Sensuality and equanimity in MN 54

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mjaviem
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Sensuality and equanimity in MN 54

Post by mjaviem »

The Teachings are about freedom from suffering so I think seeing the danger in sensuality is one of the first things to be seen and core to the practice. Seeing the danger makes practising sense restrain much easier. Isn't it? If we want to get free from suffering we better start by seeing what is dangerous and conducive to suffering right?

So I'm reading Potaliyasutta where the householder Potaliya approaches the Buddha and listens to a Dhamma talk. The Buddha uses the similes of a dog gnawing at a bare bone, a vulture or a hawk contesting a piece of meat with other birds, a grass torch held against the wind, a man dragged towards a charcoal pit, a dream of meadows and lakes, a man losing his borrowed goods to the lenders. a fruit tree with a man on it being taking down by another man. He explains sensual pleasures must be regarded as that skeleton, that piece of meat, that grass torch, that charcoal pit, that dream, those borrowed goods, those fruits on a tree.

So far so good. Where I start missing the meaning is here about Noble disciple:
...
Having seen this thus as it actually is with proper wisdom, he avoids the equanimity that is diversified, based on diversity, and develops the equanimity that is unified, based on unity, where clinging to the material things of the world utterly ceases without remainder.
...
I guess it's something related to deep states of concentration and the progression Noble disciples can make. But the Buddha is addressing a householder "wearing full dress with parasol and sandals". He's not a Noble disciple so I don't know if this Sutta is meant for a householder or for a Noble disciple and whether I can understand this teaching. The sutta is something long and it's about the cutting off of affairs. I probably am understanding a portion of a larger teaching. I don't know. Perhaps this one is a more advanced Sutta?
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Re: Sensuality and equanimity in MN 54

Post by cappuccino »

mjaviem wrote: Tue Apr 27, 2021 11:55 pm about the cutting off of affairs … Perhaps this one is a more advanced Sutta?
I find myself delaying


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Re: Sensuality and equanimity in MN 54

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Quickly, Legolas. I need an explanation here.
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Re: Sensuality and equanimity in MN 54

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mjaviem wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 11:17 am Quickly, Legolas. I need an explanation here.
a·nal·o·gy
noun
a comparison between two things, typically for the purpose of explanation or clarification.
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mjaviem
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Re: Sensuality and equanimity in MN 54

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I don't understand the analogy. What I'm asking is the meaning of the following:
...
Having seen this thus as it actually is with proper wisdom, he avoids the equanimity that is diversified, based on diversity, and develops the equanimity that is unified, based on unity, where clinging to the material things of the world utterly ceases without remainder.
...
And what I haven't asked yet is how to see with proper wisdom that "Sensual pleasures... provide much suffering and much despair, while the danger in them is great"

Thanks.
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Re: Sensuality and equanimity in MN 54

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mjaviem wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 12:06 am where clinging to the material things of the world utterly ceases without remainder.
:shrug:
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Re: Sensuality and equanimity in MN 54

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mjaviem wrote: Wed Apr 28, 2021 11:17 am Quickly, Legolas. I need an explanation here.
The equanimity that is diversified is probably what in other suttas (eg. MN 137) is called the "equanimity of the household life", which means not seeing the danger of sensual pleasures therefore being equanimous towards sensual pleasures. For example, on internet Buddhist forums, most people think there is nothing wrong, immoral, harmful or dangerous about pornography or uncommitted sex. This is the householder's "equanimity" or "indifference" towards sensual pleasures.
And what are the six kinds of household equanimity? The equanimity that arises when a foolish, deluded person — a run-of-the-mill, untaught person who has not conquered his limitations or the results of action & who is blind to danger — sees a form with the eye. Such equanimity does not go beyond the form, which is why it is called household equanimity. (Similarly with sounds, smells, tastes, tactile sensations& ideas.)

And what are the six kinds of renunciation equanimity? The equanimity that arises when — experiencing the inconstancy of those very forms, their change, fading & cessation — one sees with right discernment as it actually is that all forms, past or present, are inconstant, stressful, subject to change: This equanimity goes beyond form, which is why it is called renunciation equanimity. (Similarly with sounds, smells, tastes, tactile sensations, & ideas.)

MN 137
The equanimity that is unified I imagine is related to meditation concentration (eg MN 121) & also the "six kinds of renunciation equanimity" in MN 137 above.

AN 9.24 may be relevant. :smile:
“Mendicants, there are nine abodes (vāsā) of sentient beings. What nine?

There are sentient beings that are diverse in body (kāyā) and diverse in perception, such as human beings, some gods, and some beings in the underworld. This is the first abode of sentient beings.

There are sentient beings that are diverse in body and unified in perception, such as the gods reborn in Brahmā’s Host through the first absorption. This is the second abode of sentient beings.

There are sentient beings that are unified in body and diverse in perception, such as the gods of streaming radiance. This is the third abode of sentient beings.

There are sentient beings that are unified in body and unified in perception, such as the gods replete with glory. This is the fourth abode of sentient beings.

There are sentient beings that are non-percipient and do not experience anything, such as the gods who are non-percipient beings. This is the fifth abode of sentient beings.

There are sentient beings that have gone totally beyond perceptions of form. With the ending of perceptions of impingement, not focusing on perceptions of diversity, aware that ‘space is infinite’, they have been reborn in the dimension of infinite space. This is the sixth abode of sentient beings.

There are sentient beings that have gone totally beyond the dimension of infinite space. Aware that ‘consciousness is infinite’, they have been reborn in the dimension of infinite consciousness. This is the seventh abode of sentient beings.

There are sentient beings that have gone totally beyond the dimension of infinite consciousness. Aware that ‘there is nothing at all’, they have been reborn in the dimension of nothingness. This is the eighth abode of sentient beings.

There are sentient beings that have gone totally beyond the dimension of nothingness. They have been reborn in the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception. This is the ninth abode of sentient beings.

These are the nine abodes of sentient beings.

https://suttacentral.net/an9.24/en/sujato
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Re: Sensuality and equanimity in MN 54

Post by mjaviem »

DooDoot wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 2:18 am ...
Thanks for pointing MN 137 out and for your explanations. Very useful Sutta. There it says:
MN 137 Sujato wrote:... There is equanimity that is diversified, based on diversity, and equanimity that is unified, based on unity.

And what is equanimity based on diversity? There is equanimity towards sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches. —This is equanimity based on diversity

And what is equanimity based on unity? There is equanimity based on the dimensions of infinite space, infinite consciousness, nothingness, and neither perception nor non-perception.—This is equanimity based on unity

Therein, relying on equanimity based on unity, give up equanimity based on diversity. That’s how it is given up.

Relying on non-identification, give up equanimity based on unity. That’s how it is given up. ‘Therein, relying on this, give up that.’ That’s what I said, and this is why I said it....
Then I think upon sights, sounds, odors, flavors, touches and thoughts, a layman not seeing gain thus not having lay happiness, or not seeing loss thus not having lay sadness has lay equanimity because he hasn't trascended them. He is blind to the great danger in sensual pleasures (which provide much suffering and much despair) and will have the equanimity that is based on diversity, which has to be given up if willing to cut affairs in the Noble One's discipline. How? Not alone, he must rely on equanimity that is unified, and from there on on a chain of reliance and renunciation.
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