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Sutta on methods of sense restraint? - Dhamma Wheel

Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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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

Last edited by Cittasanto on Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Re: Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

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


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Re: Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

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

Last edited by Cittasanto on Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:52 am, edited 2 times in total.


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Re: Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

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



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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.


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Re: Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

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

• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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Re: Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

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



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Re: Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

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


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Re: Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

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



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Re: Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

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

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

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


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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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Metta to

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Re: Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

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


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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. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Re: Sutta on methods of sense restraint?

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

I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes.” – Henry David Thoreau, Walden, 1854

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

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



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