Sutta Study Reflection Theme 1-5-2013

The Middle Length Discourses:  

MN 148 The Six Sets of Six, Chachakka Sutta

Pages 1129 – 1136

To be read out loud: sections 1, 2, 16, 28, 34, 40, and 41

Discussion Theme:

In this sutta the Buddha states, “Now, practitioners, this is the way leading to the cessation of personality.”Bhikkhu Bodhi, in footnote 1333, equates the word personality here with the truth of suffering or the five aggregates affected by clinging.

In section 22, the Buddha outlines a specific practice for us:

One regards the internal bases of eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’

One regards the external bases of form, sound, odor, flavor, touch, mind object (i.e. thought) thus ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’

One regards the six classes of consciousness thus ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’

One regards the six classes of contact thus ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’

One regards the six classes of feeling thus ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’

One regards the six classes of craving thus ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’

This month, we can practice regarding the six sense gates with their objects, consciousness, contact, feeling and craving; as things that come and go, as nature, not as self. It might be useful to focus on a particular sense gate to develop this wisdom. During this month we can notice moments of sense contact and the mind’s habit of delighting, struggling, or ignoring the experience. With wisdom and mindfulness we can discern right there in that moment, another way of relating. It is not so much about trying to be equanimous as it is about allowing the delighting, struggling, or ignoring to cease on its own in the space of wise mindful attention. In a sense, we are learning how to give back to nature what already belongs to nature. The sensitivity of the mind and body is nature, all that arises due to that sensitivity also belongs to nature. Do you notice any relief or freedom when letting go of attachments to things that were never ours to begin with?

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