alan wrote:I hate McDonalds too. But how does this relate to my original post?
4. Sloth-and-torpor / Thinamiddha
Sloth-and-torpor is the third in the standard listing of the five
hindrances, those detrimental mental states singled out for their
propensity to `hinder' the proper functioning of the mind (DN I
246). The present essay will first survey the nature of this hindrance
(4.1) and then turn to the removal of sloth-and-torpor
4.1 The Nature of Sloth-and-torpor
The discourses indicate that the hindrance of sloth-and-torpor
can arise due to discontent, boredom, laziness, overeating, and
because of a depressed state of mind (SN V 64). The effect of
the hindrance sloth-and-torpor can be illustrated with the example
of a bowl full of water, used as a mirror in order to see
the reflection of one's face (SN V 121and AN III 232). If the
water in the bowl should be overgrown with moss, the natural
reflecting ability of the water will be impaired. Similarly, if the
mind is `overgrown' with sloth-and-torpor, its natural ability to
function properly will be impaired.
Additionally, the same image also depicts quite vividly that
the long-term result of sloth-and-torpor is stagnation, similar to
water overgrown by moss. In contrast to this predicament, to
be free from sloth-and-torpor is like being released from a
prison (MN I 275). This complementary simile reflects the degree
to which sloth-and-torpor `imprison' the mind.
The Vibha#ga, the second and perhaps earliest work in the
Pali Abhidhamma, explains sloth-and-torpor to imply "inability"
or "unreadiness" (Vibh 254). Similar to this aspect of inability,
a discourse in the Sayutta-nikaya characterizes a
mind under the influence of sloth-and-torpor as "internally
stuck", ajjhatta sa#khitta (SN V 279).
Sloth-and-torpor, though counting as only one out of the five
hindrances, in actual fact covers two distinct mental factors.
This distinction is drawn in a discourse in the Sayutta-nikaya,
which differentiates between sloth and torpor as single hindrances
(SN V 110). These two distinct mental factors may
have been subsumed under the heading of a single hindrance
due to their similar effect on the mind.
4.2 The Removal of Sloth-and-torpor
A prominent antidote to sloth-and-torpor, mentioned on frequent
occasions in the Pali discourses, is the development of
"perception of light", alokasañña, together with mindfulness
and clear comprehension (e.g. DN I 71). Some discourses associate
the expression "perception of light" with a mind that is
"open", viva.a, and "uncovered", apariyonaddha, by day and
by night, and indicate that such "perception of light" will lead
to knowledge and vision (DN III 223). This suggests the expression
"perception of light" to refer to the development of
Such a way of understanding finds support in the Vibha#ga,
which glosses "perception of light" as a perception that is
"open", viva.a, "pure", parisuddha, and "clean", pariyodata
(Vibh 254). The commentaries, however, take the expression
"perception of light" more literally and suggest employing actual
light to overcome this hindrance, by looking at the moon,
for example, or at the sun (Ps I 284).
Such "perception of light" takes place with the aid of mindfulness
and clear comprehension, which brings into play two
qualities as a remedy against sloth-and-torpor that indeed lead
to an increase of mental clarity. This is not the only role mindfulness
has to play in relation to the hindrance of sloth-and-torpor.
According to the Satipa..hana-sutta, the tasks of mindfulness
in relation to this hindrance ranges from clear recognition
of the presence or absence of sloth-and-torpor to understanding
what has lead to the arising of this hindrance, what will lead to
its removal, and how a future arising of sloth-and-torpor can be
prevented (MN I 60).
The need to energetically overcome and remove this particular
hindrance should not be underestimated, since the presence
of sloth-and-torpor in the mind obstructs understanding one's
own good and that of others (AN III 63). Due to sloth-and-torpor,
one does what one should not do and fails to do what
should be done (AN II 67).
Being excessively affected by sloth-and-torpor is a factor indicating
that a monk may be living the celibate life without
real inner satisfaction (SN III 106). To withdraw into solitude
in the forest will be of little benefit if one is still under the influence
of sloth-and-torpor (MN I 18). Hence to meditate while
the hindrance sloth-and-torpor pervades the mind is a form of
mis-meditating (MN III 14). Being under the influence of
sloth-and-torpor is to be under Mara's control (Ud 38). As long
as sloth-and-torpor is present in the mind, liberation will remain
out of reach (AN V 195).
meindzai wrote:Bubbabuddhist wrote:Alan, no disrespect, but I suspect Venerable Pesala has raised a good point worth consideration. I suspect Stream-entry would be an effective cure for any mood affective conditions. Any discussion here?
I bet even jhana(proper) would do it. The question is how we take care of ourselves before we get to that point.
PeterB wrote:So are we saying that a stream winner would not have diabetes ? S.A.D. is no more a "mental "condition than diabetes is. Its metabolic. Its medical management is in managing the metabolic response...just as in diabetes.
Show me someone who has been diagnosed as having type 1 diabetes but does not need insulin because he goes into jhanic states .....and I will be very interested.
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