chapter eight

Right Mindfulness

Right mindfulness is the second of the three concentration factors of the path. As we noted in the preceding chapter, it is intimately connected with the other two concentration factors in that it contains right effort and acts as the theme for right concentration. To understand and develop it properly, you always have to bear these connections in mind.

AN 7:63 and SN 48:10 (§219; §241) define mindfulness as a factor of memory: the ability to keep in mind what was done and said long ago. MN 117 (§48) shows how memory, in the form of right mindfulness, works together with right view and right effort on the path: It remembers to abandon unskillful dhammas and to develop skillful ones in their place, and it brings these directives to bear on whatever is happening in the mind in the present moment. In other words, it remembers the lessons of right view as to which dhammas are skillful and which are not, and it reminds right effort to perform the proper duties with regard to those dhammas as they come up. At the same time, it learns lessons from whatever you have done—successfully or not—as you’ve tried to exercise right effort, and adds those lessons to its stock of memories to apply to the future. AN 4:245 (§243) echoes the description of right mindfulness given in MN 117, stating that mindfulness is focused on giving rise to any skillful dhammas that have not yet arisen, and on protecting any that have.

Taken together, these two passages show that right mindfulness does not simply watch things arise and pass away. Instead, it remembers to make skillful dhammas arise and to stop them from passing away once they have arisen.

AN 7:63 illustrates this aspect of mindfulness practice with the analogy of the wise, experienced gatekeeper who protects a frontier fortress by knowing who to let in and who not to let in through the gate. In the same way, mindfulness is selective as to what it allows into the mind.

The establishing of mindfulness. To function as a theme for right concentration, mindfulness has to be established, and most of the passages dealing with mindfulness focus on four ways of establishing it. These establishings of mindfulness (satipaṭṭhāna) are described in the formula that defines right mindfulness in SN 45:8 (§287):

“There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world. He remains focused on feelings in & of themselves—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world. He remains focused on the mind in & of itself—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world. He remains focused on dhammas in & of themselves—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world.”

The Canon contains two long suttas (MN 10—§258; DN 22§282) discussing this formula—so long that many people have assumed that they cover the entire topic. However, the organization of the suttas—they are almost identical— shows that their discussions are intentionally incomplete. After introducing the above formula, they pose and answer questions only on one part: what it means to remain focused on any of the four frames of reference. There is no discussion of subduing greed and distress with reference to the world, nor of ardency, alertness, and mindfulness.

Many attempts have been made to understand the establishing of mindfulness based solely on these suttas, but because these suttas leave these sections of the formula unexplained, those attempts have given rise to many misunderstandings about what mindfulness is and how it’s established. However, it’s possible to find, in other suttas, discussions of the missing parts of the formula. When they are assembled, they give a much more complete picture of how the establishing of mindfulness functions as part of the path. The picture may not be fully complete—as the Buddha said in MN 12, he could answer questions on the establishing of mindfulness for 100 years and still not come to the end of its implications—but at least this approach is a start toward understanding the above formula as a whole.

The formula describes two activities—remaining focused on a particular frame of reference, and subduing greed and distress with reference to the world—and it recommends three qualities of mind to bring to bear on both activities: ardency, alertness, and mindfulness. The two activities lie at the basis of any attempt to bring the mind to concentration: You have to stay focused on your object and, at the same time, fend off any mind-states that would interfere with that focus. This means that the two activities have to work in tandem.

• The description of the first activity falls into two parts: the act of remaining focused and the objects of the focus, which are the four frames of reference.

The act of remaining focused. The beginning task in establishing mindfulness is to remain focused on any one of four topics as a frame of reference. The phrase, “remaining focused on” is nowhere defined in the Canon, but the Pāli term (anupassanā = anu [follow] + passanā [seeing]) is commonly used for two types of meditative practice: keeping watch over a particular topic in the midst of other experiences, and looking for a particular quality in experiences as they arise.

Both types of anupassanā are relevant in the practice of establishing mindfulness. An example of the first type comes in the standard satipaṭṭhāna formula. “Remaining focused on the body in and of itself,” for example, means keeping track of the body or a particular aspect of the body as a frame of reference in the midst of all your sensory experiences. Even when another topic looms large in your awareness, you try to keep track of where the body is in the midst of that awareness, or of how that other topic and the body interact. In this way, the body remains your frame of reference regardless of whatever else may be happening. The same principle applies when remaining focused on feelings, the mind, or dhammas in and of themselves.

As for the second type of anupassanā—looking for a particular quality in experiences as they arise—an example would be the practice of looking for inconstancy (anicca) in all phenomena. This, as we will see below, is one of the steps by which mindfulness is established through breath meditation.

Four frames of reference. The four topics to remain focused on are body, feelings, mind, and dhammas. These topics fall into two sets.

—The first set covers three topics: “body,” i.e., the physical body; “feelings,” i.e., feeling tones of pleasure, pain, and neither pleasure nor pain; and “mind,” i.e., mind-states, such as a mind-state with passion or a mind-state without passion. These three topics are precisely the elements that, when they are brought together properly, comprise a state of jhāna: the mind filling the body with bright awareness, together with a feeling of pleasure or neither pleasure nor pain.

—The second set covers one topic, “dhammas.” It’s a set because, even though it formally counts as a single frame of reference, it actually contains five frames: the five hindrances, the five clinging-aggregates, the sixfold internal and external sense media, the seven factors for awakening, and the four noble truths.

As under right effort, the word dhamma here means mental quality, act, or phenomenon. Its role as a frame of reference is to name individual dhammas that, on the skillful side, can bring body, feelings, and mind to a state of jhāna and foster discernment based on it; or that, on the unskillful side, can obstruct both jhāna and discernment. As we will see, the implicit message of the lists framing these dhammas is to remind you that skillful dhammas should be recognized and fostered, and unskillful ones comprehended and abandoned.

Dhamma can also mean “teaching,” but the discussion of dhammas in and of themselves in MN 118 (§257) shows that the term here means actual acts, qualities, and objects occurring in your experience—the sutta mentions the dhamma of equanimity—and not just teachings about dhammas.

The duty of mindfulness is to remember to remain focused on any one of these four frames of reference in and of itself. The Pāli passage expresses this idea by saying, literally, “body in the body,” “feelings in feelings,” etc., with the locative case—a grammatical case indicating location, often translated as “in”—also meaning “with regard to “ or “with reference to.” In other words, each of these topics is viewed solely with reference to itself, on its own terms, without subsuming it under another frame of reference. For example, when you stay focused on the body in and of itself, you’re viewing it not in terms of how it functions in the world—whether it looks good to other people or is strong enough to do the work you want to do in the world—but simply on its own terms as a body.

The fact that there are four frames of reference can give the impression that they involve four alternative meditation exercises, but MN 118 shows that they can all be brought to completion by focusing on one topic—the breath—which comes under the heading of “body.” This is possible because—when the mind is focused properly on the breath—feelings, mind-states, and dhammas will all be present at the same point, and their skillful versions will all be developed together. SN 35:206 (§280) makes a similar point, showing that to strengthen sense restraint—which comes under dhammas as a frame of reference, in the exercise of getting rid of any fetters around the six sense media—you have to keep mindfulness of the body established at all times.

This means that any of the four frames of reference can be applied as you practice mindfulness of the body, and your choice as to which frame to apply will be largely a question of emphasis. Ideally, you will choose a frame that gives you a handle on the particular problem you’re facing. In some cases, the problem is best attacked from the angle of the body, as when there’s something wrong with the way you’re relating to the breath. In other cases, the problem might be better attacked from the angle of feelings, the mind, or dhammas. In all cases, once you’ve determined the proper angle, the solution will lie in using lessons associated with that frame to engender and develop skillful dhammas, and to prevent and abandon unskillful ones, in line with the four types of right effort.

• The second activity in establishing mindfulness, subduing greed and distress with reference to the world, surrounds and protects the first, like a fence. As with the first, its description contains two words that require explanation: in this case, “subduing” and “world.”

Subduing. The Pāli verb here, vineyya, is related to the word for “discipline” (vinaya). This suggests that greed and distress are not yet uprooted in this part of the practice. They are simply held in check. The tense of the verb—it’s an absolutive—can mean either “having subdued” or “subduing.” In other words, the activity is either already accomplished or in the process of being accomplished. Both meanings are appropriate here, in that greed and distress have to be brought under a measure of control simply to begin establishing mindfulness. Because they are not yet uprooted, they have to be continually put aside as they arise.

World. The Pāli word for world or cosmos, loka, can mean either the physical world outside, or the world of the mind inside. In other words, it can cover the worlds of becoming both on the small scale and on the large scale.

Any greed or distress related to either level of “world” has to be subdued if you are to stay with your proper frame of reference. Otherwise, you’ll get distracted by inner or outer becomings, which will destroy your focus. For instance, when focused on the body in and of itself, you can’t allow your frame of reference to shift to desires for the outer world in which the body moves and to which it relates. At the same time, you can’t allow any desires related to your inner thought worlds to distract you from your focus on the body.

In some cases, the act of subduing greed and distress with reference to the world may require that you temporarily shift your focus to any of the four frames of reference on the external level, as suggested by the refrain in MN 10, which states that any of the frames of reference can be viewed either internally or externally. The idea of taking an external frame of reference can be interpreted in two ways. (1) DN 18 shows that it can refer to the psychic powers that some meditators develop in connection with concentration, allowing them to know the bodies, feelings, and mind-states of others. (2) An external focus can also be adopted by any meditator, with or without psychic powers, to reflect on the fact that what you are experiencing in terms of your body, feelings, etc., is common to all beings, and that what other beings are experiencing also applies to you.

The reflection on the universality of aging, illness, and death in §38 would be an example of the sort of reflection that starts internally and extrapolates externally. As you reflect on the fact that not only you, but all beings in all levels of the cosmos are subject to these things, it helps to undercut any fascination with being reborn even on the most pleasant and refined levels. An example of the sort of reflection that starts externally and extrapolates internally would be the corpse contemplation described in MN 10, in which you visualize a corpse and then remind yourself that your body is subject to the same unavoidable fate. This helps to undercut attachment to the body-in-the-world, and brings your focus back to simply the body in and of itself.

Whether this external contemplation is done though psychic powers or ordinary powers of inference, its purpose is the same: to develop a sense of saṁvega for the universality of suffering and stress, to lessen the appeal of the world, and to strengthen your resolve to return to your inner frame of reference.

Another technique for subduing greed and distress with reference to the world is offered by §63, whose definition of “world” is actually a strategy: If you can see the world in question—whether inside or out—simply as the six senses, the data they transmit, and the feelings they engender, you deflate and deconstruct your sense of the world so that it no longer appears to be a place that merits either greed or distress. This is one of the ways in which right view informs this particular aspect of establishing mindfulness.

Ardent, alert, and mindful. The qualities that have to be brought to bear on the two activities of establishing mindfulness are three: alertness (sampajañña), mindfulness (sati), and ardency (ātappa).

• Alertness is never defined in the suttas, but is illustrated by examples showing that it’s the ability to be aware of what you are doing in the present moment (§§247–248). In other words, it’s not simply a general awareness of the present; instead, it focuses specifically on the question of your actions—in body, speech, and mind—along with their consequences.

• Mindfulness, in this case, means your active memory: the things you keep in mind to remember where to stay focused in the present moment and what to do with whatever arises in relationship to that focus.

• Ardency is another term that is not defined in the suttas but is illustrated by examples (§§244–246). In this case, the examples show that it is identical with right effort. Because the Pāli term for ardency, ātappa, is related to ottappa—compunction, or the fear of the consequences of unskillful actions—the two are commonly paired, especially in poetry. As a result, ardency carries connotations of heedfulness and vigilance in avoiding any actions that would lead to harm.

In this way, all three of these qualities, as sub-factors for right mindfulness, are informed by right view and right resolves: Alertness keeps focused on what right view identifies as the important problem of the present moment—your actions; mindfulness keeps in mind the lessons of right view to apply to that problem; and ardency, informed by right resolve, makes the right effort to carry out those lessons for the sake of a true and blameless happiness.

So even though the act of establishing mindfulness is primarily concerned with getting the mind into concentration, it contains elements of discernment as well. This illustrates the point made by §53, that there is no jhāna without discernment.

Wrong mindfulness. Although the suttas mention wrong mindfulness (§18; §288), they nowhere define it. However, two analogies specifically contrast the territory of the establishings of mindfulness with the territory of the five strings of sensuality (§§250–251). This implies that at least one instance of wrong mindfulness would be the habit of focusing on the attractions of sensually pleasant objects with the purpose of creating more passion for them.

Stages in the practice. MN 10 and SN 47:40 (§252) list three stages in mindfulness practice: the establishing of mindfulness, the development of the establishing of mindfulness, and a third stage, which they do not name, but which, following the phrasing in MN 10, might be called the mere-remembrance stage. The first two stages have a reciprocal relationship, in that they help each other progress. The third stage depends on mastery of the first two.

The establishing of mindfulness corresponds to the formula we have been discussing so far. This formula, as we have noted, emphasizes the role of mindfulness in developing concentration.

The development of the establishing of mindfulness emphasizes the role of mindfulness in developing discernment. It is described in this formula, taking the first frame of reference as an example:

“There is the case where a monk remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to the body, remains focused on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to the body, remains focused on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to the body—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world.”

The phrasing of this formula contains two details worth noticing. First, the frame of reference in each instance is expressed in the locative case, which, as we noted above, can mean either in or with regard to / with reference to. Both meanings are relevant here. You can either watch the processes of origination and passing away as it happens in that frame, or you watch those processes as they happen in other frames while at the same time observing how they relate to the frame you have chosen.

For example, you can observe processes of origination and passing away as they happen in the body while you stay focused on the body itself. Or you can watch how events in the body—or your own focus on the body—have an impact on the origination and passing away of feelings and mind-states as experienced in the present, and how their origination and passing away have an impact on the body. Another alternative is that you can notice if the mind is focused snugly with the body and, if not, which dhammas are interfering with its staying focused, so that you can do away with those dhammas and solve the problem.

Similar principles apply to the other frames of reference as well. For example, with feelings: You can notice how the way you breathe influences feelings of pleasure or pain, how feelings of pleasure or pain influence the way you breathe, how feelings of pleasure or pain influence states of mind, how certain hindrances are keeping the mind from staying focused on a feeling, or how you can counteract those hindrances with the appropriate factors for awakening (§269).

The second important detail to notice is that this passage uses the term “origination” (samudaya). This is sometimes mistranslated as “arising,” giving the impression that you simply watch passively as phenomena come and go. However, the word samudaya actually carries the meaning of causation, which means that you must also ferret out exactly what is causing those phenomena to come and go. As any scientist knows, detecting a causal relationship involves more than simply watching. You have to make experimental changes in your environment to test what is and is not affecting the phenomenon in which you’re interested. If, for example, you suspect that your diet is having an impact on your health, you have to eat different foods systematically to see what effect they have on how healthy you become.

Similarly, to keep watch on the origination of phenomena with reference, say, to the sense of the body, you have to make adjustments in your physical and mental actions to see which actions are causing which results.

Now, in the pursuit of the path, the quest to understand cause and effect is not an end in itself. The work of discernment is to see which causes are skillful and which are not, so as to abandon unskillful causes and foster skillful ones. In this way, it fulfills the duties of right view on all its levels. Discernment directs this work, but the work in turn is what allows discernment to attain higher and higher levels of right view, from the mundane to the transcendent and beyond.

This observation is borne out by SN 47:40, which states that you develop this discernment stage of mindfulness practice by cultivating all the factors of the path. This is especially clear in the case of right concentration: Only when you are mindful to observe how events in body and mind have an impact on the mind can concentration practice be possible, and only through being mindful to develop concentration in this way can discernment reach its highest levels.

We will discuss in the next chapter some of the ways in which discernment grows by engaging in the practice of concentration. Here it’s enough to note that the role of mindfulness in this second stage is to keep focused on remembering to be alert to how skillful and unskillful fabrications are caused and how they pass away, and then to bring that knowledge to bear on your ardency to open the mind to increasingly higher levels of release, first by inducing concentration and then by going beyond it.

It’s in this way that the three qualities of ardency, alertness, and mindfulness apply to this second stage of mindfulness practice—the development of the establishing of mindfulness—no less than to the first; and it’s in this way that the first two stages of mindfulness practice work together. Even though the first stage is primarily concerned with establishing concentration, and the second with developing discernment, they each contain elements of both. Their difference is largely one of emphasis. This difference in emphasis can be illustrated by seven analogies used in the suttas.

The first stage is described in six analogies: the analogies of the quail and the monkey, who get into danger by leaving their ancestral territory, and who find safety within that territory (§§250–251); the analogy of the forest elephant, who is bound to a large post in the ground to break it of its forest habits (§255); the analogy of the six animals tethered to a post (§279); the analogy of the person whose head is on fire and who has to focus all his mindfulness on putting the fire out (§265); and the analogy of the man with the bowl filled with oil placed on his head, whose head will be cut off if he spills even a drop of oil (§249). In all six cases, the analogies make the point that you have to place clear limits on the mind to keep it away from sensuality and other unskillful dhammas. This is the function of the first stage, which—as we will see in the next chapter—corresponds to the fact that, to get the mind into right concentration, you first have to seclude it from sensuality and unskillful dhammas. This is one of the ways in which the establishing of mindfulness relates directly to the practice of right concentration.

The second stage is described in the analogy of the cook, who gains a reward by being sensitive to the tastes of his employer, and by varying his offerings to respond to what the employer likes (§256). In the same way, the second stage of mindfulness practice involves using discernment to adjust and experiment with the various types of fabrication needed to bring the mind to concentration, to keep it there, to develop it, and then to go beyond concentration, as its tastes and abilities may change.

For example, MN 128 (§236) provides a particularly detailed description of one way in which discernment, through experimentation, helps to bring the unbalanced, unconcentrated mind to the point where it’s ready to enter the first jhāna. MN 121 (§316) shows how discernment, through exploring cause and effect, helps the concentrated mind develop higher levels of concentration and eventually go beyond them. AN 9:36 (§312) shows how discernment uses the mental fabrication of perception to help the mind lose its taste for the jhānas and develop a taste for the deathless instead.

The first two stages of mindfulness practice contain elements of both mundane and transcendent right view. The first stage contains elements of mundane right view in that its instructions make heavy use of the terms “I” and “me” (“I will breathe in experiencing the entire body”; “I am walking”; “There is sensual desire present within me”). At the same time, it works toward transcendent right view in that the instructions show how to put aside any sense of “world.” The second stage contains elements of transcendent right view in that it deals totally in terms of patterns of cause and effect, regarding events simply as events without reference to “I” or “my.” However, as we will see in the next chapter, the mastery of concentration, even though it doesn’t need explicit reference to “me” or “I,” is a state of becoming, and so will require at least a residual sense of “I” to be in charge of its mastery. Only when you fully master concentration and discernment can all traces of “I” be dropped. So this stage, too, contains residual elements of mundane right view.

Only on the third and final stage of mindfulness practice—the stage of mere remembrance—are all traces of “I” absent. This stage is described in the following formula, again taking the first frame of reference as an example:

“Or his mindfulness that ‘There is a body’ is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, unsustained by [not clinging to] anything in the world.” — MN 10

This is mindfulness for the stage of the path when all the path-factors have done their work, and there is no need to further develop the duties of the four noble truths. This stage corresponds to the final level of right view, in which the only remaining duty is to let go; and to the final level of right effort, where all alternatives of coming, going, and staying in place are abandoned. With no more work to do, mindfulness can drop all the categories of analysis provided by transcendent right view, and simply recognize what is present, not clinging to any sense of “world” at all and not adding anything to what is sensed (§134). As §135 shows, this means not even applying concepts of existence or non-existence to the world or to the self. This is where everything is relinquished, in line with the final step of breath meditation, and total freedom can be attained.

Guidance from discernment. The discernment factors of the path—in addition to the general principles with which they inform the three stages of mindfulness practice—also provide specific instructions for how to deal with problems that may arise in the course of establishing mindfulness for the purpose of developing right concentration and bringing the mind to release.

As we noted above, the problems you face at any one point while meditating will determine which of the four frames of reference to use in applying right effort to attack the problem. Mindfulness can then remember the instructions offered by the discernment factors of the path as they apply to that particular frame of reference. Two major suttas—MN 10 (§258) and MN 118 (§257)—provide alternative frameworks for bringing discernment to bear on each of the four frames of reference, and other suttas provide additional instructions within those two frameworks.

MN 10. As mentioned above, MN 10 focuses primarily on one aspect of the establishing of mindfulness: what it means to remain focused on a particular frame of reference. As a result, its guidance comes primarily in the form of memory aids: lists of body contemplations, types of feelings, types of mind-states, and sets of dhammas. Bearing these lists in mind, you can use them to recognize events as they arise in body and mind, and—once you’ve recognized them—remember instructions from other suttas as to how they are to be dealt with or used.

• For example, with regard to the body: MN 10 lists different ways of focusing on the body that can be adopted according to need. One of the practices—mindfulness of breathing—is useful as a home base for developing jhāna. Two practices—alertness to bodily postures and discernment of physical activities while you’re engaging in them—are useful as foundations for exercising sense restraint as you go through the day (§280), to make sure you don’t let the sights, sounds, etc., of the day provoke unskillful mind-states that will then get in the way of settling the mind into jhāna when you sit down again for formal concentration practice.

Three practices—contemplation of body parts, contemplations of elements, and contemplation of the decomposition of the body after death—are useful for counteracting pride and lust in relationship to the body. As §260 points out, lust for another person’s body begins with attraction to your own, so these contemplations aim at undercutting lust by first taking apart your sense of fascination with the body you now have. AN 4:163 (§25) shows that these contemplations can also be used as alternative themes for jhāna by people whose defilements are strong and require strong antidotes. SN 54:9, however, warns that these contemplations can also lead to excessive revulsion, and that—in the event that they do—you should revert to mindfulness of breathing as a way of dispelling that revulsion, just as the first rains of the rainy season disperse the dust of the dry.

• With regard to feelings, MN 10 lists the three basic kinds of feelings—pleasure, pain, and neither pleasure nor pain—and then divides each into two sorts: feelings of-the-flesh and feelings not-of-the-flesh, which we discussed in Chapter 1. This list acts as an aid for recalling the instructions in SN 22:79 (§120) that feelings are fabricated, so that—when encountering a particular type of feeling—you can focus on fabricating an appropriate feeling not-of-the-flesh: a pain not-of-the-flesh to motivate yourself to stick to the practice, or a pleasure not-of-the-flesh to sustain the practice and give it energy (§264). This is in line with the principles of the middle way discussed in Chapter 1, and with the instructions in DN 21 (§263), that only those feelings should be pursued that help skillful dhammas to increase and unskillful dhammas to decline.

• As for mind-states, MN 10 starts with a list of the three basic unskillful roots and their opposites (§130), followed by pairs of mind-states that are relevant to the development of concentration, discernment, and release. In one case, the pair consists of two unskillful states—constricted and scattered—with the implied instruction that it’s necessary to find a balance between the two (§267). The other pairs, however, couple skillful mind-states with their less skillful counterparts. Examples include concentrated and unconcentrated, released and not released. The pairs are arranged so that the level of skill grows progressively higher. The implication here is that the unskillful member of each pair should be abandoned in favor of the skillful member, and that skill is to be developed to higher and higher levels.

• In the area of dhammas, MN 10 gives five lists: the five hindrances, the five clinging-aggregates, the sixfold internal and external sense-media, the seven factors for awakening, and the four noble truths. In the case of the hindrances, sense-media, and factors for awakening, the sutta explicitly states the duties involved: the hindrances and the fetters associated with the sense-media are to be abandoned to the point where they will never arise again, and the factors for awakening are to be brought to the culmination of their development. However, given that the four noble truths have clear duties, and the five clinging-aggregates constitute the first truth, these sets have their implicit duties as well (see Chapter 1).

These lists of dhammas can usefully be applied to different aspects of the practice: The four noble truths provide an overall context as to what is to be developed or abandoned throughout the practice. At the same time, as transcendent right view becomes more firmly established, it provides guidance for how to bring about the final act of dispassion on the path. This point is reflected in DN 22 (§282), which expands on MN 10’s discussion of this frame of reference by detailing the many possible locations where craving can be focused. The list of locations is long, and covers all the factors of dependent co-arising from fabrication through craving. The implicit message of the list is that craving can be focused on many levels, and that to thoroughly remove passion for it, you have to be sensitive to cravings on many levels at once—even the craving for craving itself.

Within the larger framework of the duties of the four noble truths, the remaining lists provide frameworks for recognizing which dhammas are to be comprehended, which are to be abandoned, and which are to be developed. For instance, the six sense-media provide a useful framework for restraint of the senses throughout the day, as an aid in remembering what to abandon when a sight or sound provokes passion or desire. The five hindrances—dhammas to be abandoned so that the mind can enter concentration—and the seven factors for awakening—dhammas to be developed to master concentration—are especially relevant in formal concentration practice. And finally, the five clinging-aggregates provide a useful framework for comprehending and dispelling distraction during the practice of concentration, and for comprehending the concentration itself in the final stages of the path.

In these ways, the lists provided by MN 10 and DN 22 serve as memory aids through which mindfulness channels the guidance of right view and right resolve to keep right effort on track.

MN 118. The Buddha’s instructions for mindfulness of breathing in MN 118 transmit the guidance of right view to right mindfulness in a different form. Here the instructions are more direct, and are shaped largely by the teaching on the three forms of fabrication.

Mindfulness of breathing involves sixteen steps in all, divided into four sets of four, called tetrads. In each of the steps, the instructions are expressed in the form of verbal fabrications that should accompany each in-and-out breath: “I will train myself to breathe” with such-and-such a purpose in mind. The general pattern of the first three tetrads is that you first sensitize yourself to a particular frame of reference, then learn to see it in terms of fabrication, and finally calm the fabrication. The tetrads on feelings and mind-states show explicitly that, before calming fabrication, you first have to energize it. This step is not explicitly mentioned in the first tetrad, on the body, but a later passage in the sutta states that the body grows calm after first being energized by rapture (pīti, which can also be translated as “refreshment” or “fullness”), so the step of energizing should be understood as occurring implicitly in the first tetrad as well.

By focusing on calming fabrication in this way, these tetrads develop concentration by fostering two qualities in tandem: insight (vipassanā) and tranquility (samatha), the ability to reach mental calm. They foster insight by teaching you to view your experience of the breath and mind in terms of fabrication, which in turn prepares you to apply the vipassanā questions from §116 (see Chapter 3) to those fabrications in the fourth tetrad. At the same time, the skill of calming fabrication induces tranquility, giving you a steady and secure basis for applying those questions in a way that leads to genuine release.

Although the tetrads are listed in linear order, they actually deal with aspects of the practice that occur side-by-side from the very beginning. For this reason, they are best regarded as providing alternate points of view for you to adopt as you keep the mind with the breath. Your choice of which point of view to use will depend—as noted above—on the problem at hand.

• The first tetrad, which corresponds to the body as a frame of reference, starts with instructions to sensitize yourself to the length of the breath. Because the first two steps related to feelings as a frame of reference will focus on breathing in a way that fosters rapture and pleasure, it’s wise to observe at this point which type of breathing is more pleasant: long or short.

All the remaining steps in all the tetrads are called “trainings”: You train yourself to breathe in a way that masters a particular skill. The first training is to breathe sensitive to the entire body. This enables you to see the impact of the breath on the body, making real the teaching that the breath is the primary bodily fabrication. It also prepares you for the fourth step, in which you calm bodily fabrication, i.e., allow the in-and-out breath—without forcing it—to grow more and more still. This can be done skillfully only by maintaining a full-body awareness. This fourth step, as noted in AN 10:20 and AN 9:31 (footnote to §257), can lead ultimately to the fourth jhāna, where in-and-out breathing stops on its own.

• The second tetrad, which corresponds to feelings as a frame of reference, makes use of the observation that alertness to in-and-out breathing creates feelings. This knowledge is then used to breathe in-and-out creating sensations of rapture or refreshment (pīti) and feelings of pleasure—both of which would be classified as not-of-the-flesh (§261)—after which you become sensitive to the role of these feelings, along with perceptions, as mental fabrications in the process of developing mindfulness of breathing. In the fourth step of this tetrad, you calm mental fabrication, i.e., you use perceptions and induce feelings that can lead the mind to greater and greater states of calm. SN 36:11 (§315) indicates that the total calming of mental fabrication occurs at the very highest stages of concentration, which will be discussed in the next chapter.

However, even before reaching those stages of concentration, the four steps in this tetrad show in outline form how to deal with feelings of pain encountered in meditation: First you breathe in a way to induce feelings of rapture and pleasure; then, if pain still remains in a part of the body, you question and replace the perceptions that allow that pain to have an impact on the mind.

• The third tetrad, which corresponds to the mind as a frame of reference, shows how the mind is to be brought to a state of balance and freedom. You sensitize yourself to the state of the mind and then, depending on whichever direction it has fallen out of balance, you gladden it, steady it, or release it from whatever is burdening it. In the beginning phases, when the breath has yet to be mastered, this may involve using other meditation exercises, such as the recollection of the Buddha (§266), that employ perceptions to help gladden the mind when its energy level is down, steady it when its energy is scattered (§267), and release it from unskillful trains of thought.

SN 47:10 (§253) discusses two ways of gladdening and steadying the mind: directing and not directing. In the case of “not directing,” you simply let go of external things and find yourself automatically focused on any of the four frames of reference. This is the approach to follow when the mind settles down easily. “Directing” is for when, as the sutta says, you try to stay with any of the frames of reference but you feel a fever associated with that frame, or the mind is either scattered or sluggish. In this case, you direct the mind to another theme that gladdens it. The Commentary recommends any of the six recollections (§266) but the four sublime attitudes (§69) can also serve this purpose. Once the mind is gladdened, it grows concentrated. Once it is concentrated, you can drop that theme and you will find yourself in the second jhāna (see the following chapter), apparently focused back on any of the four frames of reference.

As you master the breath, and the processes of bodily, verbal, and mental fabrication that go with it, you can use these fabrications—the way you breathe, the way you induce pleasure and rapture through the breath, and the perceptions you hold around the breath—to accomplish the same ends, so as to bring the mind to more and more refined stages of gladness, steadiness, and release.

• The fourth tetrad, which corresponds to dhammas as a frame of reference, details the steps of anupassanā—the act of remaining focused—that are needed to accomplish the last step of the third tetrad, the release of the mind. The pattern here follows the pattern for vipassanā that §116 recommends for developing the value judgments that lead to escape: Look for the drawbacks of whatever the mind is clinging to, and see that they outweigh the allure of clinging, so that the mind can gain escape through fostering the dhamma of dispassion.

In the beginning stages of concentration practice, the four steps in this tetrad are useful for subduing greed and distress with regard to anything that might pull you out of concentration. First, you remain focused on the inconstancy of the distraction—and this, following the three perceptions, can include perceiving it as stressful and not-self. After that, you remain focused on the sense of dispassion that arises from applying those perceptions; on the resulting cessation of the distraction; and then on the relinquishment of the distraction—and of all the contemplations that led to that relinquishment—so that you can return to your theme of concentration.

Once concentration has been solidified, the same four steps can be used to release the mind from the factors of the lower jhānas, so that it can enter the higher ones (§365). Ultimately, these four steps can be developed on an even more refined level to release the mind even from concentration and discernment, at the final stage of the path.

MN 118 thus shows how right view about fabrication—and right resolve for bringing the mind to the well-being of deep inner calm—can inform the practice of right mindfulness all the way to the verge of awakening.

Lessons for discernment. In keeping with the fact that right mindfulness and right effort are so closely related to each other, the lessons that right mindfulness offers to the discernment factors of the path are similar to those offered by right effort: tactical, hands-on experience in how to carry out the strategies of fabrication that right view recommends. Because its duty is to bring the mind all the way to the mastery of concentration, though, right mindfulness also provides more refined insights into the actual workings of the mind and into the subtleties of skillful fabrication. This fact is especially striking in three areas:

• The process of energizing and calming both mind and body in the stages of breath meditation show that the exertion of a fabrication needn’t leave the mind exhausted or frazzled. Instead, when mastered as a skill, the exertion of the three fabrications ideally leads to energy, calm, and great pleasure.

• The fabrication of feelings not-of-the-flesh, as they are needed, exercises your discernment into what counts as “just right” in the conduct of the middle way.

• As you master the tactical issues of settling the mind, you gain the ability to discern the processes of origination and passing away in purely impersonal terms, without reference to self or world. As you become more sensitive to these processes, you also become more sensitive to any subtle residual sense of self or world that may surround your attempts to develop transcendent right view. This provides an experiential basis that allows right view to detect and drop all the categories of becoming—“self” and “world”—allowing it to advance to its final level.

In this way, the practice of right mindfulness doesn’t merely confirm the principles of right view. It enables right view to comprehend the subtleties of fabrication in a way that brings right view closer to its aim: the ending of all suffering and stress.

Readings

§ 240. “Just as the royal frontier fortress has a gatekeeper—wise, competent, intelligent—to keep out those he doesn’t know and to let in those he does, for the protection of those within and to ward off those without; in the same way a disciple of the noble ones is mindful, endowed with excellent proficiency in mindfulness, remembering & recollecting what was done and said a long time ago. With mindfulness as his gatekeeper, the disciple of the noble ones abandons what is unskillful, develops what is skillful, abandons what is blameworthy, develops what is blameless, and looks after himself with purity.” — AN 7:63

§ 241. “And which is the faculty of mindfulness? There is the case where a monk, a disciple of the noble ones, is mindful, endowed with excellent proficiency in mindfulness, remembering & recollecting what was done and said a long time ago. He remains focused on the body in & of itself—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world. He remains focused on feelings in & of themselves… the mind in & of itself… dhammas in & of themselves—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world. This is called the faculty of mindfulness.” — SN 48:10

§ 242. “One is mindful to abandon wrong view & to enter & remain in right view: This is one’s right mindfulness.… One is mindful to abandon wrong resolve & to enter & remain in right resolve… to abandon wrong speech & to enter & remain in right speech… to abandon wrong action & to enter & remain in right action… to abandon wrong livelihood & to enter & remain in right livelihood: This is one’s right mindfulness.” — MN 117

§ 243. “This holy life is lived… with mindfulness as its governing principle.… And how is mindfulness the governing principle? The mindfulness that ‘I will make complete any training with regard to good conduct that is not yet complete, or I will protect with discernment any training with regard to good conduct that is complete’ is well-established right within. The mindfulness that ‘I will make complete any training with regard to the basics of the holy life that is not yet complete, or I will protect with discernment any training with regard to the basics of the holy life that is complete’ is well-established right within. The mindfulness that ‘I will scrutinize with discernment any dhamma that is not yet scrutinized, or I will protect with discernment any dhamma that has been scrutinized’ is well-established right within. The mindfulness that ‘I will touch through release any dhamma that is not yet touched, or I will protect with discernment any dhamma that has been touched’ is well-established right within.

“This is how mindfulness is the governing principle.” — AN 4:245

Ardency

§ 244. Ven. Mahā Kassapa: “And how is one ardent? There is the case where a monk, (thinking,) ‘Unarisen evil, unskillful dhammas arising in me would lead to what is unbeneficial,’ arouses ardency. (Thinking,) ‘Arisen evil, unskillful dhammas not being abandoned in me…’ … ‘Unarisen skillful dhammas not arising in me …’ … ‘Arisen skillful dhammas ceasing in me would lead to what is unbeneficial,’ he arouses ardency. This is how one is ardent.” — SN 16:2

§ 245. “A person without ardency, without compunction, is incapable of self-awakening, incapable of unbinding, incapable of attaining the unsurpassed safety from the yoke. A person ardent & compunctious is capable of self-awakening, capable of unbinding, capable of attaining the unsurpassed safety from the yoke.” — Iti 34

§ 246. “If, while he is walking, there arises in a monk a thought of sensuality, a thought of ill-will, or a thought of harmfulness, and he does not quickly abandon, dispel, demolish, or wipe that thought out of existence, then a monk walking with such a lack of ardency & compunction is called continually & continuously lethargic & low in his persistence. [Similarly if he is standing, sitting, or lying down.]

“But if, while he is walking, there arises in a monk a thought of sensuality, a thought of ill-will, or a thought of harmfulness, and he quickly abandons, dispels, demolishes, & wipes that thought out of existence, then a monk walking with such ardency & compunction is called continually & continuously resolute, one with persistence aroused. [Similarly if he is standing, sitting, or lying down.]” — Iti 110

Alertness

§ 247. “And how is a monk alert? When going forward & returning, he makes himself alert; when looking toward & looking away… when bending & extending his limbs… when carrying his outer cloak, his upper robe & his bowl… when eating, drinking, chewing, & savoring… when urinating & defecating… when walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking up, talking, & remaining silent, he makes himself alert. This is how a monk is alert.” — SN 36:7

§ 248. “And how is a monk alert? There is the case where feelings are known to the monk as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Thoughts are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. Perceptions are known to him as they arise, known as they persist, known as they subside. This is how a monk is alert. — SN 47:35

Mindfulness as a Focused Quality

§ 249. The Blessed One said, “Suppose, monks, that a large crowd of people comes thronging together, saying, ‘The beauty queen! The beauty queen!’ And suppose that the beauty queen is highly accomplished at singing & dancing, so that an even greater crowd comes thronging, saying, ‘The beauty queen is singing! The beauty queen is dancing!’ Then a man comes along, desiring life & shrinking from death, desiring pleasure & abhorring pain. They say to him, ‘Now, look here, mister. You must take this bowl filled to the brim with oil and carry it on your head in between the great crowd & the beauty queen. A man with a raised sword will follow right behind you, and wherever you spill even a drop of oil, right there will he cut off your head.’ Now, what do you think, monks? Would that man, not paying attention to the bowl of oil, bring heedlessness outside?”

“No, lord.”

“I have given you this simile to convey a meaning. The meaning is this: The bowl filled to the brim with oil stands for mindfulness immersed in the body. Thus you should train yourselves: ‘We will develop mindfulness immersed in the body. We will pursue it, hand it the reins, take it as a basis, steady it, consolidate it, and undertake it well.’ That is how you should train yourselves.” — SN 47:20

§ 250. “Once a hawk suddenly swooped down on a quail and seized it. Then the quail, as it was being carried off by the hawk, lamented, ‘O, just my bad luck and lack of merit that I was wandering out of my proper range and into the territory of others! If only I had kept to my proper range today, to my own ancestral territory, this hawk would have been no match for me in battle.’

“‘But what is your proper range?’ the hawk asked. ‘What is your own ancestral territory?’

“‘A newly plowed field with clumps of earth all turned up.’

“So the hawk, without bragging about its own strength, without mentioning its own strength, let go of the quail. ‘Go, quail, but even when you have gone there you won’t escape me.’

“Then the quail, having gone to a newly plowed field with clumps of earth all turned up and climbing up on top of a large clump of earth, stood taunting the hawk, ‘Now come and get me, you hawk! Now come and get me, you hawk!’

“So the hawk, without bragging about its own strength, without mentioning its own strength, folded its two wings and suddenly swooped down toward the quail. When the quail knew, ‘The hawk is coming at me full speed,’ it slipped behind the clump of earth, and right there the hawk shattered its own breast.

“This is what happens to anyone who wanders into what is not his proper range and is the territory of others.

“For this reason, you should not wander into what is not your proper range and is the territory of others. In one who wanders into what is not his proper range and is the territory of others, Māra gains an opening, Māra gains a foothold. And what, for a monk, is not his proper range and is the territory of others? The five strings of sensuality. Which five? Forms cognizable by the eye—agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, enticing, linked to sensual desire. Sounds cognizable by the ear… Aromas cognizable by the nose… Flavors cognizable by the tongue… Tactile sensations cognizable by the body—agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, enticing, linked to sensual desire. These, for a monk, are not his proper range and are the territory of others.

“Wander, monks, in what is your proper range, your own ancestral territory. In one who wanders in what is his proper range, his own ancestral territory, Māra gains no opening, Māra gains no foothold. And what, for a monk, is his proper range, his own ancestral territory? The four establishings of mindfulness. Which four? There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world. He remains focused on feelings in & of themselves… mind in & of itself… dhammas in & of themselves—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world. This, for a monk, is his proper range, his own ancestral territory.” — SN 47:6

§ 251. “There are in the Himalayas, the king of mountains, difficult, uneven areas where neither monkeys nor human beings wander. There are difficult, uneven areas where monkeys wander, but not human beings. There are level stretches of land, delightful, where both monkeys and human beings wander. In such spots hunters set a tar trap in the monkeys’ tracks, in order to catch some monkeys. Those monkeys who are not foolish or careless by nature, when they see the tar trap, will keep their distance. But any monkey who is foolish & careless by nature comes up to the tar trap and grabs it with its paw, which then gets stuck there. Thinking, ‘I’ll free my paw,’ he grabs it with his other paw. That too gets stuck. Thinking, ‘I’ll free both of my paws,’ he grabs it with his foot. That too gets stuck. Thinking, ‘I’ll free both of my paws and my foot,’ he grabs it with his other foot. That too gets stuck. Thinking, ‘I’ll free both of my paws and my feet as well,’ he grabs it with his mouth. That too gets stuck. So the monkey, snared in five ways, lies there whimpering, having fallen on misfortune, fallen on ruin, a prey to whatever the hunter wants to do with him. Then the hunter, without releasing the monkey, skewers him right there, picks him up, and goes off as he likes.

“This is what happens to anyone who wanders into what is not his proper range and is the territory of others.” — SN 47:7

Stages in the Practice

§ 252. “I will teach you the establishing of mindfulness, the development of the establishing of mindfulness, and the path of practice leading to the development of the establishing of mindfulness. Listen & pay close attention. I will speak.

“Now, what is the establishing of mindfulness? There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world. He remains focused on feelings in & of themselves… mind in & of itself… dhammas in & of themselves—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world.

“This is called the establishing of mindfulness.

“And what is the development of the establishing of mindfulness? There is the case where a monk remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to the body, remains focused on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to the body, remains focused on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to the body—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world.

“He remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to feelings, remains focused on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to feelings, remains focused on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to feelings—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world.

“He remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to the mind, remains focused on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to the mind, remains focused on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to the mind—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world.

“He remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to dhammas, remains focused on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to dhammas, remains focused on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to dhammas—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world.

“This is called the development of the establishing of mindfulness.

“And what is the path of practice to the development of the establishing of mindfulness? Just this noble eightfold path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration. This is called the path of practice to the development of the establishing of mindfulness.” — SN 47:40

§ 253. “Ānanda, there is the case of a monk who remains focused on the body in & of itself—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world. As he remains thus focused on the body in & of itself, a fever based on the body arises within his body, or there is sluggishness in his awareness, or his mind becomes scattered externally. He should then direct his mind to any inspiring theme [Commentary: such as recollection of the Buddha]. As his mind is directed to any inspiring theme, gladness is born within him. In one who is gladdened, rapture is born. In one whose heart is enraptured, the body grows calm. His body calm, he feels pleasure. As he feels pleasure, his mind grows concentrated. He reflects, ‘I have attained the aim to which my mind was directed. Let me withdraw [my mind from the inspiring theme].’ He withdraws & engages neither in directed thought nor in evaluation. He discerns, ‘I am not thinking or evaluating. I am inwardly mindful & at ease.’ [Similarly with the other establishings of mindfulness.]

“This, Ānanda, is development based on directing.

“And what is development based on not directing? A monk, when not directing his mind to external things, discerns, ‘My mind is not directed to external things. It is not attentive to what is in front or behind. It is released & undirected. And then I remain focused on the body in & of itself. I am ardent, alert, mindful, & at ease.’

“When not directing his mind to external things, he discerns, ‘My mind is not directed to external things. It is not attentive to what is in front or behind. It is released & undirected. And then I remain focused on feelings… mind… dhammas in & of themselves. I am ardent, alert, mindful, & at ease.’

“This, Ānanda, is development based on not directing.” — SN 47:10

§ 254. Then a certain monk went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One: “It would be good if the Blessed One would teach me the Dhamma in brief so that, having heard the Dhamma from the Blessed One, I might dwell alone in seclusion: heedful, ardent, & resolute.”

“But it is in just this way that some worthless men make a request but then, having been told the Dhamma, think they should tag along right behind me.”

“May the Blessed One teach me the Dhamma in brief! May the One Well-gone teach me the Dhamma in brief! It may well be that I will understand the Blessed One’s words. It may well be that I will become an heir to the Blessed One’s words.”

“Then, monk, you should train yourself thus: ‘My mind will be established inwardly, well-composed. No evil, unskillful dhammas, once they have arisen, will remain consuming the mind.’ That’s how you should train yourself.

“Then you should train yourself thus: ‘Goodwill, as my awareness-release… Compassion, as my awareness-release… Empathetic joy, as my awareness-release… Equanimity, as my awareness-release, will be developed, pursued, given a means of transport, given a grounding, steadied, consolidated, & well-undertaken.’ …

“When this concentration is thus developed, thus well-developed by you, you should then train yourself thus: ‘I will remain focused on the body in & of itself—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world.’ That’s how you should train yourself. When you have developed this concentration in this way, you should develop this concentration with directed thought & evaluation, you should develop it with no directed thought & a modicum of evaluation, you should develop it with no directed thought & no evaluation, you should develop it accompanied by rapture… not accompanied by rapture… endowed with a sense of enjoyment; you should develop it endowed with equanimity. [Similarly with the other three establishings of mindfulness.]

“When this concentration is thus developed, thus well-developed by you, then wherever you go, you will go in comfort. Wherever you stand, you will stand in comfort. Wherever you sit, you will sit in comfort. Wherever you lie down, you will lie down in comfort.”

Then that monk, having been admonished by the admonishment from the Blessed One, got up from his seat and bowed down to the Blessed One, circled around him, keeping the Blessed One to his right side, and left. Then, dwelling alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, & resolute, he in no long time reached & remained in the supreme goal of the holy life for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, having directly known & realized it for himself in the here-&-now. He knew: “Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world.” And thus he became another one of the arahants. — AN 8:63

§ 255. “Having abandoned the five hindrances—imperfections of awareness that weaken discernment—the monk remains focused on the body in & of itself—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world. He remains focused on feelings… mind… dhammas in & of themselves—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world. Just as if an elephant trainer were to plant a large post in the ground and were to bind a forest elephant to it by the neck in order to break it of its forest habits, its forest memories & resolves, its distraction, fatigue, & fever over leaving the forest, to make it delight in the town and to inculcate in it habits congenial to human beings; in the same way, these four establishings of mindfulness are bindings for the awareness of the disciple of the noble ones, to break him of his household habits, his household memories & resolves, his distraction, fatigue, & fever over leaving the household life, for the attainment of the right method and the realization of unbinding.

“Then the Tathāgata trains him further: ‘Come, monk, remain focused on the body in & of itself, but do not think any thoughts connected with the body. Remain focused on feelings in & of themselves, but do not think any thoughts connected with feelings. Remain focused on the mind in & of itself, but do not think any thoughts connected with mind. Remain focused on dhammas in & of themselves, but do not think any thoughts connected with dhammas.’ With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters the second jhāna.” — MN 125

§ 256. “Now, suppose that there is a wise, competent, skillful cook who has presented a king or a king’s minister with various kinds of curry: mainly sour, mainly bitter, mainly peppery, mainly sweet, alkaline or non-alkaline, salty or non-salty. He picks up on the theme [nimitta, sign, signal] of his master, thinking, ‘Today my master likes this curry, or he reaches out for that curry, or he takes a lot of this curry or he praises that curry. Today my master likes mainly sour curry.… Today my master likes mainly bitter curry… mainly peppery curry… mainly sweet curry… alkaline curry… non-alkaline curry… salty curry… Today my master likes non-salty curry, or he reaches out for non-salty curry, or he takes a lot of non-salty curry, or he praises non-salty curry.’ As a result, he is rewarded with clothing, wages, & gifts. Why is that? Because the wise, competent, skillful cook picks up on the theme of his own master.

“In the same way, there is the case where a wise, competent, skillful monk remains focused on the body in & of itself… feelings in & of themselves… the mind in & of itself… dhammas in & of themselves—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world. As he remains thus focused on dhammas in & of themselves, his mind becomes concentrated, his defilements are abandoned. He picks up on that theme. As a result, he is rewarded with a pleasant abiding here-&-now, together with mindfulness & alertness. Why is that? Because the wise, competent, skillful monk picks up on the theme of his own mind.” — SN 47:8

§ 257. “And how is mindfulness of in-&-out breathing developed & pursued so as to bring the four establishings of mindfulness to their culmination?

[1] “On whatever occasion a monk breathing in long discerns, ‘I am breathing in long’; or breathing out long, discerns, ‘I am breathing out long’; or breathing in short, discerns, ‘I am breathing in short’; or breathing out short, discerns, ‘I am breathing out short’; trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&… out sensitive to the entire body’; trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&… out calming bodily fabrication’[1]: On that occasion the monk remains focused on the body in & of itself—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world. I tell you, monks, that this—the in-&-out breath—is classed as a body among bodies, which is why the monk on that occasion remains focused on the body in & of itself—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world.

[2] “On whatever occasion a monk trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&… out sensitive to rapture’; trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&… out sensitive to pleasure’; trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&… out sensitive to mental fabrication’; trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&… out calming mental fabrication’: On that occasion the monk remains focused on feelings in & of themselves—ardent, alert, & mindful— subduing greed & distress with reference to the world. I tell you, monks, that this—careful attention to in-&-out breaths—is classed as a feeling among feelings, which is why the monk on that occasion remains focused on feelings in & of themselves—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world.

[3] “On whatever occasion a monk trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&…out sensitive to the mind’; trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&… out gladdening the mind’; trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&… out steadying the mind’; trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&… out releasing the mind’: On that occasion the monk remains focused on the mind in & of itself—ardent, alert, & mindful— subduing greed & distress with reference to the world. I don’t say that there is mindfulness of in-&-out breathing in one of lapsed mindfulness and no alertness, which is why the monk on that occasion remains focused on the mind in & of itself—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world.

[4] “On whatever occasion a monk trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&…out focusing on inconstancy’; trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&… out focusing on dispassion’; trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&… out focusing on cessation’; trains himself, ‘I will breathe in…&… out focusing on relinquishment’: On that occasion the monk remains focused on dhammas in & of themselves—ardent, alert, & mindful— subduing greed & distress with reference to the world. He who sees with discernment the abandoning of greed & distress is one who watches carefully with equanimity, which is why the monk on that occasion remains focused on dhammas in & of themselves—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world.

“This is how mindfulness of in-&-out breathing is developed & pursued so as to bring the four establishings of mindfulness to their culmination.

“And how are the four establishings of mindfulness developed & pursued so as to bring the seven factors for awakening to their culmination?

[1] “On whatever occasion the monk remains focused on the body in & of itself—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world, on that occasion his mindfulness is steady & without lapse. When his mindfulness is steady & without lapse, then mindfulness as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

[2] “Remaining mindful in this way, he examines, analyzes, & comes to a comprehension of that dhamma with discernment. When he remains mindful in this way, examining, analyzing, & coming to a comprehension of that dhamma with discernment, then analysis of dhammas as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

[3] “In one who examines, analyzes, & comes to a comprehension of that dhamma with discernment, persistence is aroused unflaggingly. When persistence is aroused unflaggingly in one who examines, analyzes, & comes to a comprehension of that dhamma with discernment, then persistence as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

[4] “In one whose persistence is aroused, a rapture not-of-the-flesh arises. When a rapture not-of-the-flesh arises in one whose persistence is aroused, then rapture as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

[5] “For one enraptured at heart, the body grows calm and the mind grows calm. When the body & mind of a monk enraptured at heart grow calm, then calm as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

[6] “For one who is at ease—his body calmed—the mind becomes concentrated. When the mind of one who is at ease—his body calmed—becomes concentrated, then concentration as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

[7] “He carefully watches the mind thus concentrated with equanimity. When he carefully watches the mind thus concentrated with equanimity, equanimity as a factor for awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development. [Similarly with the other three establishings of mindfulness: feelings, mind, & dhammas.]

“This is how the four establishings of mindfulness are developed & pursued so as to bring the seven factors for awakening to their culmination.

“And how are the seven factors for awakening developed & pursued so as to bring clear knowing & release to their culmination? There is the case where a monk develops mindfulness as a factor for awakening dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in letting go. He develops analysis of dhammas as a factor for awakening… persistence as a factor for awakening… rapture as a factor for awakening… calm as a factor for awakening… concentration as a factor for awakening… equanimity as a factor for awakening dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in letting go.

“This is how the seven factors for awakening are developed & pursued so as to bring clear knowing & release to their culmination.”

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the monks delighted in the Blessed One’s words. — MN 118

Note

1. “And how is a monk calmed in his bodily fabrication? There is the case where a monk, with the abandoning of pleasure & pain—as with the earlier disappearance of elation & distress—enters & remains in the fourth jhāna: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither pleasure nor pain. This is how a monk is calmed in his bodily fabrication.” — AN 10:20

“When one has attained the fourth jhāna, in-and-out breaths have ceased.” — AN 9:31

§ 258. I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying in the Kuru country. Now, there is a town of the Kurus called Kammasadhamma. There the Blessed One addressed the monks, “Monks.”

“Venerable sir,” the monks replied.

The Blessed One said: “This is the direct path for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow & lamentation, for the disappearance of pain & distress, for the attainment of the right method, & for the realization of unbinding—in other words, the four establishings of mindfulness. Which four?

“There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world. He remains focused on feelings… mind… dhammas in & of themselves—ardent, alert, & mindful—subduing greed & distress with reference to the world.

Body

“And how does a monk remain focused on the body in & of itself?

[1] “There is the case where a monk—having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building—sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect and establishing mindfulness to the fore. Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.

“Breathing in long, he discerns, ‘I am breathing in long’; or breathing out long, he discerns, ‘I am breathing out long.’ Or breathing in short, he discerns, ‘I am breathing in short’; or breathing out short, he discerns, ‘I am breathing out short.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in sensitive to the entire body’; he trains himself, ‘I will breathe out sensitive to the entire body.’ He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication [the in-&-out breath]’; he trains himself, ‘I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.’ Just as a dexterous lathe-turner or lathe-turner’s apprentice, when making a long turn, discerns that he is making a long turn, or when making a short turn discerns that he is making a short turn; in the same way the monk, when breathing in long, discerns, ‘I am breathing in long’; or breathing out long, he discerns, ‘I am breathing out long.’… He trains himself, ‘I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication’; he trains himself, ‘I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.’

“In this way he remains focused internally on the body in & of itself, or externally on the body in & of itself, or both internally & externally on the body in & of itself. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to the body, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to the body, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to the body. Or his mindfulness that ‘There is a body’ is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, not clinging to anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself.

[2] “And further, when walking, the monk discerns, ‘I am walking.’ When standing, he discerns, ‘I am standing.’ When sitting, he discerns, ‘I am sitting.’ When lying down, he discerns, ‘I am lying down.’ Or however his body is disposed, that is how he discerns it.

“In this way he remains focused internally on the body in & of itself, or externally on the body in & of itself, or both internally & externally on the body in & of itself. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to the body, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to the body, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to the body. Or his mindfulness that ‘There is a body’ is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, not clinging to anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself.

[3] “And further, when going forward & returning, he makes himself fully alert; when looking toward & looking away… when bending & extending his limbs… when carrying his outer cloak, his upper robe & his bowl… when eating, drinking, chewing, & savoring… when urinating & defecating… when walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep, waking up, talking, & remaining silent, he makes himself fully alert.

“In this way he remains focused internally on the body in & of itself, or externally on the body in & of itself, or both internally & externally on the body in & of itself. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to the body, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to the body, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to the body. Or his mindfulness that ‘There is a body’ is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, not clinging to anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself.

[4] “And further… just as if a sack with openings at both ends were full of various kinds of grain—wheat, rice, mung beans, kidney beans, sesame seeds, husked rice—and a man with good eyesight, pouring it out, were to reflect, ‘This is wheat. This is rice. These are mung beans. These are kidney beans. These are sesame seeds. This is husked rice,’ in the same way, the monk reflects on this very body from the soles of the feet on up, from the crown of the head on down, surrounded by skin and full of various kinds of unclean things: ‘In this body there are head hairs, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, tendons, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, large intestines, small intestines, gorge, feces, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, skin-oil, saliva, mucus, fluid in the joints, urine.’

“In this way he remains focused internally on the body in & of itself, or externally on the body in & of itself, or both internally & externally on the body in & of itself. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to the body, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to the body, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to the body. Or his mindfulness that ‘There is a body’ is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, not clinging to anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself.

[5] “And further… just as a dexterous butcher or butcher’s apprentice, having killed a cow, would sit at a crossroads cutting it up into pieces, the monk contemplates this very body—however it stands, however it is disposed—in terms of properties: ‘In this body there is the earth property, the liquid property, the fire property, & the wind property.’

“In this way he remains focused internally on the body in & of itself, or externally on the body in & of itself, or both internally & externally on the body in & of itself. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to the body, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to the body, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to the body. Or his mindfulness that ‘There is a body’ is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, not clinging to anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself.

[6] “And further, as if he were to see a corpse cast away in a charnel ground—one day, two days, three days dead—bloated, livid, & festering, he applies it to this very body, ‘This body, too: Such is its nature, such is its future, such its unavoidable fate.’ …

“Or again, as if he were to see a corpse cast away in a charnel ground, picked at by crows, vultures, & hawks, by dogs, hyenas, & various other creatures… a skeleton smeared with flesh & blood, connected with tendons… a fleshless skeleton smeared with blood, connected with tendons… a skeleton without flesh or blood, connected with tendons… bones detached from their tendons, scattered in all directions—here a hand bone, there a foot bone, here a shin bone, there a thigh bone, here a hip bone, there a back bone, here a rib, there a chest bone, here a shoulder bone, there a neck bone, here a jaw bone, there a tooth, here a skull… the bones whitened, somewhat like the color of shells… piled up, more than a year old… decomposed into a powder: He applies it to this very body, ‘This body, too: Such is its nature, such is its future, such its unavoidable fate.’

“In this way he remains focused internally on the body in & of itself, or externally on the body in & of itself, or both internally & externally on the body in & of itself. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to the body, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to the body, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to the body. Or his mindfulness that ‘There is a body’ is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, not clinging to anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself.

Feelings

“And how does a monk remain focused on feelings in & of themselves? There is the case where a monk, when feeling a painful feeling, discerns, ‘I am feeling a painful feeling.’ When feeling a pleasant feeling, he discerns, ‘I am feeling a pleasant feeling.’ When feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he discerns, ‘I am feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling.’

“When feeling a painful feeling of-the-flesh, he discerns, ‘I am feeling a painful feeling of-the-flesh.’ When feeling a painful feeling not of-the-flesh, he discerns, ‘I am feeling a painful feeling not of-the-flesh.’ When feeling a pleasant feeling of-the-flesh, he discerns, ‘I am feeling a pleasant feeling of-the-flesh.’ When feeling a pleasant feeling not of-the-flesh, he discerns, ‘I am feeling a pleasant feeling not of-the-flesh.’ When feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling of-the-flesh, he discerns, ‘I am feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling of-the-flesh.’ When feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling not of-the-flesh, he discerns, ‘I am feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling not of-the-flesh.’

“In this way he remains focused internally on feelings in & of themselves, or externally on feelings in & of themselves, or both internally & externally on feelings in & of themselves. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to feelings, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to feelings, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to feelings. Or his mindfulness that ‘There are feelings’ is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, unsustained by [not clinging to] anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on feelings in & of themselves.

Mind

“And how does a monk remain focused on the mind in & of itself? There is the case where a monk, when the mind has passion, discerns, ‘The mind has passion.’ When the mind is without passion, he discerns, ‘The mind is without passion.’ When the mind has aversion, he discerns, ‘The mind has aversion.’ When the mind is without aversion, he discerns, ‘The mind is without aversion.’ When the mind has delusion, he discerns, ‘The mind has delusion.’ When the mind is without delusion, he discerns, ‘The mind is without delusion.’

“When the mind is constricted, he discerns, ‘The mind is constricted.’ When the mind is scattered, he discerns, ‘The mind is scattered.’ When the mind is enlarged, he discerns, ‘The mind is enlarged.’ When the mind is not enlarged, he discerns that the mind is not enlarged. When the mind is surpassed, he discerns, ‘The mind is surpassed.’ When the mind is unsurpassed, he discerns, ‘The mind is unsurpassed.’ When the mind is concentrated, he discerns, ‘The mind is concentrated.’ When the mind is not concentrated, he discerns, ‘The mind is not concentrated.’ When the mind is released, he discerns, ‘The mind is released.’ When the mind is not released, he discerns, ‘The mind is not released.’

“In this way he remains focused internally on the mind in & of itself, or externally on the mind in & of itself, or both internally & externally on the mind in & of itself. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to the mind, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to the mind, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to the mind. Or his mindfulness that ‘There is a mind’ is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, unsustained by [not clinging to] anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on the mind in & of itself.

Dhammas

“And how does a monk remain focused on dhammas in & of themselves?

[1] “There is the case where a monk remains focused on dhammas in & of themselves with reference to the five hindrances. And how does a monk remain focused on dhammas in & of themselves with reference to the five hindrances? There is the case where, there being sensual desire present within, a monk discerns that ‘There is sensual desire present within me.’ Or, there being no sensual desire present within, he discerns that ‘There is no sensual desire present within me.’ He discerns how there is the arising of unarisen sensual desire. And he discerns how there is the abandoning of sensual desire once it has arisen. And he discerns how there is no further appearance in the future of sensual desire that has been abandoned. [The same formula is repeated for the remaining hindrances: ill will, sloth & drowsiness, restlessness & anxiety, and uncertainty.]

“In this way he remains focused internally on dhammas in & of themselves, or externally on dhammas in & of themselves, or both internally & externally on dhammas in & of themselves. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to dhammas, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to dhammas, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to dhammas. Or his mindfulness that ‘There are dhammas’ is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, not clinging to anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on dhammas in & of themselves with reference to the five hindrances.

[2] “And further, the monk remains focused on dhammas in & of themselves with reference to the five clinging-aggregates. And how does he remain focused on dhammas in & of themselves with reference to the five clinging-aggregates? There is the case where a monk (discerns): ‘Such is form, such its origination, such its disappearance. Such is feeling… Such is perception… Such are fabrications… Such is consciousness, such its origination, such its disappearance.’

“In this way he remains focused internally on dhammas in & of themselves, or externally on dhammas in & of themselves, or both internally & externally on dhammas in & of themselves. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to dhammas, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to dhammas, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to dhammas. Or his mindfulness that ‘There are dhammas’ is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, not clinging to anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on dhammas in & of themselves with reference to the five clinging-aggregates.

[3] “And further, the monk remains focused on dhammas in & of themselves with reference to the sixfold internal & external sense media. And how does he remain focused on dhammas in & of themselves with reference to the sixfold internal & external sense media? There is the case where he discerns the eye, he discerns forms, he discerns the fetter that arises dependent on both. He discerns how there is the arising of an unarisen fetter. And he discerns how there is the abandoning of a fetter once it has arisen. And he discerns how there is no further appearance in the future of a fetter that has been abandoned. [The same formula is repeated for the remaining sense media: ear, nose, tongue, body, & intellect.]

“In this way he remains focused internally on dhammas in & of themselves, or externally on dhammas in & of themselves, or both internally & externally on dhammas in & of themselves. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to dhammas, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to dhammas, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to dhammas. Or his mindfulness that ‘There are dhammas’ is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, not clinging to anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on dhammas in & of themselves with reference to the sixfold internal & external sense media.

[4] “And further, the monk remains focused on dhammas in & of themselves with reference to the seven factors for awakening. And how does he remain focused on dhammas in & of themselves with reference to the seven factors for awakening? There is the case where, there being mindfulness as a factor for awakening present within, he discerns that ‘Mindfulness as a factor for awakening is present within me.’ Or, there being no mindfulness as a factor for awakening present within, he discerns that ‘Mindfulness as a factor for awakening is not present within me.’ He discerns how there is the arising of unarisen mindfulness as a factor for awakening. And he discerns how there is the culmination of the development of mindfulness as a factor for awakening once it has arisen. [The same formula is repeated for the remaining factors for awakening: analysis of dhammas, persistence, rapture, calm, concentration, & equanimity.]

“In this way he remains focused internally on dhammas in & of themselves, or externally on dhammas in & of themselves, or both internally & externally on dhammas in & of themselves. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to dhammas, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to dhammas, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to dhammas. Or his mindfulness that ‘There are dhammas’ is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, not clinging to anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on dhammas in & of themselves with reference to the seven factors for awakening.

[5] “And further, the monk remains focused on dhammas in & of themselves with reference to the four noble truths. And how does he remain focused on dhammas in & of themselves with reference to the four noble truths? There is the case where he discerns, as it has come to be, that ‘This is stress… This is the origination of stress… This is the cessation of stress… This is the way leading to the cessation of stress.’

“In this way he remains focused internally on dhammas in & of themselves, or externally on dhammas in & of themselves, or both internally & externally on dhammas in & of themselves. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to dhammas, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to dhammas, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to dhammas. Or his mindfulness that ‘There are dhammas’ is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, not clinging to anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on dhammas in & of themselves with reference to the four noble truths.

Conclusion

“Now, if anyone would develop these four establishings of mindfulness in this way for seven years, one of two fruits can be expected for him: either gnosis right here-&-now, or—if there be any remnant of clinging-sustenance—non-return.

“Let alone seven years. If anyone would develop these four establishings of mindfulness in this way for six years… five… four… three… two years… one year… seven months… six months… five… four… three… two months… one month… half a month, one of two fruits can be expected for him: either gnosis right here-&-now, or—if there be any remnant of clinging-sustenance—non-return.

“Let alone half a month. If anyone would develop these four establishings of mindfulness in this way for seven days, one of two fruits can be expected for him: either gnosis right here-&-now, or—if there be any remnant of clinging-sustenance—non-return.

“‘This is the direct path for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow & lamentation, for the disappearance of pain & distress, for the attainment of the right method, & for the realization of unbinding—in other words, the four establishings of mindfulness.’ Thus was it said, and in reference to this was it said.”

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the monks delighted in the Blessed One’s words. — MN 10

Guidance from Discernment

§ 259. The body. “And what is the perception of drawbacks? There is the case where a monk—having gone to the wilderness, to the foot of a tree, or to an empty dwelling—reflects thus: ‘This body has many pains, many drawbacks. In this body many kinds of disease arise, such as: seeing-diseases, hearing-diseases, nose-diseases, tongue-diseases, body-diseases, head-diseases, ear-diseases, mouth-diseases, teeth-diseases, cough, asthma, catarrh, fever, aging, stomach-ache, fainting, dysentery, grippe, cholera, leprosy, boils, ringworm, tuberculosis, epilepsy, skin-diseases, itch, scab, psoriasis, scabies, jaundice, diabetes, hemorrhoids, fistulas, ulcers; diseases arising from bile, from phlegm, from the wind-property, from combinations of bodily humors, from changes in the weather, from uneven care of the body, from attacks, from the result of kamma; cold, heat, hunger, thirst, defecation, urination.’ Thus he remains focused on drawbacks with regard to this body. This is called the perception of drawbacks.” — AN 10:60

§ 260. “A woman attends inwardly to her feminine faculties, her feminine gestures, her feminine manners, feminine poise, feminine desires, feminine voice, feminine charms. She is excited by that, delighted by that. Being excited & delighted by that, she attends outwardly to masculine faculties, masculine gestures, masculine manners, masculine poise, masculine desires, masculine voices, masculine charms. She is excited by that, delighted by that. Being excited & delighted by that, she wants to be bonded to what is outside her, wants whatever pleasure & happiness that arise based on that bond. Delighting, caught up in her femininity, a woman goes into bondage with reference to men. This is how a woman does not transcend her femininity.

“A man attends inwardly to his masculine faculties, masculine gestures, masculine manners, masculine poise, masculine desires, masculine voice, masculine charms. He is excited by that, delighted by that. Being excited & delighted by that, he attends outwardly to feminine faculties, feminine gestures, feminine manners, feminine poise, feminine desires, feminine voices, feminine charms. He is excited by that, delighted by that. Being excited & delighted by that, he wants to be bonded to what is outside him, wants whatever pleasure & happiness that arise based on that bond. Delighting, caught up in his masculinity, a man goes into bondage with reference to women. This is how a man does not transcend his masculinity.

“This is how there is bondage.

“And how is there lack of bondage? A woman does not attend inwardly to her feminine faculties… feminine charms. She is not excited by that, not delighted by that… does not attend outwardly to masculine faculties… masculine charms. She is not excited by that, not delighted by that… does not want to be bonded to what is outside her, does not want whatever pleasure & happiness that arise based on that bond. Not delighting, not caught up in her femininity, a woman does not go into bondage with reference to men. This is how a woman transcends her femininity.

“A man does not attend inwardly to his masculine faculties… masculine charms. He is not excited by that, not delighted by that… does not attend outwardly to feminine faculties… feminine charms. He is not excited by that, not delighted by that… does not want to be bonded to what is outside him, does not want whatever pleasure & happiness that arise based on that bond. Not delighting, not caught up in his masculinity, a man does not go into bondage with reference to women. This is how a man transcends his masculinity.

“This is how there is lack of bondage.” — AN 7:48

§ 261. Feelings. “Monks, there is rapture of-the-flesh, rapture not-of-the-flesh, and rapture more not-of-the-flesh than that not-of-the-flesh. There is pleasure of-the-flesh, pleasure not-of-the-flesh, and pleasure more not-of-the-flesh than that not-of-the-flesh. There is equanimity of-the-flesh, equanimity not-of-the-flesh, and equanimity more not-of-the-flesh than that not-of-the-flesh. There is liberation of-the-flesh, liberation not-of-the-flesh, and liberation more not-of-the-flesh than that not-of-the-flesh.

“And what is rapture of-the-flesh? There are these five strings of sensuality. Which five? Forms cognizable via the eye—agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, enticing, linked to sensual desire. Sounds cognizable via the ear… Aromas cognizable via the nose… Flavors cognizable via the tongue… Tactile sensations cognizable via the body—agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, enticing, linked to sensual desire. Now, whatever rapture arises in dependence on these five strings of sensuality, that is called rapture of-the-flesh.

“And what is rapture not-of-the-flesh? There is the case where a monk— quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful dhammas—enters & remains in the first jhāna: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhāna: rapture & pleasure born of concentration, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation—internal assurance. This is called rapture not-of-the-flesh.

“And what is the rapture more not-of-the-flesh than that not-of-the-flesh? Whatever rapture arises in an effluent-ended monk as he is reflecting on his mind released from passion, reflecting on his mind released from aversion, reflecting on his mind released from delusion, that is called rapture more not-of-the-flesh than that not-of-the-flesh.

“And what is pleasure of-the-flesh? There are these five strings of sensuality. Which five? Forms cognizable via the eye—agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, enticing, linked to sensual desire. Sounds cognizable via the ear… Aromas cognizable via the nose… Flavors cognizable via the tongue… Tactile sensations cognizable via the body—agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, enticing, linked to sensual desire. Now, whatever pleasure arises in dependence on these five strings of sensuality, that is called pleasure of-the-flesh.

“And what is pleasure not-of-the-flesh? There is the case where a monk—quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful dhammas—enters & remains in the first jhāna: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. With the stilling of directed thoughts & evaluations, he enters & remains in the second jhāna: rapture & pleasure born of concentration, unification of awareness free from directed thought & evaluation—internal assurance. With the fading of rapture, he remains equanimous, mindful, & alert, and senses pleasure with the body. He enters & remains in the third jhāna, of which the noble ones declare, ‘Equanimous & mindful, he has a pleasant abiding.’ This is called pleasure not-of-the-flesh.

“And what is the pleasure more not-of-the-flesh than that not-of-the-flesh? Whatever pleasure arises in an effluent-ended monk as he is reflecting on his mind released from passion, reflecting on his mind released from aversion, reflecting on his mind released from delusion, that is called pleasure more not-of-the-flesh than that not-of-the-flesh.

“And what is equanimity of-the-flesh? There are these five strings of sensuality. Which five? Forms cognizable via the eye—agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, enticing, linked to sensual desire. Sounds cognizable via the ear… Aromas cognizable via the nose… Flavors cognizable via the tongue… Tactile sensations cognizable via the body—agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, enticing, linked to sensual desire. Whatever equanimity arises in dependence on these five strings of sensuality, that is called equanimity of-the-flesh.

“And what is equanimity not-of-the-flesh? There is the case where a monk, with the abandoning of pleasure & stress—as with the earlier disappearance of joy & distress—enters & remains in the fourth jhāna: purity of equanimity & mindfulness, neither-pleasure-nor-pain. This is called equanimity not-of-the-flesh.

“And what is the equanimity more not-of-the-flesh than that not-of-the-flesh? Whatever equanimity arises in an effluent-ended monk as he is reflecting on his mind released from passion, reflecting on his mind released from aversion, reflecting on his mind released from delusion, that is called equanimity more not-of-the-flesh than that not-of-the-flesh.

“And what is liberation of-the-flesh? Liberation associated with form is of-the-flesh. What is liberation not-of-the-flesh? Liberation associated with the formless is not-of-the-flesh.

“And what is the liberation more not-of-the-flesh than that not-of-the-flesh? Whatever liberation arises in an effluent-ended monk as he is reflecting on his mind released from passion, reflecting on his mind released from aversion, reflecting on his mind released from delusion, that is called liberation more not-of-the-flesh than that not-of-the-flesh.” — SN 36:31

§ 262. “‘The eighteen explorations for the intellect should be known’: Thus was it said. And in reference to what was it said? Seeing a form via the eye, one explores a form that can act as the basis for joy, one explores a form that can act as the basis for distress, one explores a form that can act as the basis for equanimity. Hearing a sound via the ear… Smelling an aroma via the nose… Tasting a flavor via the tongue… Feeling a tactile sensation via the body… Cognizing an idea via the intellect, one explores an idea that can act as the basis for joy, one explores an idea that can act as the basis for distress, one explores an idea that can act as the basis for equanimity. The eighteen explorations for the intellect should be known’: Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.” — MN 137

§ 263. “‘Joy is of two sorts, I tell you, deva-king: to be pursued & not to be pursued.’ Thus was it said. And in reference to what was it said? When one knows of a feeling of joy, ‘As I pursue this joy, unskillful dhammas increase, and skillful dhammas decline,’ that sort of joy is not to be pursued. When one knows of a feeling of joy, ‘As I pursue this joy, unskillful dhammas decline, and skillful dhammas increase,’ that sort of joy is to be pursued. And this sort of joy may be accompanied by directed thought & evaluation or free of directed thought & evaluation. Of the two, the latter is the more refined. ‘Joy is of two sorts, I tell you, deva-king: to be pursued & not to be pursued.’ Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

“‘Grief is of two sorts…

“‘Equanimity is of two sorts, I tell you: to be pursued & not to be pursued.’ Thus was it said. And in reference to what was it said? When one knows of a feeling of equanimity, ‘As I pursue this equanimity, unskillful dhammas increase, and skillful dhammas decline,’ that sort of equanimity is not to be pursued. When one knows of a feeling of equanimity, ‘As I pursue this equanimity, unskillful dhammas decline, and skillful dhammas increase,’ that sort of equanimity is to be pursued. And this sort of equanimity may be accompanied by directed thought & evaluation or free of directed thought & evaluation. Of the two, the latter is the more refined. ‘Equanimity is of two sorts, I tell you: to be pursued & not to be pursued.’ Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.” — DN 21

§ 264. “‘The thirty-six emotions to which beings are attached should be known’: Thus was it said. And in reference to what was it said? Six kinds of house-based happiness & six kinds of renunciation-based happiness; six kinds of house-based distress & six kinds of renunciation-based distress; six kinds of house-based equanimity & six kinds of renunciation-based equanimity.

“And what are the six kinds of house-based happiness? The happiness that arises when one regards as an acquisition the acquisition of forms cognizable by the eye—agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, connected with worldly baits—or when one recalls the previous acquisition of such forms after they have passed, ceased, & changed: That is called house-based happiness. [Similarly with sounds, smells, tastes, tactile sensations, & ideas.]

“And what are the six kinds of renunciation-based happiness? The happiness that arises when—experiencing the inconstancy of those very forms, their change, dispassioning, & cessation—one sees with right discernment as it actually is that all forms, past or present, are inconstant, stressful, subject to change: That is called renunciation-based happiness. [Similarly with sounds, smells, tastes, tactile sensations, & ideas.]

“And what are the six kinds of house-based distress? The distress that arises when one regards as a non-acquisition the non-acquisition of forms cognizable by the eye—agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, connected with worldly baits—or when one recalls the previous non-acquisition of such forms after they have passed, ceased, & changed: That is called house-based distress. [Similarly with sounds, smells, tastes, tactile sensations, & ideas.]

“And what are the six kinds of renunciation-based distress? The distress coming from the longing that arises in one who is filled with longing for the unexcelled liberations when—experiencing the inconstancy of those very forms, their change, dispassioning, & cessation—he sees with right discernment as it actually is that all forms, past or present, are inconstant, stressful, subject to change and he is filled with this longing: ‘O when will I enter & remain in the dimension that the noble ones now enter & remain in?’ This is called renunciation-based distress. [Similarly with sounds, smells, tastes, tactile sensations, & ideas.]

“And what are the six kinds of house-based equanimity? The equanimity that arises when a foolish, deluded person—a run-of-the-mill, uninstructed person who has not conquered his limitations or the results of action[1] & who is blind to danger[2]—sees a form with the eye. Such equanimity does not go beyond the form, which is why it is called house-based equanimity. [Similarly with sounds, smells, tastes, tactile sensations, & ideas.]

“And what are the six kinds of renunciation-based equanimity? The equanimity that arises when—experiencing the inconstancy of those very forms, their change, dispassioning, & cessation—one sees with right discernment as it actually is that all forms, past or present, are inconstant, stressful, subject to change: This equanimity goes beyond form, which is why it is called renunciation-based equanimity. [Similarly with sounds, smells, tastes, tactile sensations, & ideas.]

“‘The thirty-six states to which beings are attached should be known’: Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

“‘With regard to them, depending on this, abandon that’: Thus was it said. And in reference to what was it said?

“Here, by depending & relying on the six kinds of renunciation-based happiness, abandon & transcend the six kinds of house-based happiness. Such is their abandoning, such is their transcending. By depending & relying on the six kinds of renunciation-based distress, abandon & transcend the six kinds of house-based distress. Such is their abandoning, such is their transcending. By depending & relying on the six kinds of renunciation-based equanimity, abandon & transcend the six kinds of house-based equanimity. Such is their abandoning, such their transcending.

“By depending & relying on the six kinds of renunciation-based happiness, abandon & transcend the six kinds of renunciation-based distress. Such is their abandoning, such is their transcending. By depending & relying on the six kinds of renunciation-based equanimity, abandon & transcend the six kinds of renunciation-based happiness. Such is their abandoning, such their transcending.

“There is equanimity coming from multiplicity, dependent on multiplicity; and there is equanimity coming from singleness, dependent on singleness.

“And what is equanimity coming from multiplicity, dependent on multiplicity? There is equanimity with regard to forms, equanimity with regard to sounds…smells…tastes…tactile sensations [& ideas: this word appears in one of the recensions]. This is equanimity coming from multiplicity, dependent on multiplicity.

“And what is equanimity coming from singleness, dependent on singleness? There is equanimity dependent on the sphere of the infinitude of space, equanimity dependent on the sphere of the infinitude of consciousness… dependent on the sphere of nothingness… dependent on the sphere of neither perception nor non-perception. This is equanimity coming from singleness, dependent on singleness.

“By depending & relying on equanimity coming from singleness, dependent on singleness, abandon & transcend equanimity coming from multiplicity, dependent on multiplicity. Such is its abandoning, such its transcending.

“By depending & relying on non-fashioning [atammayatā], abandon & transcend the equanimity coming from singleness, dependent on singleness. Such is its abandoning, such its transcending.

“‘Depending on this, abandon that’: Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.” — MN 137

Notes

1. See AN 3:101 (§65).

2. A person who is “blind to danger” is one who does not see the drawbacks of sensual pleasure or attachment to the body. For such a person, moments of equanimity are usually a dull spot in the midst of the quest for sensual pleasure. This is why such moments do not go beyond the sensory stimulus that generated them.

§ 265. Mind. “Even if a monk is not skilled in the ways of the minds of others [not skilled in reading the minds of others], he should train himself: ‘I will be skilled in reading my own mind.’

“And how is a monk skilled in reading his own mind? Imagine a young woman—or man—fond of adornment, examining the image of her own face in a bright, clean mirror or bowl of clear water: If she saw any dirt or blemish there, she would try to remove it. If she saw no dirt or blemish there, she would be pleased, her resolves fulfilled: ‘How fortunate I am! How clean I am!’ In the same way, a monk’s self-examination is very productive in terms of skillful dhammas [if he conducts it in this way]: ‘Do I usually remain covetous or not? With thoughts of ill will or not? Overcome by sloth & drowsiness or not? Restless or not? Uncertain or gone beyond uncertainty? Angry or not? With soiled thoughts or unsoiled thoughts? With my body aroused or unaroused? Lazy or with persistence aroused? Unconcentrated or concentrated?’

“If, on examination, a monk knows, ‘I usually remain covetous, with thoughts of ill will, overcome by sloth & drowsiness, restless, uncertain, angry, with soiled thoughts, with my body aroused, lazy, or unconcentrated,’ then he should put forth extra desire, effort, diligence, endeavor, relentlessness, mindfulness, & alertness for the abandoning of those very same evil, unskillful dhammas. Just as when a person whose turban or head was on fire would put forth extra desire, effort, diligence, endeavor, relentlessness, mindfulness, & alertness to put out the fire on his turban or head; in the same way, the monk should put forth extra desire, effort, diligence, endeavor, relentlessness, mindfulness, & alertness for the abandoning of those very same evil, unskillful dhammas.

“But if, on examination, a monk knows, ‘I usually remain uncovetous, without thoughts of ill will, free of sloth & drowsiness, not restless, gone beyond uncertainty, not angry, with unsoiled thoughts, with my body unaroused, with persistence aroused, & concentrated,’ then his duty is to make an effort in establishing [‘tuning’] those very same skillful dhammas to a higher degree for the ending of effluents.” — AN 10:51

§ 266. “There is the case where you recollect the Tathāgata: ‘Indeed, the Blessed One is worthy & rightly self-awakened, consummate in clear-knowing & conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the cosmos, unexcelled trainer of people fit to be tamed, teacher of devas & human beings, awakened, blessed.’ At any time when a disciple of the noble ones is recollecting the Tathāgata, his mind is not overcome with passion, not overcome with aversion, not overcome with delusion. His mind heads straight, based on the Tathāgata. And when the mind is headed straight, the disciple of the noble ones gains a sense of the goal [attha], gains a sense of the Dhamma, gains joy connected with the Dhamma. In one who is joyful, rapture arises. In one whose mind is enraptured, the body grows calm. One whose body is calmed experiences ease. In one at ease, the mind becomes concentrated.…

“Then there is the case where you recollect the Dhamma: ‘The Dhamma is well taught by the Blessed One, to be seen here-&-now, timeless, inviting verification, pertinent, to be experienced by the observant for themselves.’…

“Then there is the case where you recollect the Saṅgha: ‘The Saṅgha of the Blessed One’s disciples who have practiced well…who have practiced straight-forwardly…who have practiced methodically…who have practiced masterfully—in other words, the four types (of noble disciples) when taken as pairs, the eight when taken as individual types—they are the Saṅgha of the Blessed One’s disciples: deserving of gifts, deserving of hospitality, deserving of offerings, deserving of respect, the incomparable field of merit for the world.’ …

“Then there is the case where you recollect your own virtues: ‘(They are) untorn, unbroken, unspotted, unsplattered, liberating, praised by the observant, ungrasped at, conducive to concentration.’ …

“Then there is the case where you recollect your own generosity: ‘It is a gain, a great gain for me, that—among people overcome with the stain of possessiveness—I live at home, my awareness cleansed of the stain of possessiveness, freely generous, openhanded, delighting in being magnanimous, responsive to requests, delighting in the distribution of alms.’ …

“Then you should recollect the devas: ‘There are the Devas of the Four Great Kings, the Devas of the Thirty-three, the Devas of the Hours, the Contented Devas, the Devas Delighting in Creation, the Devas Wielding Power over the Creations of Others, the Devas of Brahmā’s retinue, the devas beyond them. Whatever conviction they were endowed with, so that—when falling away from this life—they re-arose there, the same sort of conviction is present in me as well. Whatever virtue they were endowed with… Whatever learning they were endowed with… Whatever generosity they were endowed with… Whatever discernment they were endowed with, so that—when falling away from this life—they re-arose there, the same sort of discernment is present in me as well.’ At any time when a disciple of the noble ones is recollecting the conviction, virtue, learning, generosity, and discernment found both in himself and the devas, his mind is not overcome with passion, not overcome with aversion, not overcome with delusion. His mind heads straight, based on the (qualities of the) devas. And when the mind is headed straight, the disciple of the noble ones gains a sense of the goal, gains a sense of the Dhamma, gains joy connected with the Dhamma. In one who is joyful, rapture arises. In one whose mind is enraptured, the body grows calm. One whose body is calmed experiences ease. In one at ease, the mind becomes concentrated.” AN 11:13

§ 267. “One develops the base of power endowed with concentration founded on intent [citta] & the fabrications of exertion, thinking, ‘This intent of mine will be neither overly sluggish nor overly active, neither inwardly constricted nor outwardly scattered.’…

“And how is intent overly sluggish? Whatever intent is accompanied by laziness, conjoined with laziness: That is called overly sluggish intent.

“And how is intent overly active? Whatever intent is accompanied by restlessness, conjoined with restlessness: That is called overly active intent.

“And how is intent inwardly constricted? Whatever intent is accompanied by sloth & drowsiness, conjoined with sloth & drowsiness. That is called inwardly constricted intent.

“And how is intent outwardly scattered? Whatever intent is stirred up by the five strings of sensuality, outwardly dispersed & dissipated: That is called outwardly scattered intent.” — SN 51:20

§ 268. Dhammas. Factors for awakening. “Monks, on any occasion when the mind is sluggish, that is the wrong time to develop calm as a factor for awakening, concentration as a factor for awakening, equanimity as a factor for awakening. Why is that? The sluggish mind is hard to raise up by those dhammas. Just as if a man, wanting to make a small fire blaze up, were to place wet grass in it, wet cow dung, & wet sticks; were to give it a spray of water and smother it with dust. Is it possible that he would make the small fire blaze up?”

“No, lord.”

“In the same way, monks, on any occasion the mind is sluggish, that is the wrong time to develop calm as a factor for awakening, concentration as a factor for awakening, equanimity as a factor for awakening. Why is that? The sluggish mind is hard to raise up by those dhammas.

“Now, on any occasion when the mind is sluggish, that is the right time to develop analysis of dhammas as a factor for awakening, persistence as a factor for awakening, rapture as a factor for awakening. Why is that? The sluggish mind is easy to raise up by those dhammas. Just as if a man, wanting to make a small fire blaze up, were to place dry grass in it, dry cow dung, & dry sticks; were to blow on it with his mouth and not smother it with dust. Is it possible that he would make the small fire blaze up?

“Yes, lord.

“In the same way, monks, on any occasion when the mind is sluggish, that is the right time to develop analysis of dhammas as a factor for awakening, persistence as a factor for awakening, rapture as a factor for awakening. Why is that? The sluggish mind is easy to raise up by those dhammas.

“Now, on any occasion when the mind is restless, that is the wrong time to develop analysis of dhammas as a factor for awakening, persistence as a factor for awakening, rapture as a factor for awakening. Why is that? The restless mind is hard to still with those dhammas. Just as if a man, wanting to put out a large fire, were to place dry grass in it, dry cow dung, & dry sticks; were to blow on it with his mouth and not smother it with dust. Is it possible that he would put it out?”

“No, lord.”

“In the same way, monks, on any occasion when the mind is restless, that is the wrong time to develop analysis of dhammas as a factor for awakening, persistence as a factor for awakening, rapture as a factor for awakening. Why is that? The restless mind is hard to still with those dhammas.

“Now, on occasions when the mind is restless, that is the right time to develop calm as a factor for awakening, concentration as a factor for awakening, equanimity as a factor for awakening. Why is that? The restless mind is easy to still with those dhammas. Just as if a man, wanting to put out a large fire, were to place wet grass in it, wet cow dung, & wet sticks; were to give it a spray of water and smother it with dust. Is it possible that he would put it out?”

“Yes, lord.”

“In the same way, monks, when the mind is restless, that is the right time to develop calm as a factor for awakening, concentration as a factor for awakening, equanimity as a factor for awakening. Why is that? The restless mind is easy to still with those dhammas.

“As for mindfulness, I tell you, that serves every purpose.” — SN 46:53

§ 269. Feeding the factors for awakening. “Now, what is the food for the arising of unarisen mindfulness as a factor for awakening, or for the growth & increase of mindfulness… once it has arisen? There are dhammas that act as a foothold for mindfulness as a factor for awakening [well-purified virtue & views made straight—SN 47:16]. To foster appropriate attention to them: This is the food for the arising of unarisen mindfulness as a factor for awakening, or for the growth & increase of mindfulness… once it has arisen.

“And what is the food for the arising of unarisen analysis of dhammas as a factor for awakening, or for the growth & increase of analysis of dhammas… once it has arisen? There are dhammas that are skillful & unskillful, blameworthy & blameless, gross & refined, siding with darkness & with light. To foster appropriate attention to them: This is the food for the arising of unarisen analysis of dhammas as a factor for awakening, or for the growth & increase of analysis of dhammas… once it has arisen.

“And what is the food for the arising of unarisen persistence as a factor for awakening, or for the growth & increase of persistence… once it has arisen? There is the potential for effort, the potential for exertion, the potential for striving. To foster appropriate attention to them: This is the food for the arising of unarisen persistence as a factor for awakening, or for the growth & increase of persistence… once it has arisen.

“And what is the food for the arising of unarisen rapture as a factor for awakening, or for the growth & increase of rapture… once it has arisen? There are dhammas that act as a foothold for rapture as a factor for awakening. To foster appropriate attention to them: This is the food for the arising of unarisen rapture as a factor for awakening, or for the growth & increase of rapture… once it has arisen.

“And what is the food for the arising of unarisen calm as a factor for awakening, or for the growth & increase of calm… once it has arisen? There is physical calm & there is mental calm. To foster appropriate attention to them: This is the food for the arising of unarisen calm as a factor for awakening, or for the growth & increase of calm… once it has arisen.

“And what is the food for the arising of unarisen concentration as a factor for awakening, or for the growth & increase of concentration… once it has arisen? There are themes for tranquility, themes for non-distraction [these are the four establishings of mindfulness]. To foster appropriate attention to them: This is the food for the arising of unarisen concentration as a factor for awakening, or for the growth & increase of concentration… once it has arisen.

“And what is the food for the arising of unarisen equanimity as a factor for awakening, or for the growth & increase of equanimity… once it has arisen? There are dhammas that act as a foothold for equanimity as a factor for awakening. To foster appropriate attention to them: This is the food for the arising of unarisen equanimity as a factor for awakening, or for the growth & increase of equanimity… once it has arisen.

Starving the hindrances. “Now, what is lack of food for the arising of unarisen sensual desire, or for the growth & increase of sensual desire once it has arisen? There is the theme of unattractiveness. To foster appropriate attention to it: This is lack of food for the arising of unarisen sensual desire, or for the growth & increase of sensual desire once it has arisen.

“And what is lack of food for the arising of unarisen ill will, or for the growth & increase of ill will once it has arisen? There is awareness-release [through goodwill, compassion, empathetic joy, or equanimity]. To foster appropriate attention to that: This is lack of food for the arising of unarisen ill will, or for the growth & increase of ill will once it has arisen.

“And what is lack of food for the arising of unarisen sloth & drowsiness, or for the growth & increase of sloth & drowsiness once it has arisen? There is the potential for effort, the potential for exertion, the potential for striving. To foster appropriate attention to them: This is lack of food for the arising of unarisen sloth & drowsiness, or for the growth & increase of sloth & drowsiness once it has arisen.

“And what is lack of food for the arising of unarisen restlessness & anxiety, or for the growth & increase of restlessness & anxiety once it has arisen? There is stillness of awareness. To foster appropriate attention to that: This is lack of food for the arising of unarisen restlessness & anxiety, or for the growth & increase of restlessness & anxiety once it has arisen.

“And what is lack of food for the arising of unarisen uncertainty, or for the growth & increase of uncertainty once it has arisen? There are dhammas that are skillful & unskillful, blameworthy & blameless, gross & refined, siding with darkness & with light. To foster appropriate attention to them: This is lack of food for the arising of unarisen uncertainty, or for the growth & increase of uncertainty once it has arisen.” — SN 46:51

§ 270. “These are the five hindrances & obstructions that overcome awareness & weaken discernment. Which five? Sensual desire is a hindrance & obstruction that overcomes awareness & weakens discernment. Ill will… Sloth & drowsiness… Restlessness & anxiety… Uncertainty is a hindrance & obstruction that overcomes awareness & weakens discernment.…

“Suppose there were a river, flowing down from the mountains, going far, its current swift, carrying everything with it: If a man were to open watercourses leading off from both sides, the current in the middle of the river would be interrupted, diverted, & dispersed. The river would not go far, its current would not be swift, and it would not carry everything with it. In the same way, if a monk has not rid himself of these five hindrances… there is no possibility that he can know what is for his own benefit, or the benefit of others, or both, or that he should come to realize a superior human attainment, a truly noble knowledge & vision.…

“But suppose there were a river, flowing down from the mountains, going far, its current swift, carrying everything with it: If a man were to close off the watercourses leading off from both sides, the current in the middle of the river would not be interrupted, diverted, or dispersed. The river would go far, its current swift, carrying everything with it. In the same way, if a monk has rid himself of these five hindrances… there is the possibility that he can know what is for his own benefit, or the benefit of others, or both, and that he should come to realize a superior human attainment, a truly noble knowledge & vision.” — AN 5:51

§ 271. Hindrances: Ill will. “These are five ways of subduing hatred by which, when hatred arises in a monk, he should wipe it out completely. Which five?

“When one gives birth to hatred for an individual, one should develop goodwill for that individual. Thus the hatred for that individual should be subdued.

“When one gives birth to hatred for an individual, one should develop compassion for that individual… equanimity toward that individual… one should pay him no mind & pay him no attention.… When one gives birth to hatred for an individual, one should direct one’s thoughts to the fact of his being the product of his kamma: ‘This venerable one is the doer of his kamma, heir of his kamma, born of his kamma, related by his kamma, and is dependent on his kamma. Whatever kamma he does, for good or for evil, to that will he fall heir.’ Thus the hatred for that individual should be subdued.

“These are five ways of subduing hatred by which, when hatred arises in a monk, he should wipe it out completely.” — AN 5:161 [See also §160.]

§ 272. “There are these ten ways of subduing hatred. Which ten? 1) Thinking, ‘He has worked for my loss. But what should I expect?’ one subdues hatred. 2) Thinking, ‘He is working for my loss. But what should I expect?… 3) He is going to work for my loss. But what should I expect?… 4) He has worked for the loss of people who are dear & pleasing to me. But what should I expect?… 5) He is working for the loss of people who are dear & pleasing to me. But what should I expect?… 6) He is going to work for the loss of people who are dear & pleasing to me. But what should I expect?… 7) He has worked for the profit of people who are not dear or pleasing to me. But what should I expect?… 8) He is working for the profit of people who are not dear or pleasing to me. But what should I expect?… 9) He is going to work for the profit of people who are not dear or pleasing to me. But what should I expect?’ one subdues hatred. 10) One does not get worked up over impossibilities. These are ten ways of subduing hatred.” — AN 10:80

§ 273. ‘He       insulted me,

hit me,

beat me,

robbed me’

–for those who brood on this,

hostility isn’t stilled.

He insulted me,

hit me,

beat me,

robbed me’–

for those who don’t brood on this,

hostility is stilled.

Hostilities aren’t stilled

through hostility,

regardless.

Hostilities are stilled

through non-hostility:

this, an unending truth. — Dhp 3–5

§ 274. Hindrances: Sloth & drowsiness. Once the Blessed One was living among the Bhaggas in the Deer Park at Bhesakala Forest, near Crocodile Haunt. At that time Ven. Mahā Moggallāna [prior to his awakening] sat nodding near the village of Kallavalaputta, in Magadha. The Blessed One saw this with his purified divine eye, surpassing the human, and as soon as he saw this—just as a strong man might extend out his flexed arm or flex his extended arm—disappeared from the Deer Park… appeared right in front of Ven. Mahā Moggallāna, and sat down on a seat laid out. Seated, the Blessed One said to Ven. Mahā Moggallāna, “Are you nodding, Moggallāna? Are you nodding?”

“Yes, lord.”

“Well then, Moggallāna, whatever perception you have in mind when drowsiness descends on you, don’t attend to that perception, don’t pursue it. It’s possible that by doing this you will shake off your drowsiness.

“But if by doing this you don’t shake off your drowsiness, then recall to your awareness the Dhamma as you have heard & memorized it, re-examine it & ponder it over in your mind. It’s possible that by doing this you will shake off your drowsiness.

“But if by doing this you don’t shake off your drowsiness, then repeat aloud in detail the Dhamma as you have heard & memorized it. It’s possible that by doing this you will shake off your drowsiness.

“But if by doing this you don’t shake off your drowsiness, then pull both you earlobes and rub your limbs with your hands. It’s possible that by doing this you will shake off your drowsiness.

“But if by doing this you don’t shake off your drowsiness, then get up from your seat and, after washing your eyes out with water, look around in all directions and upward to the major stars & constellations. It’s possible that by doing this you will shake off your drowsiness.

“But if by doing this you don’t shake off your drowsiness, then attend to the perception of light, resolve on the perception of daytime, [dwelling] by night as by day, and by day as by night. By means of an awareness thus open & unhampered, develop a brightened mind. It’s possible that by doing this you will shake off your drowsiness.

“But if by doing this you don’t shake off your drowsiness, then—percipient of what lies in front & behind—set a distance to meditate walking back & forth, your senses inwardly immersed, your mind not straying outwards. It’s possible that by doing this you will shake off your drowsiness.

“But if by doing this you don’t shake off your drowsiness, then—reclining on your right side—take up the lion’s posture, one foot placed on top of the other, mindful, alert, with your mind set on getting up. As soon as you wake up, get up quickly, with the thought, “I won’t stay indulging in the pleasure of lying down, the pleasure of reclining, the pleasure of drowsiness.”

“Thus, Moggallāna, should you train yourself.” — AN 7:58

§ 275. The six sense media. Once, Ven. Sāriputta and Ven. Mahā Koṭṭhita were living near Vārāṇasī, at Isipatana in the Deer Park. Then Ven. Mahā Koṭṭhita, in the late afternoon, left his seclusion and went to Ven. Sāriputta. On arrival, he exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to Ven. Sāriputta, “Now tell me, friend Sāriputta, is the eye the fetter of forms, or are forms the fetter of the eye? Is the ear.… Is the nose.… Is the tongue.… Is the body.… Is the intellect the fetter of ideas, or are ideas the fetter of the intellect?”

“No, my friend. The eye is not the fetter of forms, nor are forms the fetter of the eye. Whatever desire-passion arises in dependence on the two of them: That is the fetter there. The ear is not the fetter of sounds.… The nose is not the fetter of aromas.… The tongue is not the fetter of flavors.… The body is not the fetter of tactile sensations.… The intellect is not the fetter of ideas, nor are ideas the fetter of the intellect. Whatever desire-passion arises in dependence on the two of them: That is the fetter there.

“Suppose that a black ox and a white ox were joined with a single collar or yoke. If someone were to say, ‘The black ox is the fetter of the white ox, the white ox is the fetter of the black’—speaking this way, would he be speaking rightly?”

“No, my friend. The black ox is not the fetter of the white ox, nor is the white ox the fetter of the black. The single collar or yoke by which they are joined: That is the fetter there.”

“In the same way, the eye is not the fetter of forms, nor are forms the fetter of the eye. Whatever desire-passion arises in dependence on the two of them: That is the fetter there. The ear is not the fetter of sounds.…The nose is not the fetter of aromas.…The tongue is not the fetter of flavors.…The body is not the fetter of tactile sensations.… The intellect is not the fetter of ideas, nor are ideas the fetter of the intellect. Whatever desire-passion arises in dependence on the two of them: That is the fetter there.

“If the eye were the fetter of forms, or if forms were the fetter of the eye, then this holy life for the right ending of stress & suffering would not be proclaimed. But because whatever desire-passion arises in dependence on the two of them is the fetter there, that is why this holy life for the right ending of stress & suffering is proclaimed.

“If the ear were the fetter.…

“If the nose were the fetter.…

“If the tongue were the fetter.…

“If the body were the fetter.…

“If the intellect were the fetter of ideas, or if ideas were the fetter of the intellect, then this holy life for the right ending of stress & suffering would not be proclaimed. But because whatever desire-passion arises in dependence on the two of them is the fetter there, that is why this holy life for the right ending of stress & suffering is proclaimed.

“And through this line of reasoning one may know how the eye is not the fetter of forms, nor are forms the fetter of the eye.… There is no desire or passion in the Blessed One. The Blessed One is well-released in mind.

“There is an ear in the Blessed One.…

“There is a nose in the Blessed One.…

“There is a tongue in the Blessed One.…

“There is a body in the Blessed One.…

“There is an intellect in the Blessed One. The Blessed One knows ideas with the intellect. There is no desire or passion in the Blessed One. The Blessed One is well-released in mind.

“It is through this line of reasoning that one may know how the eye is not the fetter of forms, nor are forms the fetter of the eye, but whatever desire-passion arises in dependence on the two of them: That is the fetter there. The ear is not the fetter of sounds.… The nose is not the fetter of aromas.… The tongue is not the fetter of flavors.… The body is not the fetter of tactile sensations.… The intellect is not the fetter of ideas, nor are ideas the fetter of the intellect, but whatever desire-passion arises in dependence on the two of them: That is the fetter there.” — SN 35:191

§ 276. Then Ven. Migajala went to the Blessed One and on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One: “‘A person living alone. A person living alone,’ thus it is said. To what extent, lord, is one a person living alone, and to what extent is one a person living with a companion?”

“Migajala, there are forms cognizable via the eye—agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, enticing, linked to sensual desire—and a monk relishes them, welcomes them, & remains fastened to them. As he relishes them, welcomes them, & remains fastened to them, delight arises. There being delight, he is impassioned. Being impassioned, he is fettered. A monk joined with the fetter of delight is said to be a person living with a companion.

“There are sounds cognizable via the ear… aromas cognizable via the nose… flavors cognizable via the tongue… tactile sensations cognizable via the body… ideas cognizable via the intellect—agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, enticing, linked to sensual desire—and a monk relishes them, welcomes them, & remains fastened to them. As he relishes them, welcomes them, & remains fastened to them, delight arises. There being delight, he is impassioned. Being impassioned, he is fettered. A monk joined with the fetter of delight is said to be a person living with a companion.

“A person living in this way—even if he frequents isolated forest & wilderness dwellings, with an unpopulated atmosphere, lying far from humanity, appropriate for seclusion—is still said to be living with a companion. Why is that? Because craving is his companion, and it has not been abandoned by him. Thus he is said to be a person living with a companion.

“Now, there are forms cognizable via the eye—agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, enticing, linked to sensual desire—and a monk does not relish them, welcome them, or remain fastened to them. As he doesn’t relish them, welcome them, or remain fastened to them, delight ceases. There being no delight, he is not impassioned. Being not impassioned, he is not fettered. A monk disjoined from the fetter of delight is said to be a person living alone.

“There are sounds cognizable via the ear… aromas cognizable via the nose… flavors cognizable via the tongue… tactile sensations cognizable via the body… ideas cognizable via the intellect—agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, enticing, linked to sensual desire—and a monk does not relish them, welcome them, or remain fastened to them. As he doesn’t relish them, welcome them, or remain fastened to them, delight ceases. There being no delight, he is not impassioned. Being not impassioned, he is not fettered. A monk disjoined from the fetter of delight is said to be a person living alone.

“A person living in this way—even if he lives near a village, associating with monks & nuns, with male & female lay followers, with kings & royal ministers, with sectarians & their disciples—is still said to be living alone. A person living alone is said to be a monk. Why is that? Because craving is his companion, and it has been abandoned by him. Thus he is said to be a person living alone.” — SN 35:63

§ 277. “And how does a monk dress wounds? There is the case where a monk, on seeing a form with the eye, does not grasp at any theme or details by which—if he were to dwell without restraint over the faculty of the eye—evil, unskillful dhammas such as greed or distress might assail him. He practices for its restraint. He guards the faculty of the eye. He achieves restraint with regard to the faculty of the eye. [Similarly with the other sense media.]

“This is how a monk dresses wounds.” — MN 33

§ 278. “This is Nanda’s guarding of the doors of his senses: If he should look to the east, he looks focusing his entire awareness, (thinking,) ‘As I am looking thus to the east, greed & distress, evil unskillful dhammas, will not flow out.’ That’s how he is alert there. If he should look to the west… the north… the south… above… below… to the intermediate directions, he looks focusing his entire awareness, (thinking,) ‘As I am looking thus to the intermediate directions, greed & distress, evil unskillful dhammas, will not flow out.’ That’s how he is alert there. This is Nanda’s guarding of the doors of his senses.” — AN 8:9

§ 279. “And how does restraint of the senses, when developed & pursued, lead to the culmination of the three courses of right conduct? There is the case where a monk, on seeing a pleasant form with the eye, does not hanker after it, does not delight in it, does not give rise to passion for it. Unmoved in body & unmoved in mind, he is inwardly well composed & well released. On seeing an unpleasant form with the eye, he is not upset, his mind is not unsettled, his feelings are not wounded, his mind does not become resentful. Unmoved in body & unmoved in mind, he is inwardly well composed & well released. [Similarly with the other sense media.]

“This is how restraint of the senses, when developed & pursued, leads to the culmination of the three courses of right conduct.” — SN 46:6

§ 280. “And what is lack of restraint? There is the case where a monk, seeing a form with the eye, is obsessed with pleasing forms, is repelled by unpleasing forms, and remains with body-mindfulness unestablished, with limited awareness. He does not discern, as it has come to be, the awareness-release, the discernment-release where any evil, unskillful dhammas that have arisen utterly cease without remainder.

“Hearing a sound with the ear.…

“Smelling an aroma with the nose.…

“Tasting a flavor with the tongue.…

“Touching a tactile sensation with the body.…

“Cognizing an idea with the intellect, he is obsessed with pleasing ideas, is repelled by unpleasing ideas, and remains with body-mindfulness unestablished, with limited awareness. He does not discern, as it has come to be, the awareness-release, the discernment-release where any evil, unskillful dhammas that have arisen utterly cease without remainder.

“Just as if a person, catching six animals of different ranges, of different habitats, were to bind them with a strong rope. Catching a snake, he would bind it with a strong rope. Catching a crocodile… a bird… a dog… a hyena… a monkey, he would bind it with a strong rope. Binding them all with a strong rope, and tying a knot in the middle, he would set chase to them.

“Then those six animals, of different ranges, of different habitats, would each pull toward its own range & habitat. The snake would pull, thinking, ‘I’ll go into the anthill.’ The crocodile would pull, thinking, ‘I’ll go into the water.’ The bird would pull, thinking, ‘I’ll fly up into the air.’ The dog would pull, thinking, ‘I’ll go into the village.’ The hyena would pull, thinking, ‘I’ll go into the charnel ground.’ The monkey would pull, thinking, ‘I’ll go into the forest.’ And when these six animals became internally exhausted, they would submit, they would surrender, they would come under the sway of whichever among them was the strongest. In the same way, in any monk whose mindfulness immersed in the body is undeveloped & unpursued, the eye pulls toward pleasing forms, while unpleasing forms are repellent. The ear pulls toward pleasing sounds.… The nose pulls toward pleasing aromas.… The tongue pulls toward pleasing flavors.… The body pulls toward pleasing tactile sensations.… The intellect pulls toward pleasing ideas, while unpleasing ideas are repellent. This, monks, is lack of restraint.

“And what is restraint? There is the case where a monk, seeing a form with the eye, is not obsessed with pleasing forms, is not repelled by unpleasing forms, and remains with body-mindfulness established, with immeasurable awareness. He discerns, as it has come to be, the awareness-release, the discernment-release where all evil, unskillful dhammas that have arisen utterly cease without remainder. [Similarly with the other sense media.]

“Just as if a person, catching six animals of different ranges, of different habitats, were to bind them with a strong rope… and tether them to a strong post or stake.

“Then those six animals, of different ranges, of different habitats, would each pull toward its own range & habitat.… And when these six animals became internally exhausted, they would stand, sit, or lie down right there next to the post or stake. In the same way, in any monk whose mindfulness immersed in the body is developed & pursued, the eye doesn’t pull toward pleasing forms, and unpleasing forms are not repellent. The ear doesn’t pull toward pleasing sounds… the nose doesn’t pull toward pleasing aromas… the tongue doesn’t pull toward pleasing tastes… the body doesn’t pull toward pleasing tactile sensations… the intellect doesn’t pull toward pleasing ideas, and unpleasing ideas are not repellent. This, monks, is restraint.

“The ‘strong post or stake’ is a term for mindfulness immersed in the body.

“Thus you should train yourselves: ‘We will develop mindfulness immersed in the body. We will pursue it, give it a means of transport, give it a grounding. We will steady it, consolidate it, and set about it properly.’ That’s how you should train yourselves.” — SN 35:206 [See also §249.]

§ 281. The five clinging-aggregates. “Develop concentration, monks. A concentrated monk discerns in line with what has come to be. And what does he discern in line with what has come to be? The origination & disappearance of form. The origination & disappearance of feeling… perception… fabrications. The origination & disappearance of consciousness.

“And what is the origination of form… feeling… perception… fabrications? What is the origination of consciousness?

“There is the case where one relishes, welcomes, & remains fastened. To what? One relishes form, welcomes it, & remains fastened to it. While one is relishing form, welcoming it, & remaining fastened to it, delight arises. Any delight in form is clinging. With that clinging as a condition there is becoming. With becoming as a condition there is birth. With birth as a condition then aging-&-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all come into play. Thus is the origination of this entire mass of suffering & stress. [Similarly with feeling, perception, fabrications, & consciousness.] …

“And what is the disappearance of form… feeling… perception… fabrications? What is the disappearance of consciousness?

“There is the case where one does not relish, welcome or remain fastened. To what? One does not relish form, welcome it, or remain fastened to it. While one is not relishing form, welcoming it, or remaining fastened to it, one’s delight in form ceases. From the cessation of that delight, clinging ceases. From the cessation of clinging, becoming ceases. From the cessation of becoming, birth ceases. From the cessation of birth, then aging-&-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair all cease. Thus is the cessation of this entire mass of suffering & stress.” [Similarly with feeling, perception, fabrications, & consciousness.] — SN 22:5

§ 282. The four noble truths. “And what is the noble truth of the origination of stress? The craving that makes for further becoming—accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there—i.e., sensuality-craving, becoming-craving, and non-becoming-craving.

“And where does this craving, when arising, arise? And where, when dwelling, does it dwell? Whatever is endearing & alluring in terms of the world: that is where this craving, when arising, arises. That is where, when settling, it settles.

“And what is endearing & alluring in terms of the world? The eye is endearing & alluring in terms of the world. That is where this craving, when arising, arises. That is where, when settling, it settles.

“The ear.… The nose.… The tongue.… The body.… The intellect.…

“Forms.… Sounds.… Aromas.… Tastes.… Tactile sensations.… Ideas.…

“Eye-consciousness.… Ear-consciousness.… Nose-consciousness.… Tongue-consciousness.… Body-consciousness.… Intellect-consciousness.…

“Eye-contact.… Ear-contact.… Nose-contact.… Tongue-contact.… Body-contact.… Intellect-contact.…

“Feeling born of eye-contact.… Feeling born of ear-contact.… Feeling born of nose-contact.… Feeling born of tongue-contact.… Feeling born of body-contact.… Feeling born of intellect-contact.…

“Perception of forms.… Perception of sounds.… Perception of aromas.… Perception of tastes.… Perception of tactile sensations.… Perception of ideas.…

“Intention for forms.… Intention for sounds.… Intention for aromas.… Intention for tastes.… Intention for tactile sensations.… Intention for ideas.…

“Craving for forms.… Craving for sounds.… Craving for aromas.… Craving for tastes.… Craving for tactile sensations.… Craving for ideas.…

“Thought directed at forms.… Thought directed at sounds.… Thought directed at aromas.… Thought directed at tastes.… Thought directed at tactile sensations.… Thought directed at ideas.…

“Evaluation of forms.… Evaluation of sounds.… Evaluation of aromas.… Evaluation of tastes.… Evaluation of tactile sensations.… Evaluation of ideas is endearing & alluring in terms of the world. That is where this craving, when arising, arises. That is where, when settling, it settles.

“This is called the noble truth of the origination of stress.

“And what is the noble truth of the cessation of stress? The remainderless dispassioning & cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, & letting go of that very craving.

“And where, when being abandoned, is this craving abandoned? And where, when ceasing, does it cease? Whatever is endearing & alluring in terms of the world: that is where, when being abandoned, this craving is abandoned. That is where, when ceasing, it ceases.

“And what is endearing & alluring in terms of the world? The eye is endearing & alluring in terms of the world. That is where, when being abandoned, this craving is abandoned. That is where, when ceasing, it ceases.

“The ear.… The nose.… The tongue.… The body.… The intellect.…

“Forms.… Sounds.… Aromas.… Tastes.… Tactile sensations.… Ideas.…

“Eye-consciousness.… Ear-consciousness.… Nose-consciousness.… Tongue-consciousness.… Body-consciousness.… Intellect-consciousness.…

“Eye-contact.… Ear-contact.… Nose-contact.… Tongue-contact.… Body-contact.… Intellect-contact.…

“Feeling born of eye-contact.… Feeling born of ear-contact.… Feeling born of nose-contact.… Feeling born of tongue-contact.… Feeling born of body-contact.… Feeling born of intellect-contact.…

“Perception of forms.… Perception of sounds.… Perception of aromas.… Perception of tastes.… Perception of tactile sensations.… Perception of ideas.…

“Intention for forms.… Intention for sounds.… Intention for aromas.… Intention for tastes.… Intention for tactile sensations.… Intention for ideas.…

“Craving for forms.… Craving for sounds.… Craving for aromas.… Craving for tastes.… Craving for tactile sensations.… Craving for ideas.…

“Thought directed at forms.… Thought directed at sounds.… Thought directed at aromas.… Thought directed at tastes.… Thought directed at tactile sensations.… Thought directed at ideas.…

“Evaluation of forms.… Evaluation of sounds.… Evaluation of aromas.… Evaluation of tastes.… Evaluation of tactile sensations.… Evaluation of ideas is endearing & alluring in terms of the world. That is where, when being abandoned, this craving is abandoned. That is where, when ceasing, it ceases.

“This is called the noble truth of the cessation of stress.” — DN 22