words, if I get to the point where I don’t want it any more, can I still have it? This is the kind of thinking that comes from focusing entirely on how you can dress things up, taking pleasure in the dressing up without really looking at the raw materials that you’re dressing up. If you look carefully at just what’s there, without all the hype, without all the added condiments, you really lose your taste. And it’s very difficult for people to look at what’s already there, because there’s so much involved in the adding on.Look at dependent co-arising. It’s interesting to note that the Buddha doesn’t start everything out with sensory contact, because120contact comes at least one third of the way through all the factors. A lot of other things come even before you’ve had your first contact at the senses. There are all these attitudes, these intentions, ways of paying attention, and all the different forms of fabrication: These already color the way you’re going to approach sensory contact. And these are the factors that make all the difference between whether it’s going to cause stress and suffering or whether it’s not.

So normally we bring this huge parcel of attitudes to apply to the present moment, to shape the present moment. And one of the main purposes of concentration is to learn how to pare that down, so at the very least you know what you’re bringing. You look at fabrication. The bodily fabrication is breath. Verbal fabrication is directed thought and evaluation. Mental fabrication is feeling and perception. These are the basic elements the Buddha has us focus on as we concentrate.

First, of course, we learn how to dress them up in a new way. In other words, bring the directed thought and evaluation to the breath, to create feelings of comfort. You use your perceptions to maintain that sense of comfort. So these elements—the fabrication and intention that we normally bring out of ignorance: We’re now shaping them with knowledge, with awareness, so at the very least we can be clear about what we’re doing. It’s only when we’re clear about what we’re doing that we can begin to pare away the unskillful things in what we’re doing: the intentions that lie to us, the mental verbalizations that lie to us. We begin to see right through them. “Okay, this is a lie. This is not the way things actually are. This isn’t how the way things work.” We begin dropping those things, dropping those things. We’re looking at the nuts and bolts. We’re looking at the processes that we bring to the present moment, that we bring to sensory contact. And as we look more directly at the processes, we begin to see how false and artificial they are. This is what helps to bring about yatha-bhuta-ñana-dassana—the knowledge and visions of things as they’ve come to be.

So you look at the raw materials and you realize you’ve been eating grass. You thought it was something really special, but it’s just grass or even worse. And when you can let yourself look at that consistently enough, that’s when knowledge leads to disenchantment. The word nibbida sometimes can be translated as disgust: the kind of disgust that comes not because things in and of themselves are disgusting, but simply because we were trying to feed on them. We haven’t really been paying careful attention to what we’ve been feeding on. We begin to see that the things we’ve been drawing nourishment from really don’t have the nourishment we thought they provided.

As Ajaan Lee once said, it’s as if most of the flavor comes from our own saliva, like a dog chewing on a bone. The only flavor the bone has to offer is the dog’s own saliva. That’s what we’ve been bringing to it. You see that it’s a futile process, and seeing that is what leads to dispassion. The reason why dispassion makes such a difference is because we’ve been so involved in the activity of dressing things up and making them into something that they’re not. When you develop dispassion for that process, you don’t want to get involved in that makeup, make-believe dressing up kind of activity. And so your own experience of what’s actually going on really changes. You see things from a totally new light, and the whole thing just stops because you’re no longer keeping it going. It’s not that you’ve been watching a TV show and you decide you don’t like it, and so you turn it off. It’s more like realizing you’ve been in an interactive game and you’ve been playing it really poorly. The game itself doesn’t have that much at all to offer anyhow. So you lose interest in the game. And the game stops.

So the reason we’re concentrating the mind here is to get more sensitive to what we’re bringing into the present moment, seeing all the hype that we add to the raw material that our past kamma has created for us. We realize no matter how great we are in hyping things, the raw material simply cannot provide what we’re looking for. No matter how skillfully we try to make it into something that’s lasting and reliable, the materials are ready to fall apart all the time, all the time.

One of the reasons why we don’t stop it is that we’re afraid that there would be nothing, life would be pabulum, it would be porridge without any condiments. That’s what our fear is. This is why we are so loath to let go. But the Buddha’s great discovery is that when you stop dressing things up you open up to something that doesn’t require any dressing up at all. It’s much better to begin with. And all this effort to make things delicious was getting in the way of the happiness you actually wanted. This is when things open up, this is where dispassion leads to release. And it’s a release that you can know. It’s not like you’re blanking out. If that’s all it was, if we just blanked out totally, what would you know? Nothing. But the happiness of release is something you can know. You can know this freedom. It comes from taking all these processes apart.

So this is why we meditate. This is why we bring the mind to concentration. Not so that we can just hang out here and have a good time, but so we can see the processes of the mind: how they try to create happiness out of raw materials that simply can’t provide it, or at least not in the really lasting reliable way that we want. The Buddha’s advice is to use them in a new way, to create a path. After all, what else are you going to work with? How would you create a path unless you took those aggregates that you were using for one purpose and use them for another? Meditation is a different way of dressing up the present moment using form, feeling, perception, thought constructs, consciousness as tools. You dress them in a different way. But in the process of dressing them in a different way, you get to see processing as it’s happening. You come to realize that this kind of happiness that you create by following the path is much greater than what you had122before. Ultimately it will take you to a point where you even let the path go. As Ajaan Lee said, that’s where it gets really good.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/eDhammaTalks_3.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0eYD2REltxlb7UZLqXxpJi6MFYoshLVQkJ_MzhyRNjFFrwTT8t96d59FM

INSIGHTS FROM THE SUTTA

“samādhiṃ, bhikkhave, bhāvetha; samāhito, bhikkhave, bhikkhu yathābhūtaṃ pajānāti”

In the above phrase, the Lord Buddha signifies the importance of developing concentration (Samadi) in order to gain an insight knowledge of seeing things as they are. What we understand by seeing things as they are, is the origin and passing away of all the phenomena.What is concentration (Samadi) in fact? according to the Dhammasangani, it says the concentration is “The stability, solidity, absorbed steadfastness of thought which on that occasion is the absence of distraction, balance, imperturbed mental procedure, quiet, the faculty and the power of concentration, right concentration—this is the self-collectedness that there then is”There are three levels of concentration.

1) Parikamma Samadi – Preliminary Concentration – This is the stage of initial concentration on your meditative object.

2) Upacara Samadi – Access concentration – This is the stage of concentration with suppressed hindrances.

3) Appana Samadi – Absorbtion concentration – This is the stage of concentration with a deeper level (Jhana).Why concentration is important in our meditative practice? because we are unable to see things truly when we have a distracted mind. The concentration enables us to keep fully focused on our absorption which allows factors (Nama- Rupa) to arise and you will be able to see when they arise distinctively and see they pass away distinctively. Then, you will discern that everything arises dependent on conditions and passes away when you do not hold them. This makes you discerned that whatever you hold are just Anicca (Impermanet), Dukka (Suffering), and Anatta (Not-self) and gradually you will turn away from giving importance over physical and mental objects. You will be slowly releasing your mental defilements.

What are the prerequisites of the Right concentration? They are the Right view, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right actions, Right livelihood, Right Effort, and Right mindfulness. They should go in hand in hand. If you do not have the right view at the mundane level, you do not believe in the right concentration and if you have a wrong intention, your virtues get defiled. When you have the wrong mental and bodily actions, they stay preoccupied in your mind and they will be appearing in your concentration and distracting you. Right effort and Right mindfulness are the collective factors of the Right concentration. Right Mindfulness is of utmost importance as it is what holds your concentration. Those who do not have the right mindfulness will easily get trapped in fantasies and distorted forms and images.

The concentration is the prerequisite of realizing the Four Noble Truths. The Lord Buddha said (SN 56) that a mendicant who has immersion truly understands. This is suffering’ … ‘This is the origin of suffering’ … ‘This is the cessation of suffering’ … ‘This is the practice that leads to the cessation of suffering’. Develop immersion. A mendicant who has immersion truly understands”. Therefore, we should keep our focus on developing the right concentration.

MIND TRAINING

* Choose a meditative object.

* Keep focusing on that object.

* Keep doing it more and more to gain a deeper level of absorption.

GUIDED MEDITATION

> MEDITATION PLACE

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

RELAX

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.

TRIPLE GEMS (1-2 MIN)

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.

THE BREATH

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.

FEELINGS

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.

MINDS

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.

DHAMMA

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.

SELF GUIDED MEDITATION

* Right noble factors are the paths to gain the insight knowledge of arising and passing.

* Mindfulness of your meditative object is a way for awakening.

* Concentration of your meditative object is a way for awakening.

YOUTUBE READING OF DIGHA NIKAYA 2

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