Monday, February 16

Musing on the Musings

A bit from the Samaññaphala Sutta

"In the same way, when these five hindrances are not abandoned in himself, the monk regards it as a debt, a sickness, a prison, slavery, a road through desolate country. But when these five hindrances are abandoned in himself, he regards it as unindebtedness, good health, release from prison, freedom, a place of security.

Seeing that they have been abandoned within him, he becomes glad.

Glad, he becomes enraptured.

Enraptured, his body grows tranquil.

His body tranquil, he is sensitive to pleasure.

Feeling pleasure, his mind becomes concentrated [unified].

So the necessary first step is to reflect on the absence of the hindrances and become glad on that account.

1. No hindrances
2. Glad
3. Enraptured
4. Tranquil body
5. Pleasure
6. Mind becomes unified

then on to the jhanas.

This is how pleasure can be used skillfully. The mind won't become unified in the presence of pain & aversion; it'll do anything it can to get away. But by using the tendency of the mind to go for pleasure & stick with it, one begins the jhanic process, there there is progressively more and more letting go: first letting go of vitakka & vicara in 2J, then letting go of piti in 3J, then of sukha in 4J, where there is purity of mindfulness and equanimity.

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