28 Apr
Posted in: Practice, Retreats
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What It Feels Like

In guiding us through the 4th foundation of Mindfulness (often translated — somewhat opaquely — as “investigation of mind objects”) Ven. Analayo quoted a set of similes the Buddha used to illustrate how it feels when each of the classic “hindrances” is not present. These hindrances are: Craving, Anger, Sloth/Torpor (sluggishness), Restlessness/Worry (agitation), and Doubt. What they hinder is: Peace.

Not craving is like getting out of debt.
Not being angry is like recovering from an illness.
Not feeling sluggishness is like getting out of jail.
Not feeling agitated is like being freed from slavery.
Not being in doubt is like arriving safely after a dangerous journey.

I love these similes because instead of suggesting that craving, anger, etc. are somehow failings on my part that need to be eradicated…..they’re just unpleasant, painful, limiting states of mind that it would be a joy to be free of!

The instruction, then, is not to try to force myself not to crave something, or get angry, etc., but just to notice whenever I’m NOT craving or angry or sluggish, etc.….and then to enjoy the feeling of being FREE!!!

How liberating.

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