Training for the formless attainments, mn106

The cultivation of calm or tranquility and the development of concentration
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jinic
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Training for the formless attainments, mn106

Post by jinic »

Heard someone said there was a lack of instruction in regards to the formless, here is mn106

General theme
The Blessed One said: "Monks, sensuality is inconstant, hollow, vain, deceptive. It is illusory, the babble of fools. Sensuality here & now; sensuality in lives to come; sensual perceptions here & now; sensual perceptions in lives to come: both are Mara's realm, Mara's domain, Mara's bait, Mara's range. They lead to these evil, unskillful mental states: greed, ill will, & contentiousness. They arise for the obstruction of a disciple of the noble ones here in training.
Then three developments conducive to the two limitless perceptions
"In that case, the disciple of the noble ones considers this: 'Sensuality here & now; sensuality in lives to come; sensual perceptions here & now; sensual perceptions in lives to come: both are Mara's realm, Mara's domain, Mara's bait, Mara's range. They lead to these evil, unskillful mental states: greed, ill will, & contentiousness. They arise for the obstruction of a disciple of the noble ones here in training. What if I — overpowering the world [of the five senses] and having determined my mind — were to dwell with an awareness that was abundant & enlarged? Having done so, these evil, unskillful mental states — greed, ill will, & contentiousness — would not come into being. With their abandoning, my mind would become unlimited, immeasurable, & well developed.' Practicing & frequently abiding in this way, his mind acquires confidence in that dimension. There being full confidence, he either attains the imperturbable[1] now or else is committed to discernment. With the break-up of the body, after death, it's possible that this leading-on consciousness of his will go to the imperturbable. This is declared to be the first practice conducive to the imperturbable.
"Then again, the disciple of the noble ones considers this: 'Sensuality here & now; sensuality in lives to come; sensual perceptions here & now; sensual perceptions in lives to come: whatever is form, every form, is the four great elements or a form derived from the four great elements.' Practicing & frequently abiding in this way, his mind acquires confidence in that dimension. There being full confidence, he either attains the imperturbable now or else is committed to discernment. With the break-up of the body, after death, it's possible that this leading-on consciousness of his will go to the imperturbable. This is declared to be the second practice conducive to the imperturbable.
"Then again, the disciple of the noble ones considers this: 'Sensuality here & now; sensuality in lives to come; sensual perceptions here & now; sensual perceptions in lives to come; forms here & now; forms in lives to come; form-perceptions here & now; form-perceptions in lives to come: both are inconstant. Whatever is inconstant is not worth relishing, is not worth welcoming, is not worth remaining fastened to." Practicing & frequently abiding in this way, his mind acquires confidence in that dimension. There being full confidence, he either attains the imperturbable now or else is committed to discernment. With the break-up of the body, after death, it's possible that this leading-on consciousness of his will go to the imperturbable. This is declared to be the third practice conducive to the imperturbable.
Then three practises conducive to nothingness perception
"Then again, the disciple of the noble ones considers this: 'Sensuality here & now; sensuality in lives to come; sensual perceptions here & now; sensual perceptions in lives to come; forms here & now; forms in lives to come; form-perceptions here & now; form-perceptions in lives to come; perceptions of the imperturbable: all are perceptions. Where they cease without remainder: that is peaceful, that is exquisite, i.e., the dimension of nothingness.' Practicing & frequently abiding in this way, his mind acquires confidence in that dimension. There being full confidence, he either attains the dimension of nothingness now or else is committed to discernment. With the break-up of the body, after death, it's possible that this leading-on consciousness of his will go to the dimension of nothingness. This is declared to be the first practice conducive to the dimension of nothingness.
"Then again, the disciple of the noble ones, having gone into the wilderness, to the root of a tree, or into an empty dwelling, considers this: 'This is empty of self or of anything pertaining to self.' Practicing & frequently abiding in this way, his mind acquires confidence in that dimension. There being full confidence, he either attains the dimension of nothingness now or else is committed to discernment. With the break-up of the body, after death, it's possible that this leading-on consciousness of his will go to the dimension of nothingness. This is declared to be the second practice conducive to the dimension of nothingness.
"Then again, the disciple of the noble ones considers this: 'I am not anyone's anything anywhere; nor is anything of mine in anyone anywhere.' Practicing & frequently abiding in this way, his mind acquires confidence in that dimension. There being full confidence, he either attains the dimension of nothingness now or else is committed to discernment. With the break-up of the body, after death, it's possible that this leading-on consciousness of his will go to the dimension of nothingness. This is declared to be the third practice conducive to the dimension of nothingness.
The on to the dismantling of perception
"Then again, the disciple of the noble ones considers this: 'Sensuality here & now; sensuality in lives to come; sensual perceptions here & now; sensual perceptions in lives to come; forms here & now; forms in lives to come; form-perceptions here & now; form-perceptions in lives to come; perceptions of the imperturbable; perceptions of the dimension of nothingness: all are perceptions. Where they cease without remainder: that is peaceful, that is exquisite, i.e., the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception.' Practicing & frequently abiding in this way, his mind acquires confidence in that dimension. There being full confidence, he either attains the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception now or else is committed to discernment. With the break-up of the body, after death, it's possible that this leading-on consciousness of his will go to the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception. This is declared to be the practice conducive to the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception.
I post here to discuss the texts. The views expressed are not necessarily right and i am not going to correct what i've expressed everytime i find mistakes.
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Alex123
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Re: Training for the formless attainments, mn106

Post by Alex123 »

Hello,

You have brought up and issue that I was looking into.


Unfortunately it is not too clear. How exactly does one practice the above?

For example:
"Then again, the disciple of the noble ones, having gone into the wilderness, to the root of a tree, or into an empty dwelling, considers this: 'This is empty of self or of anything pertaining to self.'
Does on mentally repeat those lines? If so, how?
Every few seconds?
Every few minutes (repeat, then feel its effect)?
But what is the noble liberation?"

"There is the case, Ananda, where a disciple of the noble ones considers this: 'Sensuality here & now; sensuality in lives to come; sensual perceptions here & now; sensual perceptions in lives to come; forms here & now; forms in lives to come; form-perceptions here & now; form-perceptions in lives to come; perceptions of the imperturbable; perceptions of the dimension of nothingness; perceptions of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception: that is an identity, to the extent that there is an identity. This is deathless: the liberation of the mind through lack of clinging/sustenance.' mn106
Can one skip the the contemplations and go strait to noble liberation?
jinic
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Re: Training for the formless attainments, mn106

Post by jinic »

Alex123 wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 11:53 am
But what is the noble liberation?"

"There is the case, Ananda, where a disciple of the noble ones considers this: 'Sensuality here & now; sensuality in lives to come; sensual perceptions here & now; sensual perceptions in lives to come; forms here & now; forms in lives to come; form-perceptions here & now; form-perceptions in lives to come; perceptions of the imperturbable; perceptions of the dimension of nothingness; perceptions of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception: that is an identity, to the extent that there is an identity. This is deathless: the liberation of the mind through lack of clinging/sustenance.' mn106
Can one skip the the contemplations and go strait to noble liberation?
One can't skip contemplation in general but one can direct the mind to the deathless, skipping the formless attainments. 'One liberated by faith' and 'one attained to view' are like this having attained nirodha without the formless attainments. They can get the formless attainments later if they want.
I post here to discuss the texts. The views expressed are not necessarily right and i am not going to correct what i've expressed everytime i find mistakes.
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Alex123
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Re: Training for the formless attainments, mn106

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jinic wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 3:48 pm One can't skip contemplation in general but one can direct the mind to the deathless, skipping the formless attainments. 'One liberated by faith' and 'one attained to view' are like this having attained nirodha without the formless attainments. They can get the formless attainments later if they want.
Ok. But how exactly is a contemplation done? Does one keep thinking the quote over and over again? Does one reasons about it? What exactly is meant by "considers this..." ?
jinic
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Re: Training for the formless attainments, mn106

Post by jinic »

Alex123 wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 3:52 pm
jinic wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 3:48 pm One can't skip contemplation in general but one can direct the mind to the deathless, skipping the formless attainments. 'One liberated by faith' and 'one attained to view' are like this having attained nirodha without the formless attainments. They can get the formless attainments later if they want.
Ok. But how exactly is a contemplation done? Does one keep thinking the quote over and over again? Does one reasons about it? What exactly is meant by "considers this..." ?
It's like if you think about your mortality a lot then the perception of death becomes established.

In contemplating one considers, thinks of, reminds, affirms to oneself, affirms repeatedly.

There is no exact way, this is a general theme of development.
Whatever exists therein of material form, feeling, perception, formations, and consciousness, he sees those states as impermanent, as suffering, as a disease, as a tumour, as a barb, as a calamity, as an affliction, as alien, as disintegrating, as void, as not self. He turns his mind away from those states 
When this was said, Ven. Ananda said to the Blessed One: "There is the case, lord, where a monk, having practiced in this way — 'It should not be, it should not occur to me;[2] it will not be, it will not occur to me.[3] What is, what has come to be, that I abandon' — obtains equanimity. Now, would this monk be totally unbound, or not?"

"A certain such monk might, Ananda, and another might not.'

"What is the cause, what is the reason, whereby one might and another might not?"

"There is the case, Ananda, where a monk, having practiced in this way — (thinking) 'It should not be, it should not occur to me; it will not be, it will not occur to me. What is, what has come to be, that I abandon' — obtains equanimity. He relishes that equanimity, welcomes it, remains fastened to it. As he relishes that equanimity, welcomes it, remains fastened to it, his consciousness is dependent on it, is sustained by it (clings to it). With clinging/sustenance, Ananda, a monk is not totally unbound."

"Being sustained, where is that monk sustained?"

"The dimension of neither perception nor non-perception."

"Then, indeed, being sustained, he is sustained by the supreme sustenance."

"Being sustained, Ananda, he is sustained by the supreme sustenance; for this — the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception — is the supreme sustenance. There is [however] the case where a monk, having practiced in this way — 'It should not be, it should not occur to me; it will not be, it will not occur to me. What is, what has come to be, that I abandon' — obtains equanimity. He does not relish that equanimity, does not welcome it, does not remain fastened to it. As he does not relish that equanimity, does not welcome it, does not remain fastened to it, his consciousness is not dependent on it, is not sustained by it (does not cling to it). Without clinging/sustenance, Ananda, a monk is totally unbound."
I post here to discuss the texts. The views expressed are not necessarily right and i am not going to correct what i've expressed everytime i find mistakes.
jinic
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Re: Training for the formless attainments, mn106

Post by jinic »

Alex123 wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 3:52 pm Does one keep thinking the quote over and over again? Does one reasons about it? What exactly is meant by "considers this..." ?
Yes, just throw the kitchen sink at it.

The repeating of quote can help you stay focused on the theme but you need to think about it, reason & examine to penetrate the meaning, then a lot of affirmation & attention needs to be given to the theme, it needs to be well internalized.
I post here to discuss the texts. The views expressed are not necessarily right and i am not going to correct what i've expressed everytime i find mistakes.
jinic
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Re: Training for the formless attainments, mn106

Post by jinic »

When you contemplate you will at times attain seclusion and pleasure will arise, you can keep contemplating that state likewise if you want.

This will probably happen on and off many times.

You can also just chill when pleasure arises and reflect on it later.

Eventually the mind will turn to some higher attainment when there is an opening. It is not necessarily so that you will be contemplating and 'pooff, nirodha' or that you notice it coming up, it just happens at some point when mind is ready to give up. It can be during meditation or else, it's not something one can predict. Can be like this;
112. When working the fields with plows, sewing seeds in the earth, and caring for wives and children, people generate wealth.

113. I am not lazy or arrogant. I possess a virtuous life and practice the Buddha’s training. So why am I not able to achieve Nibbāna?

114. I poured water on my feet to wash them. I saw that water flow down from high to low.

115. I concentrated my mind very well on that incident. My mind became tamed like the best type of horse. Then I took the lamp and entered my hut.

116. With the light of the lamp I found the bed and sat on it. To put out the flame, I pulled down the wick of the oil lamp. That was the moment my mind was liberated from all defilements, just like the extinguishing of an oil lamp.

These verses were said by Arahant Nun Paṭācārā.
https://suttafriends.org/sutta/thig5-10/
I post here to discuss the texts. The views expressed are not necessarily right and i am not going to correct what i've expressed everytime i find mistakes.
jinic
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Re: Training for the formless attainments, mn106

Post by jinic »

It's not easy to explain exactly how to train because it's not like one just repeats a mantra.

There is contemplation, mindfulness of sensations, focus on impermanence and etc

Take note of this
114. I poured water on my feet to wash them. I saw that water flow down from high to low.

115. I concentrated my mind very well on that incident.
It's important to train this close observation of feelings & sensations.

Training like this can be frustrating if nothing is happening.
I post here to discuss the texts. The views expressed are not necessarily right and i am not going to correct what i've expressed everytime i find mistakes.
jinic
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Re: Training for the formless attainments, mn106

Post by jinic »

Alex123 wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 3:52 pm
Ok. But how exactly is a contemplation done?
Here is a good example of how more or less "exactly" one establishes perception of death;
I have heard that at one time the Blessed One was staying at Nadika, in the Brick Hall. There he addressed the monks, "Monks!"

"Yes, lord," the monks replied.

The Blessed One said, "Mindfulness of death, when developed & pursued, is of great fruit & great benefit. It gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its final end. Therefore you should develop mindfulness of death."

When this was said, a certain monk addressed the Blessed One, "I already develop mindfulness of death."

"And how do you develop mindfulness of death?"

"I think, 'O, that I might live for a day & night, that I might attend to the Blessed One's instructions. I would have accomplished a great deal.' This is how I develop mindfulness of death."

Then another monk addressed the Blessed One, "I, too, already develop mindfulness of death."

"And how do you develop mindfulness of death?"

"I think, 'O, that I might live for a day, that I might attend to the Blessed One's instructions. I would have accomplished a great deal.' This is how I develop mindfulness of death."

Then another monk addressed the Blessed One, "I, too, develop mindfulness of death." ... "I think, 'O, that I might live for the interval that it takes to eat a meal, that I might attend to the Blessed One's instructions. I would have accomplished a great deal.' ..."

Then another monk addressed the Blessed One, "I, too, develop mindfulness of death." ... "I think, 'O, that I might live for the interval that it takes to swallow having chewed up four morsels of food, that I might attend to the Blessed One's instructions. I would have accomplished a great deal.' ..."

Then another monk addressed the Blessed One, "I, too, develop mindfulness of death." ... "I think, 'O, that I might live for the interval that it takes to swallow having chewed up one morsel of food, that I might attend to the Blessed One's instructions. I would have accomplished a great deal.' ..."

Then another monk addressed the Blessed One, "I, too, develop mindfulness of death." ... "I think, 'O, that I might live for the interval that it takes to breathe out after breathing in, or to breathe in after breathing out, that I might attend to the Blessed One's instructions. I would have accomplished a great deal.' This is how I develop mindfulness of death."

When this was said, the Blessed One addressed the monks. "Whoever develops mindfulness of death, thinking, 'O, that I might live for a day & night... for a day... for the interval that it takes to eat a meal... for the interval that it takes to swallow having chewed up four morsels of food, that I might attend to the Blessed One's instructions. I would have accomplished a great deal' — they are said to dwell heedlessly. They develop mindfulness of death slowly for the sake of ending the effluents.

"But whoever develops mindfulness of death, thinking, 'O, that I might live for the interval that it takes to swallow having chewed up one morsel of food... for the interval that it takes to breathe out after breathing in, or to breathe in after breathing out, that I might attend to the Blessed One's instructions. I would have accomplished a great deal' — they are said to dwell heedfully. They develop mindfulness of death acutely for the sake of ending the effluents.

"Therefore you should train yourselves: 'We will dwell heedfully. We will develop mindfulness of death acutely for the sake of ending the effluents.' That is how you should train yourselves."

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the monks delighted in the Blessed One's words.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
I have heard that at one time the Blessed One was staying at Nadika, in the Brick Hall. There he addressed the monks, "Monks, mindfulness of death — when developed & pursued — is of great fruit & great benefit. It gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its final end. And how is mindfulness of death developed & pursued so that it is of great fruit & great benefit, gains a footing in the Deathless, and has the Deathless as its final end?

"There is the case where a monk, as day departs and night returns, reflects: 'Many are the [possible] causes of my death. A snake might bite me, a scorpion might sting me, a centipede might bite me. That would be how my death would come about. That would be an obstruction for me. Stumbling, I might fall; my food, digested, might trouble me; my bile might be provoked, my phlegm... piercing wind forces [in the body] might be provoked. That would be how my death would come about. That would be an obstruction for me.' Then the monk should investigate: 'Are there any evil, unskillful mental qualities unabandoned by me that would be an obstruction for me were I to die in the night?' If, on reflecting, he realizes that there are evil, unskillful mental qualities unabandoned by him that would be an obstruction for him were he to die in the night, then he should put forth extra desire, effort, diligence, endeavor, undivided mindfulness, & alertness for the abandoning of those very same evil, unskillful qualities. Just as when a person whose turban or head was on fire would put forth extra desire, effort, diligence, endeavor, undivided mindfulness, & alertness to put out the fire on his turban or head, in the same way the monk should put forth extra desire, effort, diligence, endeavor, undivided mindfulness, & alertness for the abandoning of those very same evil, unskillful qualities. But if, on reflecting, he realizes that there are no evil, unskillful mental qualities unabandoned by him that would be an obstruction for him were he to die in the night, then for that very reason he should dwell in joy & rapture, training himself day & night in skillful qualities.

"Further, there is the case where a monk, as night departs and day returns, reflects: 'Many are the [possible] causes of my death. A snake might bite me, a scorpion might sting me, a centipede might bite me. That would be how my death would come about. That would be an obstruction for me. Stumbling, I might fall; my food, digested, might trouble me; my bile might be provoked, my phlegm... piercing wind forces [in the body] might be provoked. That would be how my death would come about. That would be an obstruction for me.' Then the monk should investigate: 'Are there any evil, unskillful mental qualities unabandoned by me that would be an obstruction for me were I to die during the day?' If, on reflecting, he realizes that there are evil, unskillful mental qualities unabandoned by him that would be an obstruction for him were he to die during the day, then he should put forth extra desire, effort, diligence, endeavor, undivided mindfulness, & alertness for the abandoning of those very same evil, unskillful qualities. Just as when a person whose turban or head was on fire would put forth extra desire, effort, diligence, endeavor, undivided mindfulness, & alertness to put out the fire on his turban or head, in the same way the monk should put forth extra desire, effort, diligence, endeavor, undivided mindfulness, & alertness for the abandoning of those very same evil, unskillful qualities. But if, on reflecting, he realizes that there are no evil, unskillful mental qualities unabandoned by him that would be an obstruction for him were he to die during the day, then for that very reason he should dwell in joy & rapture, training himself day & night in skillful qualities.

"This, monks, is how mindfulness of death is developed & pursued so that it is of great fruit & great benefit, gains a footing in the Deathless, and has the Deathless as its final end."

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the monks delighted in the Blessed One's words.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
As you can see the development is varied.

Likewise with the perceptions of not-self, impermanence & dukkha.

Buddha has given us many instructions, similies and cues to contemplate.
I post here to discuss the texts. The views expressed are not necessarily right and i am not going to correct what i've expressed everytime i find mistakes.
jinic
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Re: Training for the formless attainments, mn106

Post by jinic »

The general theme is summed up like this;

Whatever exists therein of material form, feeling, perception, formations, and consciousness, he sees those states as impermanent, as suffering, as a disease, as a tumour, as a barb, as a calamity, as an affliction, as alien, as disintegrating, as void, as not self.

And is training thus: 'It should not be, it should not occur to me; it will not be, it will not occur to me. What is, what has come to be, that I abandon'
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Re: Training for the formless attainments, mn106

Post by confusedlayman »

I think nothingness is mind focus on blankness in background awareness....
I may be slow learner but im at least learning...
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Re: Training for the formless attainments, mn106

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Found this posted by Ceisiwr, thought id add it here
"Uddaka Rāmaputta had this view and taught like this, “Existence is an illness, a tumour, a thorn. Those who advocate nonperception are foolish. Those who have realized [know]: this is tranquil, this is sublime, namely attaining the sphere of neither-perception-nor-nonperception.”

The Discourse on Uddaka [Rāmaputta] - MĀ 114
Is there a similar discourse about Alara Kalama?
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Re: Training for the formless attainments, mn106

Post by confusedlayman »

Alex123 wrote: Fri Jul 01, 2022 11:53 am Hello,

You have brought up and issue that I was looking into.


Unfortunately it is not too clear. How exactly does one practice the above?

For example:
"Then again, the disciple of the noble ones, having gone into the wilderness, to the root of a tree, or into an empty dwelling, considers this: 'This is empty of self or of anything pertaining to self.'
Does on mentally repeat those lines? If so, how?
Every few seconds?
Every few minutes (repeat, then feel its effect)?
But what is the noble liberation?"

"There is the case, Ananda, where a disciple of the noble ones considers this: 'Sensuality here & now; sensuality in lives to come; sensual perceptions here & now; sensual perceptions in lives to come; forms here & now; forms in lives to come; form-perceptions here & now; form-perceptions in lives to come; perceptions of the imperturbable; perceptions of the dimension of nothingness; perceptions of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception: that is an identity, to the extent that there is an identity. This is deathless: the liberation of the mind through lack of clinging/sustenance.' mn106
Can one skip the the contemplations and go strait to noble liberation?
he must perveive the nithingness i think ... arising of perception which is better than sensual perception... arising of perception of empty mind of empty background when front throughts removed
I may be slow learner but im at least learning...
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Re: Training for the formless attainments, mn106

Post by Ceisiwr »

jinic wrote: Mon Jul 04, 2022 1:23 am Found this posted by Ceisiwr, thought id add it here
"Uddaka Rāmaputta had this view and taught like this, “Existence is an illness, a tumour, a thorn. Those who advocate nonperception are foolish. Those who have realized [know]: this is tranquil, this is sublime, namely attaining the sphere of neither-perception-nor-nonperception.”

The Discourse on Uddaka [Rāmaputta] - MĀ 114
Is there a similar discourse about Alara Kalama?
Not that I know of, but not all of the parallels have been translated and I can’t read traditional Chinese.
“In the same way, great king, when a bhikkhu sees that these five hindrances are unabandoned within himself, he regards that as a debt, as a sickness, as confinement in prison, as slavery, as a desert road.

“But when he sees that these five hindrances have been abandoned within himself, he regards that as freedom from debt, as good health, as release from prison, as freedom from slavery, as a place of safety.”


Sāmaññaphalasutta
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