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Helpful Perceptions

Helpful Perceptions

Perception of the inauspicious (asubha)

Perception of bones (aṭṭhika)
Perception of larva (pulavaka)
Perception of mal-coloration (vinīlaka)
Perception of spongiformity (vicchiddaka)
Perception of swelling (uddhumātaka)

Perception of the body encased by skin as filled from the top of the tips of the hairs of the head above to the bottom of the soles of the feet below with diverse sorts of putrid filth, thinking: "in this body hair of the head, body hair, nails, teeth, skin, meat, sinews, bones, marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, innerds, intestines, stomach, excrement, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, wax, spit, snot, synovial fluid, urine and brain.

Perception of danger (ādīnava)

Perception of death (maraṇa)

'This body is the source of much pain and danger; for all sorts of afflictions arise in this body, that is, eye-disease, inner ear-disease, nose-disease, tongue-disease, body-disease, head-disease, outer ear-disease, mouth-disease, tooth-disease, cough, asthma, catarrh, pyrexia, fever, stomachache, fainting, dysentery, gripes, cholera, leprosy, boils, eczema, tuberculosis, epilepsy, ringworm, itch, scab, chickenpox, scabies, hemorrhage, diabetes, hemorrhoids, cancer, fistula; illnesses originating from bile, phlegm, wind, or their combination; illnesses produced by change of climate; illnesses produced by careless behavior; illnesses produced by assault; or illnesses produced as the result of kamma; and cold, heat, hunger, thirst, excretion, and urination.' — Bhk. Bodhi AN 10.60

Perception of disinclination for (because of the disgusting nature of) food (āhāre paṭikakūla)

Perception of change (impermanance, discontinuity) (anicca)

Perception of discontinuity in all the own-made (sabba-saŋkhāresu anicca)
Perception of the pain of discontinuity (anicce dukkha)

Body changes, sense-experiences change, perceptions change, what is own-made changes, consciousness changes.

Perception of non-self (anatta)

Perception of non-self in pain (dukkhe anatta)

The eye is not self, visual objects are not self; the ear is not self, sounds are not self, the nose is not self, scents are not self; the tongue is not self, tastes are not self; the body is not self, touches are not self; the mind is not self, mental objects are not self. That which is painful is not logically to be called the self, for if it were the self, it could be controlled by the self and the self would not have pain.

Perception of displeasure with all the world (sabbaloke anabhirata)

There is not anything, anywhere in any way that is for me.

Perception of letting go (pahāna)

Letting go of thoughts of sensual pleasure, deviance, violence and whatever else is an unskillful thought.

Perception of dispassion (virāga)

Having the perception:
'This is it!
This is the culmination!
That is, the calming of all own-making,
the resolution of all involvements,
the withering away of thirst,
dispassion,
extinction,
Nibbāna.'

Perception of ending (nirodha)

Having the perception:
'This is it!
This is the culmination!
That is, the calming of all own-making,
the resolution of all involvements,
the withering away of thirst,
dispassion,
extinction,
Nibbāna.'

Helpful for Attaining These Perceptions

Here beggars, a beggar
having gotten himself off to the forest
or to the root of some tree,
or to some empty hut,
and having taken up his seat there
sitting down,
setting the body upright,
legs bent-across-lapwise,
minding around the mouth,
just so he recollects inspiration,
just so he recollects expiration.

If he inspires deeply, he knows: 'I am inspiring deeply.'
If he breaths out deeply, he knows: 'I am expiring deeply.'

If he inspires shallowly, he knows: 'I am inspiring shallowly.'
If he exspires shallowly, he knows: 'I am breathing out shallowly.'

'Reflecting on the totality of bodily experience I will inspire,' this is the way he trains.
'Reflecting on the totality of bodily experience, I will expire,' this is the way he trains.

'Pacifying own-body-making, I will inspire,' this is the way he trains.
'Pacifying own-body-making, I will expire,' this is the way he trains.

'Observing enthusiasm, I will inspire,' this is the way he trains.
'Reflecting on enthusiasm, I will expire,' this is the way he trains.

'Observing pleasure, I will inspire,' this is the way he trains.
'Observing pleasure, I will expire,' this is the way he trains.

'Reflecting on the own-making of the heart, I will inspire,' this is the way he trains.
'Reflecting on the own-making of the heart, I will expire,' this is the way he trains.

'Pacifying the own-making of the heart, I will inspire,' this is the way he trains.
'Pacifying the own-making of the heart, I will expire,' this is the way he trains.

'Reflecting on the heart, I will inspire,' this is the way he trains.
'Reflecting on the heart, I will expire,' this is the way he trains.

'Abundantly content in heart, I will inspire,' this is the way he trains.
'Abundantly content in heart, I will expire,' this is the way he trains.

'Composing the heart, I will inspire,' this is the way he trains.
'Composing the heart, I will expire,' this is the way he trains.

'Liberating the heart, I will inspire,' this is the way he trains.
'Liberating the heart, I will expire,' this is the way he trains.

'On the look-out for inconsistency, I will inspire,' this is the way he trains.
'On the look-out for inconsistency, I will expire,' this is the way he trains.

'On the look-out for the end of lust, I will inspire,' this is the way he trains.
'On the look-out for the end of lust, I will expire,' this is the way he trains.

'On the look-out for ending, I will inspire,' this is the way he trains.
'On the look-out for ending, I will expire,' this is the way he trains.

'On the look-out for opportunities to let go, I will inspire,' this is the way he trains.
'On the look-out for opportunities to let go, I will expire,' this is the way he trains.

Olds, SN 5.54.1

 


 

References:

AN 10.56
the M. Olds translation Buddha reveals ten perceptions which are very helpful to seekers.
AN 10.57
the M. Olds translation The Buddha reveals ten perceptions which are very helpful to seekers.
AN 10.60 The Buddha gives definitions for 'The Ten Perceptions': The idea of discontinuity, of not-self, of the foul, of disadvantages, letting go, dispassion, ending, world-wearyness, of discontinuity in the own-made, of recollection of respriration. In this sutta is a case of 'curing' by way of hearing the Dhamma. Also in this sutta is found a version of what would later become the Satipatthana method.
In this sutta Bhk. Bodhi translates 'sankhara' both as 'conditioned phenomena' and as 'activities'. The first is simply incorrect (all own-made phenomena are impermanent, but not all conditioned phenomena are impermanent: Nibbāna is conditioned), the second is one-sided and too narrow, the two together are confusing. For the issues raised by the mistranslation of this term see the article: 'Is Nibbāna Conditioned?'
AN 5.61
the M. Olds translation, Five things which if they can be well perceived are very helpful in attaining the deathless.
AN 5.62
the M. Olds translation, Five things which if they can be well perceived are very helpful in attaining the deathless.

 


Helpful Perceptions

Perception of transience,
perception of non-self,
perception of impurity,
perception of death,
perception of disadvantage,
perception of the disgusting nature of food,
perceiving nothing to delight in in all the world.

Saññā. Once knowing. Perception. Not, as per Hare, 'thought'. The idea is the perceiving of impurity, etc., not the thought of impurity, etc. It makes all the difference.


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