Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Training of Sila, the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).

Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

Postby starter » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:33 pm

Hello daverupa and Cittasanto,

Many thanks for your kind help with my thread Engllish translation of SN20.10/10 Biḷārasuttaṃ ? (viewtopic.php?f=23&t=11503). Is "upaṭṭhitāya satiyā" translated as "mindfulness established" or "unremitting mindfulness established"? Would the established mindfulness refer to one of the four mindfulness, likely mindfulness of body (postures/activities or breathing)? If so, in this sutta the Buddha taught us an actual method how to restrain the senses during daily activities.

Question to all friends:

Are there other suttas where the Buddha taught actual method(s) on how to practice sense restraint, in addition to mindfulness of postures/activities and focusing on the drawbacks of sense objects?

Metta to all!

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Re: Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:28 pm

starter wrote:Hello daverupa and Cittasanto,

Many thanks for your kind help with my thread Engllish translation of SN20.10/10 Biḷārasuttaṃ ? (http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=11503). Is "upaṭṭhitāya satiyā" translated as "mindfulness established" or "unremitting mindfulness established"? Would the established mindfulness refer to one of the four mindfulness, likely mindfulness of body (postures/activities or breathing)? If so, in this sutta the Buddha taught us an actual method how to restrain the senses during daily activities.

Question to all friends:

Are there other suttas where the Buddha taught actual method(s) on how to practice sense restraint, in addition to mindfulness of postures/activities and focusing on the drawbacks of sense objects?

Metta to all!
Starter


Try these texts from Access to insights list?
Restraint. See also Celibacy; Moderation; Contentment with little; Nekkhamma (renunciation); Sensuality.
Definition of ~: SN 35.206
Benefits of ~: Dhp 7, Dhp 9, Dhp 116, Dhp 360, Dhp 362
As the best protection against harm: SN 3.5
As a quality that distinguishes the true contemplative: MN 39, Dhp 391
~ paves the way to Nibbana: Dhp 289
As a refuge: AN 3.52
As a support to meditation: DN 2
Like dressing a wound: MN 33, AN 11.18
Like a tortoise protecting itself by withdrawing safely into its shell: SN 35.199
Contentment with little: DN 11
A deva encourages a monk to restrain his wandering mind: SN 9.1
Dhamma talks by Thanissaro Bhikkhu: Meditations: Forty Dhamma Talks; Meditations 2; Meditations 3; Meditations 4; Meditations 5
"Stop, Look, and Let Go" (Kee)

personally I have found just not paying attention to more than what I am doing the best in this regard, if something is happening I don't follow it, I just keep with what I am doing!
it is essentially practicing the clear knowing & postures sections of the satipatthana sutta or the dhamma section on the senses.

also worth bearing in mind is this discourse http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"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. When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Bahiya, there is no you in terms of that. When there is no you in terms of that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress."

which was the main reference to mind while I was more stringently practising.
Last edited by Cittasanto on Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

Postby Sam Vara » Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:29 pm

Interesting question, as I have seen a lot of references to sense-restraint in the suttas, but little on techniques. You might consider the section on "avoiding" in the Sabbasava Sutta (MN 2):

And what are the fermentations to be abandoned by avoiding? There is the case where a monk, reflecting appropriately, avoids a wild elephant, a wild horse, a wild bull, a wild dog, a snake, a stump, a bramble patch, a chasm, a cliff, a cesspool, an open sewer. Reflecting appropriately, he avoids sitting in the sorts of unsuitable seats, wandering to the sorts of unsuitable habitats, and associating with the sorts of bad friends that would make his knowledgeable friends in the holy life suspect him of evil conduct. The fermentations, vexation, or fever that would arise if he were not to avoid these things do not arise for him when he avoids them. These are called the fermentations to be abandoned by avoiding.


There is also reference in AN X 61 to the requirements or nutriment for restraint of the senses:

And what is the nutriment for restraint of the senses? Mindfulness and alertness...
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Re: Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:40 pm

starter wrote:Hello daverupa and Cittasanto,
Is "upaṭṭhitāya satiyā" translated as "mindfulness established" or "unremitting mindfulness established"? Would the established mindfulness refer to one of the four mindfulness, likely mindfulness of body (postures/activities or breathing)? If so, in this sutta the Buddha taught us an actual method how to restrain the senses during daily activities.

Starter

no
upaṭṭhitāya = got ready; arrived; presented; served by.
paccupaṭṭhitā - pressent

can you provide the line in english & pali?

sorry ignore that, had a look at the pali and I would follow the translation I provided, but would need to reflect for something I wos more comfortable with in relation to related words etc. but with a quick look maybe establishing mindfulness? or sets-up mindfulness?

the sutta actually gives you the answer (body speech or mind) it would refer to all the foundations as these are ones home resort as found in the quail simile.
Last edited by Cittasanto on Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:52 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

Postby Virgo » Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:56 pm

starter wrote:Are there other suttas where the Buddha taught actual method(s) on how to practice sense restraint, in addition to mindfulness of postures/activities and focusing on the drawbacks of sense objects?

Metta to all!

Starter

Hi Starter,

It's all about the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind and contact between them and their respective objects which leads to feeling, craving, the clinging, etc. For example, if you see a form that excites the eye as you walk by it, you do not let yourself become enamored by it, instead you keep your eyes focused ahead and slightly down, a "plow-yokes length ahead" (12-15 feet ahead or about 3 - 5 meters, roughly), instead of on the object. And so forth.

As it says in the Marapasa Sutta, about Mara:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn35/sn35.115.than.html

"There are forms, monks, cognizable via the eye — agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, fostering desire, enticing. If a monk relishes them, welcomes them, & remains fastened to them, he is said to be a monk fettered to forms cognizable by the eye. He has gone over to Mara's camp; he has come under Mara's power. The Evil One can do with him as he wills.

"There are sounds cognizable via the ear...

"There are aromas cognizable via the nose...

"There are flavors cognizable via the tongue...

"There are tactile sensations cognizable via the body...

"There are ideas cognizable via the intellect — agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, fostering desire, enticing. If a monk relishes them, welcomes them, & remains fastened to them, he is said to be a monk fettered to ideas cognizable by the intellect. He has gone over to Mara's camp; he has come under Mara's power. The Evil One can do with him as he wills.

"Now, there are forms cognizable via the eye — agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, fostering desire, enticing. If a monk does not relish them, welcome them, or remain fastened to them, he is said to be a monk freed from forms cognizable by the eye. He has not gone over to Mara's camp; he has not come under Mara's power. The Evil One cannot do with him as he wills.

"There are sounds cognizable via the ear...

"There are aromas cognizable via the nose...

"There are flavors cognizable via the tongue...

"There are tactile sensations cognizable via the body...

"There are ideas cognizable via the intellect — agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, fostering desire, enticing. If a monk does not relish them, welcome them, or remain fastened to them, he is said to be a monk freed from ideas cognizable by the intellect. He has not gone over to Mara's camp; he has not come under Mara's power. The Evil One cannot do with him as he wills."
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Re: Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

Postby starter » Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:26 am

Hi friends,

Your helpful input has been very much appreciated. As to the following method:

"... personally I have found just not paying attention to more than what I am doing the best in this regard, if something is happening I don't follow it, I just keep with what I am doing!"

It's indeed a good way to "close the sense doors" to the objects that are not what we are engaging in. However, I can lose myself by being completely absorbed in the tasks at hand (thinking, writing, talking ...) and become so attached to them. That's why I thought being fully aware of what we are doing (postures/daily activities) is not enough for working lay people, and then tried to use awareness of breathing to keep the mind centered inside instead of flowing out to the tasks at hand without control.

Looking forward to more good methods. Metta to all,

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Re: Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:20 am

well it is a matter of appropriate attention!
if your livelihood is inline with dhamma you will have no reason to stray away into things which are harmful, and if you do, reflecting wisely and applying right effort will bring you back on track.

with anything you do by body speech and mind reflect before, during and after, is this harmful to oneself, another, both, or neither. if it is not harmful continue!

just because something is not related to Buddhism doesn't mean it goes against Dhamma. If you look at the eightfold path the detail of each of the path factors is quite vague in many respects, it doesn't talk about what one is talking about or what one is doing specifically, but is gives a guideline for judging whether what you are doing is in line with the dhamma or not.
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"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:12 pm

Take a look at the method of bare awareness taught to Malukyaputta and Bahiya Daruci

“Na so rajjati rūpesu, rūpam disvā patissato;
Virattacitto vedeti, tañca nājjhossa titthati.”

“Passion remains undeveloped in him who recollects with mindfulness the form that he has seen. Thus freed from lust, he refuses to imbibe it.”
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Re: Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:29 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Take a look at the method of bare awareness taught to Malukyaputta and Bahiya Daruci

“Na so rajjati rūpesu, rūpam disvā patissato;
Virattacitto vedeti, tañca nājjhossa titthati.”

“Passion remains undeveloped in him who recollects with mindfulness the form that he has seen. Thus freed from lust, he refuses to imbibe it.”

Bhante I don't know why but I definitely have a deeper appreciation for your posts!
do you know a sutta reference?
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"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

Postby daverupa » Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:50 pm

Cittasanto wrote:a sutta reference?


SN 35.95 for Malunkyaputta, Udana 1.10 for Bahiya.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

Postby Cittasanto » Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:02 pm

daverupa wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:a sutta reference?


SN 35.95 for Malunkyaputta, Udana 1.10 for Bahiya.

:anjali: :anjali: :anjali:
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:04 am

Greetings,

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Take a look at the method of bare awareness taught to Malukyaputta and Bahiya Daruci

“Na so rajjati rūpesu, rūpam disvā patissato;
Virattacitto vedeti, tañca nājjhossa titthati.”

“Passion remains undeveloped in him who recollects with mindfulness the form that he has seen. Thus freed from lust, he refuses to imbibe it.”

Well said bhante.

It is better to follow the Buddha's advice and be mindful of passions.

It is better to refuse to imbibe in, rather than fight with, the world.

:computerproblem:

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

Postby ground » Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:54 am

starter wrote:Are there other suttas where the Buddha taught actual method(s) on how to practice sense restraint, in addition to mindfulness of postures/activities and focusing on the drawbacks of sense objects?


Through mindfulness of feelings, mind and dhammas in Satipatthana Sutta which is no other sutta but just another method from that mindfulness sutta.

Kind regards
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Re: Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

Postby starter » Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:00 am

Thanks a lot for all the helpful input. I'd like to share with you MN 152, in which the Buddha taught us some more detailed methods on how to develop sense restraint.

MN 152: …
The Blessed One said: "Now how, Ananda, in the discipline of a noble one is there the unexcelled development of the faculties? There is the case where, when seeing a form with the eye, there arises in a monk what is agreeable, what is disagreeable, what is agreeable & disagreeable. He discerns that 'This agreeable thing has arisen in me, this disagreeable thing... this agreeable & disagreeable thing has arisen in me. And that is compounded, gross, dependently co-arisen. But this is peaceful, this is exquisite, i.e., equanimity.' With that, the arisen agreeable thing... disagreeable thing... agreeable & disagreeable thing ceases, and equanimity takes its stance. Just as a man with good eyes, having closed them, might open them; or having opened them, might close them, that is how quickly, how rapidly, how easily, no matter what it refers to, the arisen agreeable thing... disagreeable thing... agreeable & disagreeable thing ceases, and equanimity takes its stance. In the discipline of a noble one, this is called the unexcelled development of the faculties with regard to forms cognizable by the eye.
[Focus on the drawbacks of the sense objects (anicca/dukkha/anatta) and the sublime peace of nibbana]

...

"And how is one a person in training, someone following the way? There is the case where, when seeing a form with the eye, there arises in a monk what is agreeable, what is disagreeable, what is agreeable & disagreeable. He feels horrified, humiliated, & disgusted with the arisen agreeable thing... disagreeable thing... agreeable & disagreeable thing. …
"This is how one is a person in training, someone following the way.

...

If he wants, he remains percipient of loathsomeness in the presence of what is not loathsome. If he wants, he remains percipient of unloathsomeness in the presence of what is loathsome. If he wants, he remains percipient of loathsomeness in the presence of what is not loathsome & what is. If he wants, he remains percipient of unloathsomeness in the presence of what is loathsome & what is not. If he wants — in the presence of what is loathsome & what is not — cutting himself off from both, he remains equanimous, alert, & mindful."
[I'd like to know if the English translation of this paragraph is accurate or not, since it differs from the equivalent sutta in Chinese Agama (SA 282)
]
...

Please share with us the suttas you know which teach the methods of sense restraint. Metta to all,

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Re: Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

Postby starter » Sat Feb 18, 2012 2:53 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:Take a look at the method of bare awareness taught to Malukyaputta and Bahiya Daruci

“Na so rajjati rūpesu, rūpam disvā patissato;
Virattacitto vedeti, tañca nājjhossa titthati.”

“Passion remains undeveloped in him who recollects with mindfulness the form that he has seen. Thus freed from lust, he refuses to imbibe it.”


Hello Bhante,

Many thanks for your kind help. I'd like to share with you some other translations of the quoted verse:

Thanissaro Bhikkhu: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Not impassioned with forms
— seeing a form with mindfulness firm —
dispassioned in mind,
one knows
and doesn't remain fastened there.


Maurice O'Connell Walshe: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .wlsh.html
He who's not inflamed by things he sees,
Seeing forms retains his mindfulness,
Not in passion's grip, simply feels,
On him clinging cannot get a hold.

"When, firmly mindful, one sees a form,
One is not inflamed by lust for forms;
On experiences it with a dispassionate mind
and does not remain holding it tightly." -- Ven. Bodhi's translation

Would it be possible that this verse may suggest that one should fare mindfully with a dispassionate mind (e.g. by seeing the form as anicca/dukkha/anatta, as taught in Sutta 152) instead of by bare awareness of the form? Would the teaching "When there is no you in connection with that, there is no you there. When there is no you there, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two" likely mean the perception of anatta when seeing a form and etc.? Would bare attention alone on form and etc. be enough for ending Dhukka?

With gratitude and metta,

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Re: Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

Postby starter » Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:44 am

Hi friends,

In MN 27:
...
"Sense Restraint
"On seeing a form with the eye, he 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 qualities such as greed [craving] or distress [dejection] might assail him. On hearing a sound with the ear... On smelling an odor with the nose... On tasting a flavor with the tongue... On touching a tactile sensation with the body... On cognizing an idea with the intellect [mind], he does not grasp at any theme or details by which — if he were to dwell without restraint over the faculty of the intellect — evil, unskillful qualities such as greed or distress might assail him. Endowed with this noble restraint over the sense faculties, he is inwardly sensitive to the pleasure of being blameless."

Just figured out that any theme or details appears to actually mean the theme of the attractive / repulsive [the distinctive attractive/repulsive features] (instead of all the gross sign and fine details/features of six sense objects), which appears to be also the teaching in AN 3.68:

'For one who attends inappropriately to the theme of the attractive, unarisen passion arises and arisen passion tends to growth & abundance...'

'For one who attends inappropriately to the theme of irritation, unarisen aversion arises and arisen aversion tends to growth & abundance...'

'For one who attends inappropriately [to the theme of the attractive or irritation?], unarisen delusion arises and arisen delusion tends to growth & abundance...'

In the teaching like MN 27, the Buddha did mention "any theme or details by which — if he were to dwell without restraint over the faculty of the eye — evil, unskillful qualities such as greed [craving] or distress [dejection] might assail him". So to my understanding these theme or details actually meant the attractive or repulsive features of sense objects that might arouse unskillful qualities such as greed or aversion. It makes much more sense to practice sense restraint by not grasping the distinctive attractive/repulsive features of sense objects instead of paying no attention to sense objects.

Metta to all,

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Re: Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:10 am

Greetings Starter,

I remember it being addressed in...

DN 2: Samaññaphala Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

... but it may just be "boilerplate" text which adds nothing over and above what's been called out thus far.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

Postby ancientbuddhism » Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:29 pm

SN.4.1.10.4 (35.80/35.97) – Pamādavihārisuttaṃ

    Kathañca bhikkhave appamādavihārī hoti? Cakkhundriya saṃvutassa bhikkhave viharato cittaṃ na vyāsiccati cakkhuviññeyyesu rūpesu, tassa abyāsittacittassa pāmujjaṃ jāyati. Pamuditassa pīti jāyati, pītimanassa kāyo passambhati, passaddhakāyo sukhaṃ vediyati, sukhino cittaṃ samādhiyati, samāhite citte dhammā pātubhavanti, dhammānaṃ pātubhāvā appamādavihāritveva saṅkhaṃ gacchati.

    “How, bhikkhus, does one dwell vigilant? Bhikkhus, dwelling with restraint over the eye-faculty, the mind is not stained by forms perceived by the eye. With the mind not stained, delight is born; with delight, bliss is born; with the mind blissful, the body is serene; with the body serene, there is an easeful experience; with the mind at ease, it is composed; with the mind composed, phenomena become visible; with phenomena visible, one is considered ‘one dwelling vigilant’. ...”
Fingers walk the darkness down
Mind is on the midnight
Gather up the gold you've found
You fool, it's only moonlight.
If you try to take it home
Your hands will turn to butter
You better leave this dream alone
Try to find another. – Townes Van Zandt ‘Lungs’

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

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Re: Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

Postby starter » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:16 am

Hello ancientbuddhism and retro,

Many thanks for the helpful suttas. Indeed the restraint of senses is actually the restraint of mind — "seeing a form with mindfulness firm —
dispassioned in mind" by contemplating it's anicca/dukkha/anatta, he doesn't become attached there.

Metta to all,

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Re: Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

Postby Dmytro » Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:28 am

Hi Starter,

starter wrote:Many thanks for your kind help with my thread Engllish translation of SN20.10/10 Biḷārasuttaṃ ? (http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=11503). Is "upaṭṭhitāya satiyā" translated as "mindfulness established" or "unremitting mindfulness established"? Would the established mindfulness refer to one of the four mindfulness, likely mindfulness of body (postures/activities or breathing)?


It's just 'remembrance established'. Indeed is is established in one of four ways: on body in and of itself, feelings, etc.

Sense restraint is developed even before remembrance:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .horn.html

Are there other suttas where the Buddha taught actual method(s) on how to practice sense restraint, in addition to mindfulness of postures/activities and focusing on the drawbacks of sense objects?


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Tikandaki sutta, number four at the page:
http://awake.kiev.ua/dhamma/tipitaka/2S ... ggo-e.html

"'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 happiness, one explores a form that can act as the basis for unhappiness, 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 happiness, one explores an idea that can act as the basis for unhappiness, 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.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Metta, Dmytro
Last edited by Dmytro on Thu Mar 08, 2012 6:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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