mindfulness of the body
The questions that follow [in Visions of Knowledge] advocate no particular view. Their assumptions are open to being challenged; their conclusions should be considered provisional. If we ask in ways that are incisive and clear, our questions do not have to lead to answers. In asking openly, we create support for knowledge, and then our inquiry cannot fail.” – Tarthang Tulku, Visions of Knowledge
Openness is a kind of knowing upon which our inquiry can depend. Indeed, openness intrinsically has a fine quality of inquiry. And, the need for openness is applicable, too, when we make statements (as distinct from questions, mentioned in this quote). If we are dwelling openly, our statements – negative or affirmative – can act as prompts for further inquiry; even if that inquiry is only the act of appreciation. Open interchange carries a conversation forward (as the combination of ‘inter-’ and ‘change’ implies).
As a writer of Dharma, I dance between saying what I know to be so and the openness that in itself is not sayable. Although the openness is always present, I have to zig-zag. I am mindful of not turning the saying into some kind of fixed knowledge – which is to create fictions in the service of my self-image. The awareness that this living is open by nature, helps me avoid being dogmatic. (Sometimes I hear the student come into my voice, and I know to pause.)
The dilemma of such knowing is nicely put by the Nikāya Buddha (in the Kālakarāma Sutta): “All the things that people and gods know, I know too. But I don’t conceive of any thing in or behind what is experienced.” (Don’t quote it. This is a summary for our specific purpose; yet, the gist is accurate.) He follows this up with: “This snag I beheld, long ago, upon which humankind is hooked, is impaled, which is: ‘I know, I see, ‘tis truly so.’” How will we live, in ordinary situations, and not be run by our opinions, beliefs, principles, or tenets; that is, by our ‘dogmas’?
If such a radical change of heart is to be optimally secured in humanity – safely come upon, and yet remain fresh in its transformative freedom – whatever is claimed to be ‘true’ or ‘known’ can’t be imposed from without; not by gods, nor culture. For such a change to be a “turning-about in the deepest seat of consciousness” (Lankavatara Sutra), it has to come from directly knowing our experience.
When our senses are not grasped at – and we thoroughly let them be in their own reach and range – there’s a fundamental revolution in knowing, where even to speak of separate senses is not correct. This realization is the fruit of openness. Openness is the way and the fruit. Clearly, this kind of self-knowledge is radically intimate. It’s an open connection to a basic quality of life which is ‘already-always’ available.
(By the way, while reading “seat of consciousness,” how did you register the word ‘seat,’ in yourself, as you read? Did you vaguely imagine it as something static, fixed, or located; as somewhat thing-ish? A solid base? That would be natural, wouldn’t it, to give it spaciality? However, we want to leave such terms open to a process-use, which won’t establish any such ‘seat’ as actually findable. The word ‘seat,’ here, has to mean something active – even vividly living – right? Let’s not freeze the image; because, it points to experience.)
So, what exactly are we directly knowing, such that our fixities – for instance, our constructions: I am here, something is there, and there’s a ‘between’ – dissolve? Traditionally, the Nikāya Buddha named this knowledge that we need to develop as ‘the six’: seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, and cognizing (which has usually been interpreted as knowing mental events). It was, for him, comprehensive:
“What is the All?” he said. “Simply, it’s: the eye & forms, ear & sounds, nose & smells, tongue & tastes, body & tactile sensations, intellect & mental content.”
I’ve expanded them because modern knowledge includes a lot of subtleties. In a recent post, I spoke of them as ‘the eight,’ but now I’m condensing them into seven – “seven domains of sensory life.” The names, by which I hope to encompass all that we currently designate as knowable are: seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, interoception, and symbolizing.
The purpose of the lists is not merely to clarify the known for scientific progress (not in itself an unworthy purpose, of course) but in the Buddhist tradition it has always been for direct self-knowledge. So, next I’ll unpack the ancestral territory that we have available for deepening the inquiry into death, these seven domains of sense. The takeaway from the above paragraphs, though, is to be wary, during this analysis, of foreclosing our inquiry by assuming that our names, and the forms we discern, are the reality of the body. The body doesn’t actually have parts or opposites. It is an open cycle functioning, so our thinking about the body with its body-environment interaction via the linguistic gestures of ‘parts,’ ‘categories’ and other names, is meant to point to movements of an undivided process, an undivided multiplicity.
Translated from the Anguttara Nikaya; from the Book of the Ones, by Christopher J. Ash
“Practitioners, one does not enjoy the deathless who doesn’t enjoy mindfulness directed to the body. One enjoys the deathless who enjoys mindfulness directed to the body. The deathless has been enjoyed, by those who have enjoyed mindfulness directed to the body.
“Practitioners, one has fallen away from the deathless who has fallen away from mindfulness directed to the body. One hasn’t fallen away from the deathless who hasn’t fallen away from mindfulness directed to the body. One has neglected the deathless who has neglected mindfulness directed to the body. One is bent on the deathless who is bent on mindfulness directed to the body.
“Practitioners, one is heedless about the deathless who is heedless about mindfulness directed to the body. One is heedful of the deathless who is heedful of mindfulness directed to the body. One has forgotten the deathless who has forgotten mindfulness directed to the body. One hasn’t forgotten the deathless who hasn’t forgotten mindfulness directed to the body.
“Practitioners, one hasn’t resorted to, developed and seriously taken up the deathless who hasn’t resorted to, developed and seriously taken up mindfulness directed to the body. One has resorted to, developed, and seriously taken up the deathless who has resorted to, developed, and seriously taken up mindfulness directed to the body.
“Practitioners, one hasn’t recognized, fully comprehended, and realised the deathless who hasn’t recognized, fully comprehended, and realised mindfulness directed to the body. One has recognized, fully comprehended, and realised the deathless who has recognized, fully comprehended and realised mindfulness directed to the body.”
I do understand that tracking my breathing will not help, altogether, at the very moment of death. I am confident that when awareness of breathing stops, and when breathing itself stops, then there’s more of dying to experience, thereafter, on the subtler planes. So a deeper training in Presence is necessary. (Try the Dissolution of the Elements practice, to see how this can be).
Nevertheless, I have learnt much from my breathing. I’ve learned, for example, that any kind of body – the gross body, the feeling body, or the subtle energy body – is a self-organising process within a larger mysterious process, which we call life. Every body is of that larger life.
Grounding myself in the body, sensing into its condition in all its situations, helps me realize what the Japanese Focusing trainer Akira Ikemi means, when he talks about com-bodying, rather than em-bodying. In a paper (Sunflowers, Sardines and Responsive Combodying: Three Perspectives on Embodiment) Dr. Ikemi writes:
“The English word ‘embodiment’ may have a dualistic connotation originating in Western culture. An exact Japanese translation of this word does not exist. The word may have come from a cultural background where the spirit was assumed to be incarnated or ‘embodied’, encapsulated in our physical bodies. The prefix ‘em-’ denotes a ‘putting into’. Thus far, this paper has described a sort of ‘com-bodiment’, where the body points beyond itself ‘altogether with’ (com-) the universe. The body is seen as a processing-generating itself with the whole universe at every moment of its living. This view of the body will be referred to as ‘combodying’.”
Ikemi advocates “seeing bodily living as generating its own living together with the universe, and emphasizes the person’s reflexive awareness with which one can make sense of, and change one’s combodied living.”
My Oxford English Dictionary says of ‘com-‘: “The sense is ‘together, together with, in combination or union’, also ‘altogether, completely’, and hence intensive.”
The way that I think of it is, that each body is made up of all which is not the body. Consider what the gross body would be, without its direct participation right now in the biosphere’s carbon cycle, its nitrogen cycle, and its water cycle.
Or, what would it be without the oxygen generated by the forests of the Amazon Basin? There is no body apart from gravity (even for astronauts), or apart from the unseeable electro-magnetic and nuclear forces. Your body includes all that.
Breathing is always of the nature of inter-being. The body is not one thing, and the environment another. They are in each other. Right now, feel into your body, and say gently to it, “I understand that you are a part of the water cycle.” See how the body responds to that acknowledgement. See how it shifts your sense of yourself, to have the bodily feel of your unity with life.
If we are to save ourselves, as a species, and to flourish with our fellow species on this little blue planet, we need to explore this, to know intimately, to feel it intensely – the nature of this body as always together-with.
We don’t live in our bodies, but in our thoughts. Our bodies need re-minding. Did you know that the Buddhist word for ‘mindfulness’ – sati – means ‘remembering’? Buddhist ‘mindfulness’ includes a remembering that the body is already-always a ‘minded’ body; that it is a body-mind, is a bodily being-together-with-all.
So, what makes death such a big deal? Is it not because we cling to encultured patterns of ‘body’? The various kinds of bodies, however – the gross, feeling and subtle bodies – are each patterns of experiencing at differing levels of subtlety, a fact which only mindfulness can reveal, illumining the body at ever more and more subtle levels.
An important perspective on this is that: As I come to know myself in this way, my perspective on death changes. What does death mean, at the different levels of experiencing ‘body’? And, what is death, then, if it changes from level to level?
“In breathing, oxygen enters the bloodstream-environment and goes all the way into the cells. The body is in the environment but the environment is also in the body, and is the body.” – Eugene T. Gendlin, A Process Model
Do we know well what dies? The day the doctor told me that I had cancer, it was interesting to experience my feelings. My partner and I were talking, as she entered the freeway, going back home to the mountains. She asked me how I was with this, the fact that my life was in danger.
I checked inwardly, in the middle of my body, and a meaning crystalized out of the whole feel of the situation. It was this: my biospheric body – the very large natural body of planetary life which I participate in – was in a lot more trouble than my prostate was. On my part: yes, at that point there was cancer in my physical body, but my energy body was relatively peaceful.
However, I felt a big sorrow that this whole planet is going through dramatic changes, and species deaths are happening at a rate not previously known in human history. Perhaps my cancer was a simply symptom of that big change.
I live with my several bodies, three of which are: the gross body, feeling body, and subtle body. And, isn’t the word ‘death’ mostly associated with the thought of some kind of a body?
For most people, death is usually associated with the gross body (that is, a physical body). The odd thing, though, is that we are divorced from our physical existence. Are we really putting our heart into living as bodies?
I realised even in my twenties, that I was living some distance from my body; or, at least, I was living in the very tiny portion of it which was above my shoulders. In the story A Painful Case in the Dubliners, James Joyce wrote of Mr Duffy, who “lived at a little distance from his body, regarding his own acts with doubtful side-glasses.” (I will later explore the inner sub-personality we could call the ‘by-stander’ self).
So, what is this body which I am – from the inside – that is knowable only in this moment’s experiencing? Can I know what death is, if I don’t know the many levels of this body’s life, intimately? That takes presence.
When twenty years after my discovery of mindfulness practice, I faced up to my mind’s tendency to ramble all over the place, lost in thought night and day; so, I decided to follow my breathing. This was in 1995.
Why did it take so long? One day in the early nineties a teacher said to me, “You know, sometimes I think we fool ourselves that we are aware – when actually, we are only thinking Dharma thoughts.” I realised he was right, at least where I was concerned. The fact that I was rambling all day was obscured by the nobility of the topics of my thought!
My thinking gave me the false impression that I was engaged with life, while in fact I had so much more depth to discover. So, from then, I began to keep in contact with my breathing. It led to being able to distinguish, in reality, the difference between being present and thinking I am present.
And, only this way, in contact with my body, can I learn about all the ways in which I set up my ego-centre and ego-boundaries. Knowing how we create boundaries is a powerful part of understanding how we obfuscate the meaning of ‘death.’ (That is, we deprive death of light or brightness.)
It’s one of the toughest things about the human mind, that we regularly think, say and do on the basis of motivations that are unconscious to us. In the classic Buddhist approach a typical scenario goes something like this: I encounter a situation – let’s say, it’s illness. And, just when my body most needs my positivity (which would support my immune system, and help me find a solution), instead I am angry that I am ill. I despair that I am ill. Or, I see it as proof that I’m weak, useless, and ill-fated. Whatever – I, the human being, add unnecessary suffering to the suffering that I already have. Our personalities – especially our inner judge – might think that it is somehow doing us good, dumping all this negativity on ourselves, but it’s just dividing us. It’s, in early Buddhist terms, just ‘papañca,’ not wisdom. Freedom is nippapañca, the absence of reactivity. That’s synonymous with nibbana.
My analysis of the root meaning of the word papañca, is that it has two aspects. One is ‘conceptual proliferation.’ The other is ‘manifoldness.’ At this time, I’ll talk about the proliferation aspect, the ‘spinning out.’ It works, like this: I’m in trouble. That is, the basic trouble is that I’m unwell. At this stage, it’s just ‘body trouble.’ In reaction to this, though, I spin out with lots of irrelevant emotionality. I don’t recognise it as that. I think I’m talking truth. At this stage, I’m unconscious of what I’m doing, though, because I’m identified with a pattern of resistance to my ill health. “I shouldn’t be ill.” “I never used to be ill.” “What will others think of me.” “My partner will hate this – I’m ill again.” “My mother will criticize me, about my diet.” We might fall into “if only” mind. “If only I wasn’t ill! Now I can’t go to the class tomorrow! It’s not fair.” “If only I didn’t have this, I could be the best in the state!” “I could be…”
In this respect, it’s easy to see that papañca is reactivity. And, it thrives on our being unconscious of the delusion aspect of what we’re thinking. It’s irrelevant to the task at hand – which is to find the next step to take care of my health; or, if I’ve already done what I can, to hold my condition in compassionate awareness. Why compassionate awareness? Because on the one hand, that is healthier – that’s one thing, But, also because to be compassionate with difficulties is to optimise a pleasant in-dwelling. In other words, if the body is in trouble, why throw inner peace and insight out the window? It’s a waste of the precious energy I have available.
So, in reactivity I’m simply thirsting for things to be some other way, compared to my present functioning of my five sentient processes (form, feeling-tones, perceptions, fashioning factors, and consciousness) – some other way that I think they could be or should be. This is based on comparison to something that’s already in the library – the known. If I actually have the present moment’s fresh reality – an ill body in this precious now – I might have to face not knowing. We need the not knowing to discover our next step. However, in reactivity, papañca obscures my most precious asset – my capacity of grounding my mind in freshly unfolding actual experience.
So, what do we do, given that this is rolling on unconsciously, and seemingly relentlessly? Be assured, a gap will come, and when it comes, there’ll be a way to weaken the pattern. At some stage, the process of reactivity exhausts its energy. It’s like an arrow fired into the air. It has momentum for a while, but sooner or l ater, it exhausts the energy that it had in the beginning, and it falls to the earth. A gap comes in our reactivity, a pause, and we wake up: “Oh, dear. What’s giving me more trouble, right now? My illness or my reactivity?” This pause comes sooner, more often, and for longer, the more we practise mindfulness and/or Focusing. And, in the gap we can recollect our deeper and truer purposes, which gives us extra strength in the gap. Am I here to continue the species habit, or to contribute fresh ways to be in the world?
Now, here’s the wonderful thing: the body is the already on-going process, when a gap in a non-grounded process like papañca occurs. That is, the body is the always on-going process, and when the gap occurs, you can come back to the body, and feel the effects in the body, and find the way forward. Papañca is just repetitive, isn’t it? One feels trapped by it.
However, there in the gap, we can return to mindfulness of the body, right there, and recollect our skilful means. I can notice my breathing. Include my breathing in my awareness, even if it’s part of the illness. I breathe with the whole body; or, be aware of the whole body. Then I can name what’s been going on, and that starts a different relationship with papañca. Instead of being identified with it, it can be: “Oh, hello, Papañca. Fancy seeing you, here.”
When there is a division between the observer and the observed there is conflict but when the observer is the observed there is no control, no suppression. The self comes to an end. Duality comes to an end. Conflict comes to an end.
This is the greatest meditation to come upon this extraordinary thing for the mind to discover for itself: the observer is the observed.
– Jiddu Krishnamurti, 2nd Public Dialogue, Brockwood Park, England, 6th Sept. 1973
We are talking, presently, about the very core of the ego-system, the false core self (attan). Another way to talk about our disconnection from healthy aloneness (and, so, from the thought and experience of death and dying) is to think of the role of the ‘bystander’ or ‘observer’ self.
Because we take a position of ‘me’ and ‘mine’ on our five sentient processes – basically acquiring them for the agendas of the fictional versions of a person – then we lose our vitality, and an access to a life in which death is an integrated part. The Bystander plays a role in this.
(Here, in the use of the word ‘bystander,’ I’m not talking about the same phrase in present-day psychology, used when discussing the ‘bystander effect.’ That describes the apathetic response of urban people, when a stranger is being attacked, or in some other trouble.) I’m speaking, here, of an idea that was floated by Tarthang Tulku in his book, Love of Knowledge, published in 1987. I think, though, if researchers were to consider what Tarthang Tulku says about the ‘bystander’ in our process, they’d have a valuable perspective on the ‘bystander effect.’ We are, instead, speaking of the sense that there is an observer of your inner life, a monitor, who stands back and sees from an indefinable region in yourself.)
It is saṅkhāra (the fashioning tendency) which creates the ‘second,’ the inner-companion self. As I see it, when we create ‘the second,’ the sense of an inner companion to whom we are talking, in here, we have a bystander self. With it, there arises the subject-object split. With it, there arises the sense of being a locatable knower (a self who knows, who is at the centre). The bystander self remains thirsty for self-knowledge, of course, because it can’t see itself. The seeking is consciousness (viññāṇa). This craves to know itself, and every other person appears to it as an opportunity to know itself.
It appears to each of us, in the default conventional consciousness of our culture, that the knower is somewhere inside us, ‘over here’ at a metaphysical distance from the objects of knowledge ‘over there.’ Even thought itself appears as an object perceived as separate from the knowing bystander self.
“Positions and conditions are the outcome of the model that assigns knowing to a self. In this model, knowledge results from the projection of a knowing capacity out into an unknown world. The self appears as separate from the events it knows – a ‘bystander’ that extracts knowledge from experience without becoming directly ‘involved’ in experience. The personas of the self as ‘perceiver’, ‘owner’, and ‘narrator’… can all be understood as aspects of this ‘bystander-self’. The term ‘bystander’ emphasizes the element of ‘positioning’ that is inherent in the activity of knowing that the ‘bystander’ carries out.
The ‘bystander’ protects its own territory and position. It stands back, not embracing or embodying what time presents, asserting its independence from the world that is known. In its knowing of experience, it remains opposed to what it knows, even though it also claims ownership over it.”
– Tarthang Tulku, Love of Knowledge
In the Buddhist text called the Itivuttaka, there is a sutta called the Fetter of Thirst Sutta (Tanhāsamyojana). In it, the Nikāya Buddha says (my translation):
“Practitioners, I don’t perceive any single fetter by which beings are so bound and [which keeps them] running on and and on in samsāra for so long a time, other than the fetter of craving. It is certainly through the fetter of craving that beings are tied to, and wander in, the rounds of samsāra for a long time.”
A person with craving for a companion (Taṇhādutiyo puriso)
wanders on the long journey of samsāra;
And, they cannot go beyond it,
in this realm, or any other.
Having understood this danger –
that craving gives rise to dukkha –
It’ would be best a practitioner goes about mindfully,
free from craving, without grasping.
The most difficult craving to see is the craving to know ourselves by having ourselves reflected by the lives others. All the relationship drama seems, to the bystander (the inner observer), so truly genuine and necessary. Because of this, not being understood (seen) by the others can bring about the most volatile, hurt or angry states. The bystander maintains these patterns of expectation. The ‘bystander’ self doesn’t include itself in its observations, of course. It believes itself to be outside of the flow of time. It owns the flow. You can get how hidden this must remain, and why it is not unearthed easily. If, through mindfulness, one sees that this bystander is actually a part of the flow of what it observes, such seeing brings a revolution. And, it brings value beyond measure.
Better than one hundred years of living and not seeing the deathless dimension
is one day of living and seeing the deathless dimension.
– Dhammapada, verse 114. Translated Christopher J. Ash
Kent: He doesn’t want to be alone. Being alone is really scary. If someone wants him, then he doesn’t feel all alone.
[Here we spent some time receiving the feelings and beliefs of the ‘child’ pattern. Uppermost were the feelings of abandonment, and of having no value. This, again, is an example of an erroneous concept; that is, that Kent’s well-being is dependent on how a childhood pattern (an ‘inner child’) versions him. Most people are victims of their unawareness of the power of such versions of themselves.
Then his inquiry shifted to a more existential level; that is, the child’s belief was that if he had ‘someone else’ – or even just had a longing for someone else – that would make him feel like he is a separate someone, “in here looking out.” (Delight, self-bias and dualistic perception.) Again, staying with his changes with kind, curious acceptance meant that the longing was able to move in him, and to change.
Notice that we can cling to the experience of having a longing. We cling for what such a desire can do for our ego functioning. That we are longing can feel pleasant, . This way, the longing plays a role in keeping ego structures in place. During inquiry, such longings can play the part of fending off the feeling of dying, which comes with one’s ego structures dissolving.
Now, in Kent’s session, a shift happened that was dramatic.]
Kent: He doesn’t want to be alone.
Christopher: He’s scared and alone.
Kent: Right. (Suddenly he draws a deep breath). Ooh! Holy cow! Oh, my God, that’s scary.
Kent: He feels he’s going to disappear!
[Definitely an erroneous concept, when it’s applied to the person, Kent. The person easily thinks that he’s going to disappear, at this point, if he is identified with the child.]
Christopher: Oh, I see. Interesting. Can you say more?
Kent: Well, if mum’s not there… then, who is he here, in here? (He has a intake of breath, and looks a little like he’s rising up the back of his chair.)
[Notice the strength, now, of the wilfulness, the desiring, and the wish to move away from unpleasant experiences (like and disliking); putting the person in conflict with himself and others.]
Christopher: So, to me, he looks like he’s moving away from something?
Kent: Yes, away from an engulfing emptiness; but the trouble is, the emptiness seems to be everywhere.
Christopher: So, ask him: “What’s so bad about the emptiness?”
Kent: Annihilation. He’ll disappear altogether.
Christopher: Oh, no wonder he is frightened, if that’s what he thinks. Let him know you can hear what he says.
(Wait for that step to happen.) Do you have a feel for which part of the body resonates with this feeling of empty everywhere?
[I invite him to bring his body into awareness – keeping him com-bodied (old term: embodied), so that mindfulness can happen. In this section we have a few examples of dichotomous thinking, of dualistic perception. For example, when Kent identified with the child processes, he is thinking about his life in terms of ‘I exist now’ and ‘I won’t exist in the next moment.’ This is a primary dualistic category: exist/not-exist. There is ‘something’ and ‘nothing,’ and these appear to the non-investigating mind to be irreconcilable. That’s because this emptiness is deficient emptiness (a term Almaas uses). When true emptiness is recognised, it is liberating because it exceeds opposites.
The next moves require courage of Kent’s part, which he has developed through his mindfulness and meditation practice, over the preceding couple of years.]
Kent: Actually, it feels like it’s right down the central channel.
[A yogi’s term, roughly equivalent of down the core of his body.]
Christopher: Great. Can you be aware of your legs, your hands, and your breathing, and include that sense of an emptiness down the centre of you?
Kent: (Silent, while he does what I suggest.) Yes, it’s weird… I know I’m here, but I don’t feel like I exist.
Christopher: Sounds like there’s a lot of space.
Kent: (He looks surprised by the suggestion and takes time to investigate.) Nothing but space! That’s it!
Christopher: Again, you’re okay about being a person, here, right? Breathing in and out. There is this body?
Kent: Yes. That’s okay. And I can feel the power in the centre. But, where is my self?
Christopher: There’s you the person, Kent, sitting in the chair. And you’re experiencing a lot of spacious awareness. And take your time… notice that the space is sensitive space, right?
Kent: (Silence for a couple of minutes.) Yes, I think so. Do you mean, like… there’s this light everywhere?
Christopher: Yes, that’s it. It’s a kind of knowing, but its special quality is that it lacks location. You would normally think you see from it, but here there’s no from, right?
[The dualistic thinking that can arise, here, is that appearance and space should not be the same. We should, the ego thinks, be in a space where there is here, there and in-between. However, this is actual experience, experience in the wild – it’s not experience shaped by logic, which has opposites. I keep him body-near, because the body doesn’t have opposites.]
Kent: That’s it! It’s nowhere.
Christopher: And, everywhere. So, relax into that spacious clarity, and tell me what happens next. Surrender into it.
Kent: (Silent for several minutes, then a relieved sigh.) It’s like golden love.
Christopher: Really? Love has arisen. How lovely. (Laughs)
Kent: (Quietly weeps, in a gentle, relieved kind of way.) Yes. It’s so very… (inaudible).
Christopher: (After a time, not to rush…) Is the love host or guest?
Kent: It’s me. I’m the love. It’s pervading everywhere. There’s nothing but love.
Christopher: It’s the host. Spend some time letting your body have that, that’s for sure.
“All appearances are change.”
When ones sees this through wisdom,
Then one forgoes the unsatisfying.
This is the path of purity.
“All appearances are unsatisfying.”*
When ones sees this through wisdom,
Then one one forgoes the unsatisfying.
This is the path of purity.
“All things are without self-substance.”
When ones sees this through wisdom,
Then one one forgoes the unsatisfying.
This is the path of purity.
*compared to spiritual freedom (nibbāna).
– Dhammapada, verse 277-279. Translated Christopher J. Ash