mikenz66 wrote:Would you care to elaborate on the particular relevance of that sutta to the OP?
Sure. In the example of "a cup of tea", as given above, by following the instructions given to Bahiya...
"Then, Bahiya, you should train yourself thus: In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized. That is how you should train yourself."
... we would be cognizing the desire itself (i.e. in reference to the cognized, only the cognized). If one is training in accordance with the observation of "only the seen", "only the heard" etc. then there is correct discernment of experience within the six-sensefold-sphere. Because of this, any thought of "a cup of tea" would be discerned as "only the cognized"... i.e. a thought about a cup of tea. When the "cup of tea" is regarded correctly as a concept/cognition, it does not intrude into awareness (as an assumed extant thing), and one can become aware that the desired object actually lies within the six-sensefold-sphere as opposed to outside it. In the example given by Goldstein, the desire is towards "the sensed". Discerning that, it's becomes much less attractive, as it can be regarded through vipassana as possessing the three characteristics, and penetrated through insight. Whilst we labour under the misconception the object of desire is external, we cannot penetrate it with insight as it falls beyond our range to do so.
mikenz66 wrote:Sorry, but dense today. I mean clearly if one managed to follow the instructions mentioned in that sutta there won't be clinging, by definition, but is there something in particular in that sutta that illuminates the "feeling as a clinging trap" problem?
If one has trained in accordance with these instructions and seen them through to fruition in terms of the complete and remainderless cessation of avijja, then yes, that's correct. However, they are instructions only, and because there is still avijja, we will (when not discerning correctly) desire objects outside the six-sensefold-sphere of loka/sabba, and find frustration as a result.
As per my earlier example, "Now, I desire the vedana (in and of itself) that arises through warm caffeine-consumption, so off to the coffee-machine I go!".
Or to give another more personal example, when you get irritated at me, it's not the external object "retrofuturist" or "Paul" that is actual object of that irritation. The irritatant is the "fetter" (i.e. vibhava-tanha) that arises dependent upon seeing my words...
MN 10 wrote:"Furthermore, the monk remains focused on mental qualities in & of themselves with reference to the sixfold internal & external sense media. And how does he remain focused on mental qualities 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 future arising of a fetter that has been abandoned. (The same formula is repeated for the remaining sense media: ear, nose, tongue, body, & intellect.)"
Thus, if all our suffering can be understood with reference to the sixfold-sense-sphere (as opposed to "contact" between "self" and "other") then liberating discernment can arise.
The desire for everyone to agree on points of Dhamma is a similar example as well... if we relinquish perception of self and external selves by following Bahiya's lead and deal exclusively within the sixfold-sense-sphere, there is no compulsion towards concurrence of perceived selves, and no fetter or suffering arises on account of conceived things in the external world not doing what we would like them to do.