What is the Difference between the Lustful Mind and the Distracted Mind?

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
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indianromeo
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What is the Difference between the Lustful Mind and the Distracted Mind?

Post by indianromeo » Thu May 25, 2017 4:42 pm

Analayo describes the difference as one of a mind marked by "lust" and one of a mind marked by "restlesness" in Saitipatthana: The Direct Path Ch. 8 , Loc 2676 (Kindle)

I'm just wondering,

1. Are these two mind states mutually exclusive?

2. How would you describe the difference between the two?

To me it seems the distracted mind may contain multiple unwholesome roots: anger, lust, delusion, all in all summing up to a complex picture of "unwholesomeness."

Would people here agree?

JohnK
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Re: What is the Difference between the Lustful Mind and the Distracted Mind?

Post by JohnK » Thu May 25, 2017 5:10 pm

indianromeo wrote:Analayo describes the difference as one of a mind marked by "lust" and one of a mind marked by "restlesness" in Saitipatthana: The Direct Path Ch. 8 , Loc 2676 (Kindle)
Seems likely that these are tying back to two of the five hindrances which are typically discussed as distinct.
Dealing with translations from Pali can confuse things a bit. So, the word English "distracted" could be interpreted as applying to any of the hindrances as they distract from a hindrance-free mind OR it could be interpreted as the particular type of distracted mind associated with the hindrance of restlessness and worry.
[Edit: It may be less important to accurately classify a hindrance (if restlessness is about maybe not getting senses gratified, which hindrance is happening?) then it is to recognize the dukkha and to see any hindrance as a "mere" hindrance (vs. "I am" lustful or whatever) and let it go. On the other hand, there are specific antidotes for specific hindrances, so it may useful to pin it down. Right or wrong, I tend to think of metta as the universal antidote.]
Last edited by JohnK on Thu May 25, 2017 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"...the practice is essentially a practice, and not a theory to be idly discussed...right view leaves unanswered many questions about the cosmos and the self, and directs your attention to what needs to be done to escape from the ravages of suffering." Thanissaro Bhikkhu, On The Path.

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: What is the Difference between the Lustful Mind and the Distracted Mind?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu May 25, 2017 5:11 pm

They are distinct mental states.

Lust is the first hindrance of kāmacchandaṃ
Simile: When water is coloured by yellow, blue, or crimson dye, one is unable to see the reflection of one’s face. Likewise, when the mind is sullied by sensual desire, one is unable to see one’s own benefit.

Restlessness and remorse is the fourth hindrance of uddhaccakukkuccaṃ
Simile: When water is stirred by the wind, one is unable to see the reflection of one’s face. Likewise, when the mind is overcome by restlessness, one is unable to see one’s own benefit.

See the section on the five hindrances in the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta .
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narhwal90
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Re: What is the Difference between the Lustful Mind and the Distracted Mind?

Post by narhwal90 » Fri May 26, 2017 2:02 am

I might be inclined to distinguish between restless and distracted. The operation of distraction is clearly shown while riding a motorcycle. When mindful, the entire scene is perceived; road, potholes, other vehicles, traction, bike dynamics etc. When distracted, perception locks to some stimulus; object on road, gravel, left turner, sudden change in bike dynamics etc, and is characterized by loss of perception of the rest of the scene. I would not call that a restless mind, it is fixed and unreflective, often to the point of physical paralysis. I tend to look to anger/fear as the root.

indianromeo
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Re: What is the Difference between the Lustful Mind and the Distracted Mind?

Post by indianromeo » Tue Jun 06, 2017 4:21 pm

Thanks all, I plan to review these and may reply again.

indianromeo
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Re: What is the Difference between the Lustful Mind and the Distracted Mind?

Post by indianromeo » Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:12 pm

Yeah still stuck. Sorry. Here's a hypothetical. You are meditating, and 1.) hear a pleasant thing 2.) smell an unpleasant thing and 3.) touch a neutral thing. To me this can't be lustful mind as the feeling tone from the sound has not arisen to a full emotion. It can't be deluded mind as the neutral object touched is but one of many environmental stimuli. Can't be angry mind for same reasons it can't be a lustful or deluded mind. Not a contracted mind since you're aware.

Thus it "could" be a distracted mind, could it not? Could it also be an arahant's mind, if one were simply remaining aware?

JohnK
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Re: What is the Difference between the Lustful Mind and the Distracted Mind?

Post by JohnK » Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:29 pm

My understanding is that your 1, 2 and 3 can't happen simultaneously (though they may appear to if the awareness is more gross than refined).
"...the practice is essentially a practice, and not a theory to be idly discussed...right view leaves unanswered many questions about the cosmos and the self, and directs your attention to what needs to be done to escape from the ravages of suffering." Thanissaro Bhikkhu, On The Path.

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Re: What is the Difference between the Lustful Mind and the Distracted Mind?

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:16 am

indianromeo wrote:To me it seems the distracted mind may contain multiple unwholesome roots: anger, lust, delusion, all in all summing up to a complex picture of "unwholesomeness."
In practice I tend to focus on the strongest or most obvious mind-state which is present at any one time, and that can change very quickly. On a good day I am also aware of underlying mind-states and moods, but it can be quite complex, as you observe. It often feels like there are mind-states superimposed on other mind-states, rather like ocean waves are superimposed on the tidal currents beneath the surface.
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Dinsdale
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Re: What is the Difference between the Lustful Mind and the Distracted Mind?

Post by Dinsdale » Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:19 am

indianromeo wrote:Yeah still stuck. Sorry. Here's a hypothetical. You are meditating, and 1.) hear a pleasant thing 2.) smell an unpleasant thing and 3.) touch a neutral thing. To me this can't be lustful mind as the feeling tone from the sound has not arisen to a full emotion. It can't be deluded mind as the neutral object touched is but one of many environmental stimuli. Can't be angry mind for same reasons it can't be a lustful or deluded mind. Not a contracted mind since you're aware.
Thus it "could" be a distracted mind, could it not? Could it also be an arahant's mind, if one were simply remaining aware?
It's easy to get bogged down in the technicalities, but personally I find a simple approach is more productive, just noticing these mind-states are as they come and go, and seeing what conditions produce them. I don't regard the mind-states in the 3rd frame of the Satipatthana Sutta as an exhaustive list, more as suggestions of what to look out for.
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