Hi, I'd like to share my understanding concerning how to cultivate renunciation
, and would like to get your input:1) First step:
understand the true meaning of sensual desire
(any hankering for the pleasures of the six senses that disrupts the peace/steadfastness/stillness of the mind; any worldly/household wanting/clinging) and renunciation
(let-go; the escape from sensuality/burning fire, the happiness/peace/ease/freedom obtained not from satisfying desire/hunger itself, which in fact causes mental/bodily disturbances, but from the subsiding of the desire for "trading candy with gold"), comprehend sensual desire entirely -- learn the breath/diversity of sensual desires,their various manifestations, and lust-inducing objects.
In addition to the suttas on the six strings of sensuality (see the suttas cited in the previous posts of this thread), are there any other suttas/talks detailing the breath/diversity of sensual desires and their various manifestations?2) Second step:
be clearly aware of and fully comprehend the arising and subsiding of sensual desire -- detect it as soon as it arises, know how sensual desire comes to arise (through unwise attention to lust-inducing objects) and when/how it subsides (through wise attention to remove the attention from lust-inducing objects). When sensual desire arises, switch the mind from wanting to mindfulness – mindfulness of the arising and fading away of the desire, noting the transition from wanting to becoming free from wanting and the greater happiness of peace and ease arising from not wanting, noting the transition from being lost in sensual pleasure to becoming mindful of the sensuality; notice the transition point from greed to mindfulness (Joseph Goldstein: http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/96/?s
... nunciation). 3) Third step:
comprehend and familiarize the drawbacks/danger of sensual pleasures and the reward of renunciation thoroughly. When we are grasped by greed -- wanting more/better/greater, ask ourselves what's the price for the gain? "No loss no gain"; when there's more and more (gain/profit) somewhere, there accompanies less and less (contentment/peace) somewhere else. Is the gain worth the price?
"So it is, Ananda. So it is. Even I myself, before my Awakening, when I was still an unawakened Bodhisatta, thought: 'Renunciation is good. Seclusion is good.' But my heart didn't leap up at renunciation, didn't grow confident, steadfast, or firm, seeing it as peace. The thought occurred to me: 'What is the cause, what is the reason, why my heart doesn't leap up at renunciation, doesn't grow confident, steadfast, or firm, seeing it as peace?' Then the thought occurred to me: 'I haven't seen the drawback of sensual pleasures; I haven't pursued [that theme]. I haven't understood the reward of renunciation; I haven't familiarized myself with it. That's why my heart doesn't leap up at renunciation, doesn't grow confident, steadfast, or firm, seeing it as peace.'
"Then the thought occurred to me: 'If, having seen the drawback of sensual pleasures, I were to pursue that theme; and if, having understood the reward of renunciation, I were to familiarize myself with it, there's the possibility that my heart would leap up at renunciation, grow confident, steadfast, & firm, seeing it as peace.'
"So at a later time, having seen the drawback of sensual pleasures, I pursued that theme; having understood the reward of renunciation, I familiarized myself with it. My heart leaped up at renunciation, grew confident, steadfast, & firm, seeing it as peace. Then, quite withdrawn from sensuality, withdrawn from unskillful qualities, I entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from withdrawal, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation..."
For more relevant suttas see http://www.accesstoinsight.org/index-su ... sensuality
"But even the pleasure of success is not unqualified. We worry that we might lose the ground we have gained. We feel driven to secure our position, to safeguard our property/territory, to gain more, to rise higher, to establish tighter controls. ...
But all the objects of desire are impermanent. Whether it be wealth, power, position, or other persons, separation is inevitable, and the pain that accompanies separation is proportional to the force of attachment: strong attachment brings much suffering; little attachment brings little suffering; no attachment brings no suffering."4) Forth step:
learn to let go by understanding and wisdom, not by "driving Nature out with a pitchfork".
MN 19: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
I'd like to recommend a good sutta lecture on MN 19 by Ajahn Brahmali (http://media.bswa.org/sutta_study/Brahm ... _03_25.mp3
), while Ven. Bodhi's lecture on this sutta must be known to our friends.
Ananda's advice to Vangisa on overcoming lust: Thag 21
1223. "I burn with sensual desire, my mind is enflamed (with passion). Out of pity please tell me, Gotama, the effective extinguishing of it."
1224. "Your mind is enflamed because of distorted perception. Shun the aspect of beauty associated with passion. (A)
1224B. "See constructions ['all conditioned things comprised in the five aggregates'] as other, as painful, not as self, (and thus) extinguish strong passion; do not burn again and again.
1225. "Devote the mind, one-pointed and well-composed, to the contemplation of foulness. Let mindfulness be directed towards the body and be full of disenchantment for it.
1226. "Contemplate the signless['ThagA explains this as the distinguished contemplation of impermanence, because it pulls away the sign of permanence, etc.'] and cast out the underlying tendency to conceit. Then by the penetration of conceit you will go about at peace." [using the approach of anicca/dukkha/anatta]
"And what is unyoking from sensuality? There is the case where a certain person discerns, as it actually is present, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, & the escape (how there is the non-arising of it in the future)from sensuality. When he discerns, as it actually is present, the origination, the passing away, the allure, the drawbacks, & the escape from sensuality, then — with regard to sensual objects — he is not obsessed with sensual passion, sensual delight, sensual attraction, sensual infatuation, sensual thirst, sensual fever, sensual fascination, sensual craving. This is unyoking from sensuality."
For more see http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dham ... index.html
Thanks and metta,