Compare with this passage from Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo:
III. The Mind
In using the mind as a frame of reference, there are three aspects to deal with:
1. The mind inside.
2. The mind outside.
3. The mind in and of itself.
'The mind inside' refers to a state exclusively in the heart unrelated to any outer preoccupations. 'The mind outside' refers to its interaction with such outer preoccupations as sights, sounds, etc. 'The mind in and of itself' refers to the act of singling out any aspect of the mind as it appears, whether inside or out. (...)
IV. Mental Qualities
Mental qualities as a frame of reference can be divided into three sorts: inner mental qualities, outer mental qualities, and mental qualities in and of themselves.
1. Inner mental qualities can be either good or bad, but here we will deal only with the five Hindrances (nivarana), which are bad —
1. Kāma-chanda: sensual desire.
2. Byāpāda: ill will, malevolence.
3. Thīna-middha: sloth and drowsiness.
4. Uddhacca-kukkucca: restlessness and anxiety.
5. Vicikicchā: uncertainty.
These five Hindrances can be either inner or outer phenomena. For example:
1. The mind gives rise to sensual desire but hasn't yet streamed out to fix its desires on any particular object.
2. The mind gives rise to a sense of irritation and displeasure, but without yet fixing on any particular object.
3. A state of drowsiness arises in the mind, without yet fixing on any particular object.
4. The mind is restless, anxious, and disturbed on its own, without yet fixing on any particular object.
5. The mind is doubtful and uncertain — unable to think anything through — but without yet fixing on any particular object. It's simply that way on its own.
If these five Hindrances are still weak and haven't yet streamed out to become involved with any external objects, they are called "inner mental qualities."
2. Outer mental qualities simply come from the inside:
1. Once the mind has given rise to a sense of desire, it streams out and fixes on such external objects as sights, sounds, smells, tastes, etc.
2. Once the mind has given rise to a sense of irritation, it streams out and fixes on a sight, sound, smell, taste, etc., and then dislikes its object, wanting it to be destroyed.
3. The mind, already in a state of torpor, streams out and fixes on an outer object. Once it has fixed on the object, it then becomes even more torpid.
4. The mind, already restless, streams out to fix on such outer objects as sights, sounds, smells, tastes, etc.
5. A mental state of uncertainty arises in the mind, and the mind lets it stream out to fix on such external objects as sights, etc.
These are thus called outer mental qualities. When any mental quality first arises in the mind, it's called an inner quality. When it flares up, grows stronger and streams out to an outer object, it's called an outer quality.
3. Mental qualities in and of themselves: This means to focus on any one of these Hindrances — because not all five Hindrances can appear in the same mental moment. You can thus pick out any Hindrance at all to focus on and examine. For example, suppose that sensual desire has appeared: Keep your alertness firmly in place at the heart, and use your mindfulness to keep the mind on the phenomenon. Don't waver, and don't let any hopes or wishes arise. Keep your mind firmly in one place. Don't go dragging any other objects in to interfere. Focus your powers of ardent investigation down on nothing but the quality appearing in the present. As long as you haven't gained clear, true insight into it, don't let up on your efforts. When you can do this, you are developing mental qualities in and of themselves as a frame of reference.
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