Mindfulness of defilements - gently accept or vanquish?

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ToVincent
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Mindfulness of defilements - gently accept or vanquish?

Post by ToVincent » Mon Sep 05, 2016 2:54 pm

[ split from Study Group - SN 14.11 Sattadhātu Sutta. Seven Elements. ]

Hi!
Sylvester wrote:...perhaps there's much to commend the gentle practice of mindfulness that accepts the defilement for what they are, instead of trying to vanquish them.
If only it could go along with this excerpt:
When one is touched by a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, if one understands as it actually is the origination, the disappearance, the gratification, the danger, and the escape in regard to that feeling, then the underlying tendency to ignorance does not lie within one.
MN 148
Some working for the Mara's world; some for the Brahma's world; some for the Unborn.
.
In this world with its ..., māras, ... in this population with its ascetics.... (AN 5.30).
------
We are all possessed - more or less.
------
And what, bhikkhu, is inward rottenness? Here someone is immoral, one of evil character, of impure and suspect behaviour, secretive in his acts, no ascetic though claiming to be one, not a celibate though claiming to be one, inwardly rotten, corrupt, depraved. This is called inward rottenness.”
SN 35.241
------
https://justpaste.it/j5o4

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L.N.
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Re: SN 14.11 Sattadhātu Sutta. Seven Elements.

Post by L.N. » Mon Sep 05, 2016 3:45 pm

ToVincent wrote:Hi!
Sylvester wrote:...perhaps there's much to commend the gentle practice of mindfulness that accepts the defilement for what they are, instead of trying to vanquish them.
If only it could go along with this excerpt:
When one is touched by a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, if one understands as it actually is the origination, the disappearance, the gratification, the danger, and the escape in regard to that feeling, then the underlying tendency to ignorance does not lie within one.
MN 148
How is (1) a "gentle practice of mindfulness that accepts the defilements for what they are, instead of trying to vanquish them" inconsistent with (2) attaining to such a state that "the underlying tendency to ignore them does not lie within one"? These two seem to align in a skillful way and be very much consistent with each other.
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。

ToVincent
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Re: SN 14.11 Sattadhātu Sutta. Seven Elements.

Post by ToVincent » Mon Sep 05, 2016 5:52 pm

L.N. wrote:How is (1) a "gentle practice of mindfulness that accepts the defilements for what they are, instead of trying to vanquish them" inconsistent with (2) attaining to such a state that "the underlying tendency to ignore them does not lie within one"? These two seem to align in a skillful way and be very much consistent with each other.
Hi!,

"the underlying tendency to ignore them does not lie within one" (you),
is not the same as:
"the underlying tendency to ignorance does not lie within one" (MN 148).

Please read the sutta (MN 148), for a proper rendering of the context.

Yet, I shall answer your question.
There are indeed two reasons why there is an incompatibility between the two:
- Firstly, the order in which things have come to be.
- Secondly, the escape (nissaraṇa).
Some working for the Mara's world; some for the Brahma's world; some for the Unborn.
.
In this world with its ..., māras, ... in this population with its ascetics.... (AN 5.30).
------
We are all possessed - more or less.
------
And what, bhikkhu, is inward rottenness? Here someone is immoral, one of evil character, of impure and suspect behaviour, secretive in his acts, no ascetic though claiming to be one, not a celibate though claiming to be one, inwardly rotten, corrupt, depraved. This is called inward rottenness.”
SN 35.241
------
https://justpaste.it/j5o4

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L.N.
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Re: SN 14.11 Sattadhātu Sutta. Seven Elements.

Post by L.N. » Mon Sep 05, 2016 10:16 pm

You are correct, I misquoted accidentally. Please allow me to rephrase the question: How is (1) a "gentle practice of mindfulness that accepts the defilements for what they are, instead of trying to vanquish them" inconsistent with (2) "When one is touched by a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, if one does not understand as it actually is the origination, the disappearance, the gratification, the danger, and the escape in regard to that feeling, then the underlying tendency to ignorance lies within one"? Or do I continue to misquote?
ToVincent wrote:Yet, I shall answer your question.
There are indeed two reasons why there is an incompatibility between the two:
- Firstly, the order in which things have come to be.
- Secondly, the escape (nissaraṇa).
Thank you for answering despite the misquotation. Would you please help me to understand your answer? What is the order in which things have come to be with regard to this discussion? In what respect is the "gentle practice of mindfulness" incompatible or otherwise in conflict with "nissaraṇa"? Metta
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。

ToVincent
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Re: SN 14.11 Sattadhātu Sutta. Seven Elements.

Post by ToVincent » Mon Sep 05, 2016 11:43 pm

I am afraid that we are going a bit out of the way of the OP.
L.N. wrote:In what respect is the "gentle practice of mindfulness" incompatible or otherwise in conflict with "nissaraṇa"? Metta
The contemplation of dhamma involves the contemplation of the five hindrances (nīvaraṇa).
Apart from the fact that in the Chinese parallels, this contemplation is not present in all of them, I believe that Sylvester is talking about them as some sort of kilesas.
The five hindrances (pañca nivāraṇa) – sensual desire (kāmacchanda), anger (byāpāda), sloth-torpor (thīna-middha), restlessness-worry (uddhacca-kukkucca), and doubt (vicikicchā) – are indeed frequently associated with kilesa in the suttas.
All those Blessed Ones had first abandoned the five hindrances, defilements of the mind that weaken wisdom.
sabbe te bhagavanto pañcanīvaraṇe pahāya cetaso upakkilese paññāya dubbalīkaraṇe.
SN 47.12
But I see nowhere in the suttas some excerpts that mention the "gentle practice of mindfulness that accepts the defilements for what they are".

In the mindfulnesses (body, breath & satipaṭṭāna), there are just a few "gentle" practices.

I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication (Passambhayaṃ kāyasaṅkhāraṃ) implies some treated action. I will breathe in calming mental fabrication (Passambhayaṃ cittasaṅkhāraṃ) too. I will breathe in satisfying the mind (Abhippamodayaṃ cittaṃ) also. Steadying (samādahaṃ), releasing (Vimocayaṃ), and careful attention (manasikāraṃ) implies treated action too. And lastly, contemplation (anupassi) on dispassion/virāgā implies some form of treated action as well, that could apply to the nivāraṇa/kilesas.

On the other end, all sensitiveness (paṭisaṃvedī) on rapture, pleasure, etc; and contemplation (anupassi) on inconstancy/aniccā, cessation/nirodhā, etc, imply no treated action.

A purely "gentle" approach cannot bring the knowledge of nissāraṇa; nor is it necessary and sufficient to understand the way things have come to be.
Some working for the Mara's world; some for the Brahma's world; some for the Unborn.
.
In this world with its ..., māras, ... in this population with its ascetics.... (AN 5.30).
------
We are all possessed - more or less.
------
And what, bhikkhu, is inward rottenness? Here someone is immoral, one of evil character, of impure and suspect behaviour, secretive in his acts, no ascetic though claiming to be one, not a celibate though claiming to be one, inwardly rotten, corrupt, depraved. This is called inward rottenness.”
SN 35.241
------
https://justpaste.it/j5o4

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bodom
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Re: Mindfulness of defilements - gently accept or vanquish?

Post by bodom » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:06 am

From Analayos Satipatthana commentary:
A close examination of the instructions in the Satipatthana Sutta reveals that the meditator is never instructed to interfere actively with what happens in the mind. If a mental hindrance arises, for example, the task of satipatthana contemplation is to know that the
hindrance is present, to know what has led to its arising, and to know what will lead to its disappearance. A more active interven-tion is no longer the domain of satipatthana, but belongs rather to the province of right effort (sammã vãyãma).

The need to distinguish clearly between a first stage of observation and a second stage of taking action is, according to the Buddha, an essential feature of his way of teaching.58 The simple reason for this approach is that only the preliminary step of calmly assessing a situation without immediately reacting enables one to undertake the appropriate action.

Thus, although sati furnishes the necessary information for a wise deployment of right effort, and will monitor the countermeasures by noting if these are excessive or deficient, sati nevertheless remains an aloof quality of uninvolved, detached observation. Sati can interact with other, much more active factors of the mind, yet by
itself it does not interfere.59

Notes:

58. At It 33 the Buddha distinguished between two successive aspects of his teaching, the first of which was to recognize evil as evil, while the second was to get free from such evil.

59. An example for the coexistence of sati with intense effort is furnished by the bodhi-satta‘s ascetic practices (at M I 242), where even during excessive striving he was able to maintain his mindfulness.
https://www.buddhismuskunde.uni-hamburg ... alayo.html

:namaste:
To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With no struggling, no thinking,
the mind, still,
will see cause and effect
vanishing in the Void.
Attached to nothing, letting go:
Know that this is the way
to allay all stress.

- Upasika Kee Nanayan

ToVincent
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Re: Mindfulness of defilements - gently accept or vanquish?

Post by ToVincent » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:26 am

bodom wrote:From Analayos Satipatthana commentary
Analayo wrote: The need to distinguish clearly between a first stage of observation and a second stage of taking action is, according to the Buddha, an essential feature of his way of teaching.
It 33
Itivuttakas, hum!
EBT? - Parallels?

I will not disparage right effort (sammã vãyãma) in the process; but I just can't take my mind out of this active part in satipaṭṭāna and the other mindfulnesses:
I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication (Passambhayaṃ kāyasaṅkhāraṃ) implies some treated action. I will breathe in calming mental fabrication (Passambhayaṃ cittasaṅkhāraṃ) too. I will breathe in satisfying the mind (Abhippamodayaṃ cittaṃ) also. Steadying (samādahaṃ), releasing (Vimocayaṃ), and careful attention (manasikāraṃ) implies treated action too. And lastly, contemplation (anupassi) on dispassion/virāgā implies some form of treated action as well, that could apply to the nivāraṇa/kilesas.
Note: I am acquainted with Anayatalo's work on satipaṭṭāna. I am still not convinced about all his findings.
Some working for the Mara's world; some for the Brahma's world; some for the Unborn.
.
In this world with its ..., māras, ... in this population with its ascetics.... (AN 5.30).
------
We are all possessed - more or less.
------
And what, bhikkhu, is inward rottenness? Here someone is immoral, one of evil character, of impure and suspect behaviour, secretive in his acts, no ascetic though claiming to be one, not a celibate though claiming to be one, inwardly rotten, corrupt, depraved. This is called inward rottenness.”
SN 35.241
------
https://justpaste.it/j5o4

Janalanda
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Re: Mindfulness of defilements - gently accept or vanquish?

Post by Janalanda » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:33 am

Some words from Thanissaro Bhikkhu about bare attention vs appropriate attention.
The full discussion of the satipatthanas (DN 22) starts with instructions to be ever mindful of the breath. Directions such as “bring bare attention to the breath,” or “accept the breath,” or whatever else modern teachers tell us that mindfulness is supposed to do, are actually functions for other qualities in the mind. They're not automatically a part of sati, but you should bring them along wherever they're appropriate.

One quality that's always appropriate in establishing mindfulness is being watchful or alert. The Pali word for alertness, sampajañña, is another term that's often misunderstood. It doesn't mean being choicelessly aware of the present, or comprehending the present. Examples in the Canon shows that sampajañña means being aware of what you're doing in the movements of the body, the movements in the mind. After all, if you're going to gain insight into how you're causing suffering, your primary focus always has to be on what you're actually doing. This is why mindfulness and alertness should always be paired as you meditate.

In the Satipatthana Sutta, they're combined with a third quality, ardency. Ardency means being intent on what you're doing, trying your best to do it skillfully. This doesn't mean that you have to keep straining and sweating all the time, just that you're continuous in developing skillful habits and abandoning unskillful ones. Remember, in the eight factors of the path to freedom, right mindfulness grows out of right effort. Right effort is the effort to be skillful. Mindfulness helps that effort along by reminding you to stick with it, so that you don't let it drop.

All three of these qualities get their focus from what the Buddha called yoniso manasikara, appropriate attention. Notice: That's appropriate attention, not bare attention. The Buddha discovered that the way you attend to things is determined by what you see as important: the questions you bring to the practice, the problems you want the practice to solve. No act of attention is ever bare. If there were no problems in life you could open yourself up choicelessly to whatever came along. But the fact is there is a big problem smack dab in the middle of everything you do: the suffering that comes from acting in ignorance. This is why the Buddha doesn't tell you to view each moment with a beginner's eyes. You've got to keep the issue of suffering and its end always in mind.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... fined.html

From my experience, if one tries to "push" or to "resist" what is not useful, that will give rise to aversion. Instead, he should try to CALM the unskillful thought or desire. Weather it's an unskillful thought/desire or a resistance tendency to push it out, one should CALM both of those things, not just notice them without doing any kind of right effort. "I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication"

How does one cross the flood of craving ? "Without tarrying, friend, and without hurrying did I cross the flood." By Neither pulling forward (pushing it) neither by standing in your place (bare awareness) will one cross the flood of craving.
Last edited by Janalanda on Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Mindfulness of defilements - gently accept or vanquish?

Post by ToVincent » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:40 am

Janalanda wrote: I think this quote applies here well: "Without tarrying, friend, and without hurrying did I cross the flood." By Neither pulling forward (pushing it) neither by standing in your place (bare awareness) will one cross the flood.
I agree:
Neither you accept the defilement for what they are, nor you try to vanquish them.

In any case, this is not an inactive process, as pure contemplation.
Some working for the Mara's world; some for the Brahma's world; some for the Unborn.
.
In this world with its ..., māras, ... in this population with its ascetics.... (AN 5.30).
------
We are all possessed - more or less.
------
And what, bhikkhu, is inward rottenness? Here someone is immoral, one of evil character, of impure and suspect behaviour, secretive in his acts, no ascetic though claiming to be one, not a celibate though claiming to be one, inwardly rotten, corrupt, depraved. This is called inward rottenness.”
SN 35.241
------
https://justpaste.it/j5o4

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L.N.
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Re: Mindfulness of defilements - gently accept or vanquish?

Post by L.N. » Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:55 am

ToVincent wrote:Neither you accept the defilement for what they are, nor you try to vanquish them.
This is closer to the perspective I would take. It is not a choice between "gently accept" and "vanquish." However, I sense some of the discussion is hung up on wording. For example, accepting defilements for what they are does not mean the defilements are acceptable, but rather it means one observes/allows/does not build upon that which arises, whatever arises. Nor does it mean some "treated action," at least as I understood it.

I think you may be discussing a topic which I did not intend to ask about. I am still not sure how the following is responsive to what I thought I was asking:
ToVincent wrote:There are indeed two reasons why there is an incompatibility between the two:
- Firstly, the order in which things have come to be.
- Secondly, the escape (nissaraṇa).
I sense from the following that you are providing me with a textual answer to what you perceive my question to be:
ToVincent wrote:But I see nowhere in the suttas some excerpts that mention the "gentle practice of mindfulness that accepts the defilements for what they are". In the mindfulnesses (body, breath & satipaṭṭāna), there are just a few "gentle" practices. ... A purely "gentle" approach cannot bring the knowledge of nissāraṇa; nor is it necessary and sufficient to understand the way things have come to be.
If I understand you correctly, you see issues with the terms “accept,” “gentle,” and possibly the term “practice” in the sense that it suggests some “treated action,” is that what you are getting at?

If one understands the phrase “gentle practice of mindfulness” (not my phrase) to mean a practice of observing/knowing/being aware of that which arises and passes away from moment to moment, without pushing or resisting (and as such, “gently”), then I still do not see how this is incompatible with MN 148. But then, these are a lot of qualifiers, and this might not be what Sylvester meant to say in the previous topic. I do not yet see how the "gentle practice of mindfulness" (so understood) is incompatible or otherwise in conflict with "nissaraṇa."

I would note that the following two phrases are not identical:
  • 1) "When one is touched by a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, if one does not understand as it actually is the origination, the disappearance, the gratification, the danger, and the escape in regard to that feeling, then the underlying tendency to ignorance lies within one" (from here, Bhikkhu Bodhi, The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha (Wisdom Publications, 2009); and
    2) “When one is touched by a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, if one understands as it actually is the origination, the disappearance, the gratification, the danger, and the escape in regard to that feeling, then the underlying tendency to ignorance does not lie within one” (from the OP in this new topic).
Perhaps the meaning is identical despite the different wording? Metta
Sire patitthitā Buddhā
Dhammo ca tava locane
Sangho patitthitō tuiham
uresabba gunākaro


愿众佛坐在我的头顶, 佛法在我的眼中, 僧伽,功德的根源, 端坐在我的肩上。

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Re: Mindfulness of defilements - gently accept or vanquish?

Post by Sylvester » Tue Sep 06, 2016 5:04 am

I would have thought that the redundancy in the repetition of "having given up grief and covetousness with reference to the world" throughout the sutta would indicate how important it is to how one establishes mindfulness. I for one can't see how right effort can be compatible with an admonition not to crave. What is grief but patighanusaya anuseti-ing? SN 36.6

I would be grateful if ToVincent elaborates on his citation of MN 148. We may have a very interesting discussion about what anuseti means to the Theravadins as compared to the other schools.

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Re: Mindfulness of defilements - gently accept or vanquish?

Post by Sylvester » Tue Sep 06, 2016 5:17 am

L.N. wrote: If one understands the phrase “gentle practice of mindfulness” (not my phrase) to mean a practice of observing/knowing/being aware of that which arises and passes away from moment to moment, without pushing or resisting (and as such, “gently”), then I still do not see how this is incompatible with MN 148. But then, these are a lot of qualifiers, and this might not be what Sylvester meant to say in the previous topic. I do not yet see how the "gentle practice of mindfulness" (so understood) is incompatible or otherwise in conflict with "nissaraṇa."
You must be psychic! How did you penetrate my mind?
I would note that the following two phrases are not identical:
  • 1) "When one is touched by a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, if one does not understand as it actually is the origination, the disappearance, the gratification, the danger, and the escape in regard to that feeling, then the underlying tendency to ignorance lies within one" (from here, Bhikkhu Bodhi, The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha (Wisdom Publications, 2009); and
    2) “When one is touched by a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, if one understands as it actually is the origination, the disappearance, the gratification, the danger, and the escape in regard to that feeling, then the underlying tendency to ignorance does not lie within one” (from the OP in this new topic).
Perhaps the meaning is identical despite the different wording? Metta
MN 148, like SN 36.6, puts forth and contrasts 2 different scenarios. The unskillful one is where an anusaya is given freedom to anuseti (translated above as "lies within one") while the skillful scenario is where the anusaya nanuseti (translated as "does not lie within one").

:anjali:

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Re: Mindfulness of defilements - gently accept or vanquish?

Post by ToVincent » Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:37 pm

L.N. wrote:...
In mindfulnesses, we are not asked to resist or to accept dhammas as they are; we are asked to discern, and to act upon the discerned, whenever that is possible.
Viz. I discern a long or a short breath and then I calm the breath (act), or for instance, the mere acknowledgment of the fading of a dhamma (no act).
Only high level meditators are concerned with pure contemplation.

Sylvester does agree on your definition, namely:
“gentle practice of mindfulness” as to mean a practice of observing/knowing/being aware of that which arises and passes away from moment to moment, without pushing or resisting (and as such, “gently”)",
So, I have a hard time considering mindfulness as purely contemplative; when mindfulness of body and satipaṭṭhāna start with:
Alert (clear comprehension, clear awareness - sampajāno); where "alert" is defined as:
(feelings are understood as they arise, understood as they remain present, understood as they pass away. Thoughts are understood as they arise, understood as they remain present, understood as they pass away. Perceptions are understood as they arise, understood as they remain present, understood as they pass away. It is in this way, bhikkhus, that a bhikkhu exercises clear comprehension.) This is how a monk is alert. (SN 47.35 – no parallel).
Ardent (exertive - ātāpī); where "ardent" is defined as:
( - 'Unarisen evil, unskillful qualities arising in me would lead to what is unbeneficial,' arouse ardency.
- 'Arisen evil, unskillful qualities not being abandoned in me would lead to what is unbeneficial,' arouse ardency.
- 'Unarisen skillful qualities not arising in me would lead to what is unbeneficial,' arouse ardency.
- 'Arisen skillful qualities ceasing in me would lead to what is unbeneficial,' arouse ardency. ) This is how one is ardent. (SN 16.2 – no parallel).
And mindfulness of breathing and mindfulness of body starts with having to be "always mindful".

I see no "gentleness" in that. Again, if "gentleness" means "to accept (dhammas) as they are". Particularly for the "ardent" part.
Some working for the Mara's world; some for the Brahma's world; some for the Unborn.
.
In this world with its ..., māras, ... in this population with its ascetics.... (AN 5.30).
------
We are all possessed - more or less.
------
And what, bhikkhu, is inward rottenness? Here someone is immoral, one of evil character, of impure and suspect behaviour, secretive in his acts, no ascetic though claiming to be one, not a celibate though claiming to be one, inwardly rotten, corrupt, depraved. This is called inward rottenness.”
SN 35.241
------
https://justpaste.it/j5o4

ToVincent
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Re: Mindfulness of defilements - gently accept or vanquish?

Post by ToVincent » Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:37 pm

Sylvester wrote:...
It is not on MN 148 that I will focus, but on the following sutta; for it adresses right effort that comes before sati in the noble eightfold path.
There are two ways to translate MN 141.

Katamo cāvuso sammāvāyāmo?
Now what, venerable friends, is right effort (endeavour)?

Idhāvuso bhikkhu anuppannānaṁ pāpakānaṁ akusalānaṁ dhammānaṁ anuppādāya chandaṁ janeti, vāyamati viriyaṁ ārabhati cittaṁ paggaṇhāti padahati.

A monk generates desire not to take up bad and unwholesome things that have not yet arisen, (in this regard) he endeavours, instigates energy, exerts his mind, and makes an effort.

OR

A monk rouses his will, makes an effort, stirs up energy, exerts his mind and strives to prevent the arising of unarisen evil unwholesome mental states.
IN THE SAME VEIN:
There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, arouses persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen.
ELSWHERE:
Here a bhikkhu awakens zeal for the non-arising of unarisen evil unwholesome states, and he makes effort, arouses energy, exerts his mind, and strives.

In the latter cases, effort yields prevention.
In the former case, desire yields effort.

I believe your reading to be the reading of the former case.
So it sounds like you see effort in the process; not just "gentleness".
This is a bit confusing.
Desire yields effort.
But effort for what?
For the next step; that is sati? - In other words, effort to "accept things as they are"? That is strange logic to me.

SN 16.2 (as in the previous post to L.N.) has no parallel. This might explain this kind of confusion.


I believe the progression to be effort (act) > intention of non arising of kilesas (act) > mindfulness (act & non-act) > effort (act) > intention of non arising... > ...
In which mindfulness has an active part in "calming" the four foundations (body, feeling, mind, and dhamma); so as to reach the abandoning of the hindrances (or kilesas).

MN 125 (with parallel) explain well the progression. Letting go of thoughts (a.k.a. pure contemplation,) comes after the abandoning of the hindrances (kilesas).
Overcoming the mental hindrances > The 4 focuses of mindfulness (Having given up these 5 mental hindrances, mental impurities that weaken wisdom, he dwells exertive, clearly comprehending, mindful,observing [watching] the body in the body, etc.) > Letting go of the world > Letting go of thoughts.
The latter being pure contemplation.

Note that even having gotten rid of the hindrances, the meditator remains "exertive" in mindfulness.

---
Oh, by the way, I am not here to commpare Theravada with other schools. I'd rather look at what is common to all these schools.
Some working for the Mara's world; some for the Brahma's world; some for the Unborn.
.
In this world with its ..., māras, ... in this population with its ascetics.... (AN 5.30).
------
We are all possessed - more or less.
------
And what, bhikkhu, is inward rottenness? Here someone is immoral, one of evil character, of impure and suspect behaviour, secretive in his acts, no ascetic though claiming to be one, not a celibate though claiming to be one, inwardly rotten, corrupt, depraved. This is called inward rottenness.”
SN 35.241
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Sylvester
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Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:57 am

Re: Mindfulness of defilements - gently accept or vanquish?

Post by Sylvester » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:41 pm

While the translations are readable for their idiomatic English, it's not really what the Pali is saying, eg -
Idha, bhikkhave, bhikkhu kāye kāyānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā, vineyya loke abhij­jhā­do­manas­saṃ

There is the case where a monk remains focused on the body in & of itself — ardent, alert, & mindful — putting aside greed & distress with reference to the world.

transl Ven T : http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
That dreadful, but convenient, translation of "kāyānupassī viharati ātāpī sampajāno satimā" as if the words in red are all adjectives is extremely misleading. Eg, kāyānupassī is the nominative singular of the substantive noun "body contemplator" from the adjective kāyānupassin (body-contemplating). Ditto for ātāpī (the one who is ardent, from ātāpin (ardent)), etc etc.

When Pali uses a substantive noun instead of a gerund to describe a situation, it is calling attention to the person being accomplished in that quality. If the redactors had wanted to say that the meditator is someone who is ardent in exerting himself, they could have easily used the gerund ātāpetvā, instead of tormenting us with the nominative sg substantive noun ātāpī.

Sigh, so much accuracy thrown to the winds, in service of a readable translation.

Let me ask the manhandlers - when recognising a hindrance, is that an occassion for pain/dukkha? What is one's response to that pain? To attempt to get rid of that hindrance at this stage of very refined practice is nothing more than aversion. How can one live up to the description "vineyya loke abhij­jhā­do­manas­saṃ" (having given up grief and covetousness with reference to the world)? Entertaining any desire or strategy at this point to rid oneself of a hindrance is simply paṭighānusaya anuseti-ing that disagreeableness of that hindrance.

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