Three lessons from the Buddha

Buddhist Sutra

The Kakacupama Sutta, The Parable of the Saw
(Translated from the Pali by Acharya Buddharakkhita)

“Phagguna, if anyone were to reproach you right to your face, even then you should abandon those urges and thoughts which are worldly. There, Phagguna, you should train yourself thus: “Neither shall my mind be affected by this, nor shall I give vent to evil words; but I shall remain full of concern and pity, with a mind of love, and I shall not give in to hatred.” This is how, Phagguna, you should train yourself.

“Phagguna, if anyone were to give you a blow with the hand, or hit you with a clod of earth, or with a stick, or with a sword, even then you should abandon those urges and thoughts which are worldly. There, Phagguna, you should train yourself thus: “Neither shall my mind be affected by this, nor shall I give vent to evil words; but I shall remain full of concern and pity, with a mind of love, and I shall not give in to hatred.” This is how, Phagguna, you should train yourself.

The Story of the Mistress Vedehika

“In the past, monks, in this very Savatthi, there was a mistress, Vedehika by name. And, monks, this good reputation had spread about the mistress Vedehika: “The mistress Vedehika is gentle, the mistress Vedehika is meek, the mistress Vedehika is calm.” Now, monks, the mistress Vedehika had a maid-servant, Kali by name, who was able, energetic and very methodical in her work. Then, monks, it occurred to Kali, the maid-servant: “this good reputation has spread about my lady: “The mistress Vedehika is gentle, the mistress Vedehika is meek, the mistress Vedehika is calm.” Could it be that my lady does have anger within her which she does not show, or could it be that she does not have anger? Or is it because I am methodical in my job that my lady, though she does have anger within, does not show it, and not because she does not have anger? Why don’t I test my lady?”

“Thus, monks, the maid-servant Kali got up late the next morning. And, monks, the mistress Vedehika told this to the maid-servant Kali:

“Hey, you Kali!”
“What is it, lady?”
“Why did you get up so late?”
“Oh, that is nothing, lady.”
“What!”

“That is nothing, indeed! You bad maid-servant, you got up late!” Angry and displeased, she frowned. “Then, monks, it occurred to Kali the maid-servant:

“Though she does have anger within, my lady does not show it; it is not that she does not have anger. It is because I am methodical in my job that, though she does have anger within, my lady does not show it, and not because she does not have anger. Why don’t I test my lady further?”

“Now, monks, Kali the maid-servant got up even later than before. Then, monks, the mistress Vedehika told the maid-servant Kali:

“Hey, you Kali!”
“What is it, lady?”
“Why did you get up even later than before?”
“Oh, that is nothing, lady.”
“What!”

“That is nothing, indeed! You bad maid-servant, you got up even later than before!” Angry and displeased, she gave vent to her displeasure.

“Then, monks, it occurred to the maid-servant Kali:

“Though she does have anger within, my lady does not show it; it is not that she does not have anger. It is because I am methodical in my job that, though she does have anger within, my lady does not show it, and not because she does not have anger. Why don’t I test my lady further?”

“And, monks, the maid-servant Kali got up even later than before. Then, monks, the mistress Vedehika told the maid-servant Kali:

“Hey, you Kali!”
“What is it, lady?”
“Why did you get up so late?”
“Oh, that is nothing, lady.”
“What! That is nothing, indeed!”
“You bad maid-servant, you got up so late!”
And angry and displeased, she hit her on the head with the door-bar. And this injured her head.

“Now, monks, the maid-servant Kali, with her head injured and blood oozing, went about among the neighbors, shouting:

“Look, sirs, at the deed of the gentle one! Look, sirs, at the deed of the meek one! Look, sirs, at the deed of the calm one! How can she, saying to her own maid-servant, “You got up late today,” angry and displeased, having taken a door-bar, give me a blow on the head and injure my head?”

“And then, monks, this ill-repute spread thereafter about the mistress Vedehika:

“The mistress Vedehika is violent, the mistress Vedehika is arrogant, the mistress Vedehika is not calm.”

“In the same way, monks, some monk here is very gentle, very meek, and very calm, so long as disagreeable ways of speech do not assail him; but when disagreeable ways of speech do assail the monk, it is then that the monk is to be judged whether he is “gentle,” “meek,” or “calm.” Monks, I do not call that monk “dutiful,” who is dutiful on account of the requisites he gets, i.e., the robe, alms food, lodging and medicaments, whereby he falls into pseudo-dutifulness.  And why? For, monks, when that monk fails to get the requisites of the robe, alms food, lodging and medicaments, he ceases to be dutiful, and is not in keeping with the norms of dutifulness. But, monks, whichever monk out of reverence for the Teaching, out of respect for the Teaching, out of dedication to the Teaching, showing honor to the Teaching, and giving regard to the Teaching, comes to be dutiful and is in keeping with the norms of dutifulness, him do I consider as dutiful. Therefore, monks, you should consider: “Only out of reverence for the Teaching, out of respect for the Teaching, out of dedication to the Teaching, showing honor to the Teaching, and giving regard to the Teaching, shall we become dutiful, shall we be in keeping with the norms of dutifulness.” Thus, indeed, monks, you should train yourselves.

Positive Response of Love

“Monks, there are these five modes of speech which people might use when speaking to you — speech that is timely or untimely, true or false, gentle or harsh, with a good or a harmful motive, and with a loving heart or hostility.

“Monks, some might speak to you using speech that is timely or untimely; monks, some might speak to you according to truth or falsely; monks, some might speak to you gently or harshly; monks, some might speak to you with a good motive or with a harmful motive; monks, some might speak to you with a loving heart or with hostility. On all occasions, monks, you should train yourselves thus: “Neither shall our minds be affected by this, nor for this matter shall we give vent to evil words, but we shall remain full of concern and pity, with a mind of love, and we shall not give in to hatred. On the contrary, we shall live projecting thoughts of universal love to that very person, making him as well as the whole world the object of our thoughts of universal love — thoughts that have grown great, exalted and measureless. We shall dwell radiating these thoughts which are void of hostility and ill will.” It is in this way, monks, that you should train yourselves.

The Great Earth

“Suppose, monks, a person were to come to you, holding a hoe and a basket and he were to say: “I shall make this great earth earthless.” Then he would strew the earth here and there, spit here and there, and urinate here and there, and would say:” “Be earthless, be earthless.” What do you think, monks, would this person render this great earth earthless?”

“No, indeed not, most venerable sir.”

“And why?”

“Because this great earth, most venerable sir, is deep and without measure. It cannot possibly be turned earthless. On the contrary, that person would only reap weariness and frustration.”

“In the same way, monks, others may use these five modes of speech when speaking to you — speech that is timely or untimely, true or false, gentle or harsh, with a good or a harmful motive, and with a loving heart or hostility. In this way, monks, you should train yourselves: “Neither shall our minds be affected by this, nor for this matter shall we give vent to evil words, but we shall remain full of concern and pity, with a mind of love, and we shall not give in to hatred. On the contrary, we shall live projecting thoughts of universal love to that very person, making him as well as the whole world the object of our thoughts of universal love — thoughts that have grown great, exalted and measureless. We shall dwell radiating these thoughts which are void of hostility and ill will.” It is in this way, monks, that you should train yourselves.

Empty Space

“Suppose, monks, a person were to approach you, carrying paints of lacquer, turmeric, indigo or carmine, and he were to say: “I will draw this picture, I will make this painting appear on this empty space.” What do you think, monks, could he make this painting appear on empty space?”

“No, indeed not, most venerable sir.”

“And why not?”

“Because this empty space, most venerable sir, is formless and invisible. He cannot possibly draw a picture or make a painting appear on this empty space. On the contrary, that person will only reap weariness and frustration.”

“In the same way, monks, others may use these five modes of speech when speaking to you — speech that is timely or untimely, true or false, gentle or harsh, with a good or a harmful motive, and with a loving heart or hostility. In this way, monks, you should train yourselves: “Neither shall our minds be affected by this, nor for this matter shall we give vent to evil words, but we shall remain full of concern and pity, with a mind of love, and we shall not give in to hatred. On the contrary, we shall live projecting thoughts of universal love to that very person, making him as well as the whole world the object of our thoughts of universal love — thoughts that have grown great, exalted and measureless. We shall dwell radiating these thoughts which are void of hostility and ill will.” It is in this way, monks, that you should train yourselves.

The River Ganges

“Suppose, monks, a person were to come holding a burning grass-torch, and he were to say: “With this burning grass-torch I shall set fire to and scorch this river Ganges.” What do you think, monks, could that person set fire to and scorch the river Ganges with a grass-torch?”

“No, indeed not, most venerable sir.”

“And why not?”

“Because, most venerable sir, the river Ganges is deep and without measure. It is not possible to set fire to and scorch the river Ganges with a burning grass-torch. On the contrary, that person will only reap weariness and frustration.”

“In the same way, monks, others may use these five modes of speech when speaking to you — speech that is timely or untimely, true or false, gentle or harsh, with a good or a harmful motive, and with a loving heart or hostility. In this way, monks, you should train yourselves:
“Neither shall our minds be affected by this, nor for this matter shall we give vent to evil words, but we shall remain full of concern and pity, with a mind of love, and we shall not give in to hatred. On the contrary, we shall live projecting thoughts of universal love to that very person, making him as well as the whole world the object of our thoughts of universal love — thoughts that have grown great, exalted and measureless. We shall dwell radiating these thoughts which are void of hostility and ill will.”
It is in this way, monks, that you should train yourselves.

The Catskin Bag

“Suppose, monks, there was a supple and silky leather bag made of catskin that had been beaten, tanned, cured and fully processed, and made completely free of all creases and wrinkles. Then a man were to come with a stick or mallet and say, “With this stick or mallet I shall make creases and wrinkles in this supple and silky catskin bag which has been beaten, tanned, cured and fully processed, and made free of creases and wrinkles.” What do you think, monks, could that person with a stick or mallet make creases and wrinkles in that supple and silky catskin bag which has been beaten, tanned, cured and fully processed, and made free of creases and wrinkles?”

“No, indeed not, most venerable sir.”

“And why not?”

“Because, most venerable sir, that supple and silky leather bag made of catskin has been beaten, tanned, cured and fully processed, and made free of creases and wrinkles. It is not possible to make creases and wrinkles in it with a stick or mallet. On the contrary, he will only reap weariness and frustration.”

“In the same way, monks, others may use these five modes of speech when speaking to you — speech that is timely or untimely, true or false, gentle or harsh, with a good or a harmful motive, and with a loving heart or hostility. In this way, monks, you should train yourselves: “Neither shall our minds be affected by this, nor for this matter shall we give vent to evil words, but we shall remain full of concern and pity, with a mind of love, and we shall not give in to hatred. On the contrary, we shall live projecting thoughts of universal love to that very person, making him as well as the whole world the object of our thoughts of universal love — thoughts that have grown great, exalted and measureless. We shall dwell radiating these thoughts which are void of hostility and ill will.” It is in this way, monks, that you should train yourselves.

The Parable of the Saw

“Monks, even if bandits were to savagely sever you, limb by limb, with a double-handled saw, even then, whoever of you harbors ill will at heart would not be upholding my Teaching. Monks, even in such a situation you should train yourselves thus: “Neither shall our minds be affected by this, nor for this matter shall we give vent to evil words, but we shall remain full of concern and pity, with a mind of love, and we shall not give in to hatred. On the contrary, we shall live projecting thoughts of universal love to those very persons, making them as well as the whole world the object of our thoughts of universal love — thoughts that have grown great, exalted and measureless. We shall dwell radiating these thoughts which are void of hostility and ill will.” It is in this way, monks, that you should train yourselves.

“Monks, if you should keep this instruction on the Parable of the Saw constantly in mind, do you see any mode of speech, subtle or gross, that you could not endure?”

“No, Lord.”

“Therefore, monks, you should keep this instruction on the Parable of the Saw constantly in mind. That will conduce to your well-being and happiness for long indeed.”

That is what the Blessed One said. Delighted, those monks acclaimed the Teaching of the Blessed One.

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The Anapanasati Sutta (Mindfulness of Breathing)

Mindfulness of In-and -Out Breathing
The Four Frames of Reference
The Seven Factors of Awakening
Clear Knowing and Release

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying at Savatthi in the Eastern Monastery, the palace of Migara’s mother, together with many well-known elder disciples — with Ven. Sariputta, Ven. Maha Moggallana, Ven. Maha Kassapa, Ven. Maha Kaccayana, Ven. Maha Kotthita, Ven. Maha Kappina, Ven. Maha Cunda, Ven. Revata, Ven. Ananda, and other well-known elder disciples. On that occasion the elder monks were teaching and instructing. Some elder monks were teaching and instructing ten monks, some were teaching and instructing twenty monks, some were teaching and instructing thirty monks, some were teaching and instructing forty monks. The new monks, being taught and instructed by the elder monks, were discerning grand, successive distinctions.

Now on that occasion — the Uposatha day of the fifteenth, the full-moon night of the Pavarana ceremony — the Blessed One was seated in the open air surrounded by the community of monks. Surveying the silent community of monks, he addressed them:

“Monks, I am content with this practice. I am content at heart with this practice. So arouse even more intense persistence for the attaining of the as-yet-unattained, the reaching of the as-yet-unreached, the realization of the as-yet-unrealized. I will remain right here at Savatthi (for another month) through the “White water-lily” month, the fourth month of the rains.”

The monks in the countryside heard, “The Blessed One, they say, will remain right there at Savatthi through the White water-lily month, the fourth month of the rains.” So they left for Savatthi to see the Blessed One.

Then the elder monks taught and instructed even more intensely. Some elder monks were teaching and instructing ten monks, some were teaching and instructing twenty monks, some were teaching and instructing thirty monks, some were teaching and instructing forty monks. The new monks, being taught and instructed by the elder monks, were discerning grand, successive distinctions.

Now on that occasion — the Uposatha day of the fifteenth, the full-moon night of the White water-lily month, the fourth month of the rains — the Blessed One was seated in the open air surrounded by the community of monks. Surveying the silent community of monks, he addressed them:

“Monks, this assembly is free from idle chatter, devoid of idle chatter, and is established on pure heartwood: such is this community of monks, such is this assembly. The sort of assembly that is worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of respect, an incomparable field of merit for the world: such is this community of monks, such is this assembly. The sort of assembly to which a small gift, when given, becomes great, and a great gift greater: such is this community of monks, such is this assembly. The sort of assembly that it is rare to see in the world: such is this community of monks, such is this assembly — the sort of assembly that it would be worth traveling for leagues, taking along provisions, in order to see.

“In this community of monks there are monks who are Arhants, whose mental effluents are ended, who have reached fulfillment, done the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, totally destroyed the fetter of becoming (five higher fetters), and who are released through right gnosis: such are the monks in this community of monks.

“In this community of monks there are monks who, with the total ending of the first set of five fetters (five lower fetters), are due to be reborn (in the Pure Abodes), there to be totally unbound, never again to return from that world (anagamin): such are the monks in this community of monks.

“In this community of monks there are monks who, with the total ending of (the first) three fetters, and with the attenuation of passion, aversion, and  delusion, are once-returners (sakrdagamin), who — on returning only one more time to this world — will make an ending to stress: such are the monks in this community of monks.

“In this community of monks there are monks who, with the total ending of (the first) three fetters, are stream-winners (srotapanna), steadfast, never again destined for states of woe, headed for self-awakening: such are the monks in this community of monks.

“In this community of monks there are monks who remain devoted to the development of the four frames of reference…the four right exertions…the four bases of power…the five faculties…the five strengths…the seven factors of awakening…the noble eightfold path (thirty-seven factors of enlightenment): such are the monks in this community of monks.

“In this community of monks there are monks who remain devoted to the development of good will…compassion…appreciation…equanimity (Four Limitless States of Mind)…(the perception of the) foulness (of the body)(asubha)…the perception of inconstancy: such are the monks in this community of monks.

“In this community of monks there are monks who remain devoted to mindfulness of in-and -out breathing.

“Mindfulness of in-and -out breathing, when developed and pursued, is of great fruit, of great benefit. Mindfulness of in-and -out breathing, when developed and pursued, brings the four frames of reference to their culmination. The four frames of reference, when developed and pursued, bring the seven factors of awakening to their culmination. The seven factors of awakening, when developed and pursued, bring clear knowing and  release to their culmination.

Mindfulness of In-and -Out Breathing

“Now how is mindfulness of in-and -out breathing developed and pursued so as to bring the four frames of reference to their culmination?

“There is the case where a monk, having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building, sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect, and setting mindfulness to the fore. Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.

• Breathing in long, he discerns that he is breathing in long; or breathing out long, he discerns that he is breathing out long.
• Or breathing in short, he discerns that he is breathing in short; or breathing out short, he discerns that he is breathing out short.
• He trains himself to breathe in sensitive to the entire body, and to breathe out sensitive to the entire body.
• He trains himself to breathe in calming the bodily processes, and to breathe out calming the bodily processes.
• He trains himself to breathe in sensitive to rapture, and to breathe out sensitive to rapture.
• He trains himself to breathe in sensitive to pleasure, and to breathe out sensitive to pleasure.
• He trains himself to breathe in sensitive to mental processes, and to breathe out sensitive to mental processes.
• He trains himself to breathe in calming mental processes, and to breathe out calming mental processes.
• He trains himself to breathe in sensitive to the mind, and to breathe out sensitive to the mind.
• He trains himself to breathe in satisfying the mind, and to breathe out satisfying the mind.
• He trains himself to breathe in steadying the mind, and to breathe out steadying the mind.
• He trains himself to breathe in releasing the mind, and to breathe out releasing the mind.
• He trains himself to breathe in focusing on inconstancy, and to breathe out focusing on inconstancy.
• He trains himself to breathe in focusing on dispassion (literally, fading), and to breathe out focusing on dispassion.
• He trains himself to breathe in focusing on cessation, and to breathe out focusing on cessation.
• He trains himself to breathe in focusing on relinquishment, and to breathe out focusing on relinquishment.

The Four Frames of Reference

1) Now, on whatever occasion a monk breathing in long discerns that he is breathing in long; or breathing out long, discerns that he is breathing out long; or breathing in short, discerns that he is breathing in short; or breathing out short, discerns that he is breathing out short; trains himself to breathe in…and …out sensitive to the entire body; trains himself to breathe in…and …out calming the bodily processes: On that occasion the monk remains focused on the body in and  of itself — ardent, alert, and  mindful — subduing greed and  distress with reference to the world. I tell you, monks, that this — the in-and -out breath — is classed as a body among bodies, which is why the monk on that occasion remains focused on the body in and  of itself — ardent, alert, and  mindful — putting aside greed and  distress with reference to the world.

2) On whatever occasion a monk trains himself to breathe in…and …out sensitive to rapture; trains himself to breathe in…and …out sensitive to pleasure; trains himself to breathe in…and …out sensitive to mental processes; trains himself to breathe in…and …out calming mental processes: On that occasion the monk remains focused on feelings in and  of themselves — ardent, alert, and  mindful — subduing greed and  distress with reference to the world. I tell you, monks, that this — close attention to in-and -out breaths — is classed as a feeling among feelings, which is why the monk on that occasion remains focused on feelings in and  of themselves — ardent, alert, and  mindful — putting aside greed and  distress with reference to the world.

3) On whatever occasion a monk trains himself to breathe in…and …out sensitive to the mind; trains himself to breathe in…and …out satisfying the mind; trains himself to breathe in…and …out steadying the mind; trains himself to breathe in…and …out releasing the mind: On that occasion the monk remains focused on the mind in and  of itself — ardent, alert, and  mindful — subduing greed and  distress with reference to the world. I don’t say that there is mindfulness of in-and -out breathing in one of confused mindfulness and no alertness, which is why the monk on that occasion remains focused on the mind in and  of itself — ardent, alert, and  mindful — putting aside greed and  distress with reference to the world.

4) On whatever occasion a monk trains himself to breathe in…and …out focusing on inconstancy; trains himself to breathe in…and …out focusing on dispassion; trains himself to breathe in…and …out focusing on cessation; trains himself to breathe in…and …out focusing on relinquishment: On that occasion the monk remains focused on mental qualities in and  of themselves — ardent, alert, and  mindful — subduing greed and  distress with reference to the world. He who sees clearly with discernment the abandoning of greed and distress is one who oversees with equanimity, which is why the monk on that occasion remains focused on mental qualities in and of themselves — ardent, alert, and mindful — putting aside greed and  distress with reference to the world.

“This is how mindfulness of in-and -out breathing is developed and pursued so as to bring the four frames of reference to their culmination.

The Seven Factors Of Awakening (Branches of Enlightenment)

“And how are the four frames of reference developed and pursued so as to bring the seven factors of awakening to their culmination?

1) Mindfulness: On whatever occasion the monk remains focused on the body in and of itself — ardent, alert, and mindful — putting aside greed and distress with reference to the world, on that occasion his mindfulness is steady and without lapse. When his mindfulness is steady and without lapse, then mindfulness as a factor of awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

2) Wisdom: Remaining mindful in this way, he examines, analyzes, and comes to a comprehension of that quality with discernment. When he remains mindful in this way, examining, analyzing, and coming to a comprehension of that quality with discernment, then analysis of qualities as a factor of awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

3) Effort: In one who examines, analyzes, and comes to a comprehension of that quality with discernment, unflagging persistence is aroused. When unflagging persistence is aroused in one who examines, analyzes, and comes to a comprehension of that quality with discernment, then persistence as a factor of awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

4) Joy: In one whose persistence is aroused, a rapture not-of-the-flesh arises. When a rapture not-of-the-flesh arises in one whose persistence is aroused, then rapture as a factor of awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

5) Subtleness: For one who is enraptured, the body grows calm and the mind grows calm. When the body and mind of an enraptured monk grow calm, then serenity as a factor of awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

6) Concentration: For one who is at ease — his body calmed — the mind becomes concentrated. When the mind of one who is at ease — his body calmed — becomes concentrated, then concentration as a factor of awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

7) Equanimity: He oversees the mind thus concentrated with equanimity. When he oversees the mind thus concentrated with equanimity, equanimity as a factor of awakening becomes aroused. He develops it, and for him it goes to the culmination of its development.

(Similarly with the other three frames of reference: feelings, mind, and mental qualities.)

“This is how the four frames of reference are developed and pursued so as to bring the seven factors of awakening to their culmination.

Clear Knowing and  Release

“And how are the seven factors of awakening developed and pursued so as to bring clear knowing and release to their culmination? There is the case where a monk develops mindfulness as a factor of awakening dependent on seclusion…dispassion…cessation, resulting in relinquishment. He develops analysis of qualities as a factor of awakening…persistence as a factor of awakening…rapture as a factor of awakening…serenity as a factor of awakening…concentration as a factor of awakening…equanimity as a factor of awakening dependent on seclusion…dispassion…cessation, resulting in relinquishment.

“This is how the seven factors of awakening, when developed and pursued, bring clear knowing and release to their culmination.”

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the monks delighted in the Blessed One’s words.

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Anatta-lakkhana Sutta, The Discourse on the Not-self Characteristic
(Translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu)

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying at Varanasi in the Game Refuge (Deer Park) at Isipatana (Sarnath). There he addressed the group of five monks:

“Form, monks, is not self. If form were the self, this form would not lend itself to dis-ease. It would be possible (to say) with regard to form, “Let this form be thus. Let this form not be thus.” But precisely because form is not self, form lends itself to dis-ease. And it is not possible (to say) with regard to form, “Let this form be thus. Let this form not be thus.”

“Feeling is not self…

“Perception is not self…

“(Mental) fabrications are not self…

“Consciousness is not self. If consciousness were the self, this consciousness would not lend itself to dis-ease. It would be possible (to say) with regard to consciousness, “Let my consciousness be thus. Let my consciousness not be thus.” But precisely because consciousness is not self, consciousness lends itself to dis-ease. And it is not possible (to say) with regard to consciousness, “Let my consciousness be thus. Let my consciousness not be thus.”

“What do you think, monks — Is form constant or inconstant?”

“Inconstant, lord.”

“And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?”

“Stressful, lord.”

“And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: “This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am”?”

“No, lord.”

“…Is feeling constant or inconstant?”

“Inconstant, lord.”…

“…Is perception constant or inconstant?”

“Inconstant, lord.”…

“…Are fabrications constant or inconstant?”

“Inconstant, lord.”…

“What do you think, monks — Is consciousness constant or inconstant?”

“Inconstant, lord.”

“And is that which is inconstant easeful or stressful?”

“Stressful, lord.”

“And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: “This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am”?”

“No, lord.”

“Thus, monks, any body whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every body is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: “This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.”

“Any feeling whatsoever…

“Any perception whatsoever…

“Any fabrications whatsoever…

“Any consciousness whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every consciousness is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: “This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.”

“Seeing thus, the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones grows disenchanted with the body, disenchanted with feeling, disenchanted with perception, disenchanted with fabrications, disenchanted with consciousness. Disenchanted, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion, he is fully released. With full release, there is the knowledge, “Fully released.” He discerns that “Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.””

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, the group of five monks delighted at his words. And while this explanation was being given, the hearts of the group of five monks, through not clinging (not being sustained), were fully released from fermentation/effluents.

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I hope that these teachings (Dharma) will inspire you to meditate every day.

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