I've always been unclear on the meaning of yoniso manasikara. Sometimes it seems to be used synonymously with appamada, for example a Burmese sayadaw who said that it is "the attitude that makes akusala impossible." But recently when studying CMA I found that it is said to be the factor (rather than panna) that permits the extraction of realities from concepts, if you will. A search turned up this useful post by Starter which will be a good starter.
Hello Dymtro and other friends,
Many thanks for your great input to the thread on the suttas about sense restraint. Nice to have you and other admirable friends in this forum. Have you gotten a collection of suttas on yoniso monasikara as well? Before practicing sense restraint and 4 establishment of mindfulness, it's even more important to practice right attention/consideration/reflection (where to put our attention and how to attend wisely), since only yoniso manasikara can lead to the abandonment of defilements/purification of mind and right speech/conduct/livelihood.
I've found the following relevant suttas (part 1):
"The Blessed One said, "Monks, the ending of the fermentations is for one who knows & sees, I tell you, not for one who does not know & does not see. For one who knows what & sees what? Appropriate attention & inappropriate attention. When a monk attends inappropriately, unarisen fermentations arise, and arisen fermentations increase. When a monk attends appropriately, unarisen fermentations do not arise, and arisen fermentations are abandoned. There are fermentations to be abandoned by seeing, those to be abandoned by restraining, those to be abandoned by using, those to be abandoned by tolerating, those to be abandoned by avoiding, those to be abandoned by destroying, and those to be abandoned by developing."
"... He wisely attends: ‘This is suffering'; ‘This is the origin of suffering'; ‘This is the cessation of suffering'; ‘This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering. ...'"
Dawn, bhikshus, is the forerunner, the harbinger of sun-rise.
Even so, bhikshus, for a monk this is the forerunner, the harbinger of the arising of the noble eightfold path, that is, accomplishment in wise attention.
Bhikshus, when a monk is accomplished in this wise attention, it is to be expected that he will cultivate the noble eightfold path, develop the noble eightfold path."
"This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "With regard to internal factors, I don't envision any other single factor like appropriate attention as doing so much for a monk in training, who has not attained the heart's goal but remains intent on the unsurpassed safety from bondage. A monk who attends appropriately abandons what is unskillful and develops what is skillful."
AN 4:246 & SN 55:5
The four “virtues conducive to growth”/the “factors for attaining stream-entry:”
1) association with wise friends (kalyanamitta);
2) listening to true dhamma;
3) wise attention/reflection;
4) practise in accordance with true teaching.
"... From inappropriate attention you're being chewed by your thoughts. Relinquishing what's inappropriate, contemplate appropriately. Keeping your mind on the Teacher, the Dhamma, the Sangha, your virtues, you will arrive at joy, rapture, pleasure without doubt. Then, saturated with joy, you will put an end to suffering & stress."
Regarding any verbal/bodily/mental activity, one should reflect before/during/after it:
"Whatever action you intend to perform, by body, speech or mind, you should consider that action... If, in considering it, you realize: 'This action which I intend to perform will be harmful to myself, or harmful to others or harmful to both; it will be an unwholesome action, producing suffering, resulting in suffering' — then you should certainly not perform that action.
"Also while you are performing an action, by body, speech or mind, you should consider that action... If, in considering it, you realize: 'This action which I am performing is harmful to myself, or harmful to others or harmful to both; it is an unwholesome action, producing suffering, resulting in suffering' — then you should desist from such an action.
"Also after you have performed an action, by body, speech or mind, you should consider that action... If, in considering it, you realize: 'This action which I have performed has been harmful to myself, or harmful to others, or harmful to both; it was an unwholesome action, producing suffering, resulting in suffering — then you should in the future refrain from it."
“Is it leading to self-affliction [bodily and mental disturbances that are harmful to one's Dhamma practice], to the affliction of others, or to both? Is it an unwholesome [non-factual, ill-intentioned, ...] activity, with painful consequences, painful results [1) karmic; 2)obstructing panna, causing inner disturbances/turmoils, and leading away from nibbana] ? If, on reflection, you know that it is leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both, it is an unwholesome activity with painful consequences, painful results, then any activity of that sort is absolutely inappropriate for you to do. But if, on reflection, you know that it is not leading to self-affliction, to the affliction of others, or to both; it is an wholesome activity with happy consequences, happy results, then any activity of that sort is appropriate for you to do.”
SN 22.122 [contemplate anicca/dukkha/anatta of 5 aggregates for the 8 types of noble disciples.]
Patisambhidamagga. Treatise I, 409:
"Nine ideas rooted in appropriate attention:
1) When he give appropriate attention [to an object] as impermanent
gladness springs up in him.
2) When he is glad, happiness springs up in him.
3) When he is happy, his body becomes tranquil.
4) When his body is tranquil, he feels pleasure.
5) When he has pleasure, his cognizance becomes concentrated.
6) When his cognizance is concentrated, he understands correctly 'This
7) He understands correctly 'This is the origin of suffering.
8) He understands correctly 'This is the cessation of suffering'.
9) He understands correctly 'This is the way leading to the cessation of
"When he gives appropriate attention [to an object] as painful ... When he gives
appropriate attention [to an object] as not self, gladness springs up in him ...
He understands correctly 'This is the way leading to the cessation of
As a condition for right view: voice of another (the Buddha) and right attention.
As the key to abandoning greed, hatred, delusion.
[For one who attends inappropriately to the theme of the attractive / irritation …, unarisen passion / aversion / delusion arises and arisen passion / aversion / delusion tends to growth & abundance...
For one who attends appropriately to the theme of the unattractive / good will as an awareness-release / …, unarisen passion / aversion / delusion does not arise and arisen passion is abandoned...]
AN 10.61 Avijja Sutta:
"What is the nutriment
for restraint of the senses?
Mindfulness & alertness...
And what is the nutriment for mindfulness & alertness?
And what is the nutriment for appropriate attention? Conviction ..."
SN S 46.2:
Unwise attention gives rise to the five mental hindrances—sensual desire, ill will, sloth and torpor, restlessness and remorse, and doubt—which prevent us from attaining Samadhi.
SN. 12.10 Nidana-samyutta:
In this sutta the Buddha explains how he became enlightened by investigating the cause of aging-and-death via wise attention:
"Bhikkhus, before my enlightenment, while I was still a bodhisatta, not yet fully enlightened, it occurred to me: “Alas, this world has fallen into trouble, in that it is born, ages, and dies, it passes away and is reborn, yet it does not understand the escape from this suffering led by aging-and-death. When will an escape be discerned from this suffering led by aging-and-death?" Then, bhikkhus, it occurred to me: “When what exists does aging-and-death come to be? By what is aging-and-death conditioned?" Then, bhikkhus, through wise attention, there took place in me a breakthrough by wisdom: “When
there is birth, aging-and-death comes to be; aging-and-death has birth as its condition.¨
Metta to all,