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mindfulness as watchman or gatekeeper

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  • rett
    Hi Everyone, Some years ago someone explained to me a passage which I believe was in the Pali Canon where mindfulness is compared to a gatekeeper whose job is
    Message 1 of 9 , Jan 28, 2004
      Hi Everyone,

      Some years ago someone explained to me a passage which I believe was
      in the Pali Canon where mindfulness is compared to a gatekeeper whose
      job is to refuse entry to suspicious characters, and only allow
      trustworthy people to enter the town. In a similar way, mindfulness
      enables us to be watchful over our senses and not allow impressions
      to develop into harmful thoughts. I liked this simile very much. Does
      anyone know where this passage is located? I've been trying to find
      it without success. Thanks in advance for any assistance.

      best regards,

      /Rett
    • Michael Beisert
      Hello Rett, Maybe this is the one you are looking for: I have given you this simile, monk, to convey a message. The message is this: The fortress stands for
      Message 2 of 9 , Jan 28, 2004
        Hello Rett,

        Maybe this is the one you are looking for:

        "I have given you this simile, monk, to convey a message. The message is
        this: The fortress stands for this body -- composed of four elements, born
        of mother & father, nourished with rice & barley gruel, subject to constant
        rubbing & abrasion, to breaking & falling apart. The six gates stand for the
        six internal sense media. The gatekeeper stands for mindfulness. The swift
        pair of messengers stands for tranquillity (samatha) and insight
        (vipassana). The commander of the fortress stands for consciousness. The
        central square stands for the four great elements: the earth-property, the
        liquid-property, the fire-property, & the wind-property. The accurate report
        stands for Unbinding (nibbana). The route by which they had come stands for
        the noble eightfold path: right view, right resolve, right speech, right
        action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right
        concentration."

        http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/sutta/samyutta/sn35-204.html

        Metta
        Michael


        >From: rett <rett@...>
        >Reply-To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
        >To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
        >Subject: [Pali] mindfulness as watchman or gatekeeper
        >Date: Wed, 28 Jan 2004 12:46:02 +0100
        >
        >Hi Everyone,
        >
        >Some years ago someone explained to me a passage which I believe was
        >in the Pali Canon where mindfulness is compared to a gatekeeper whose
        >job is to refuse entry to suspicious characters, and only allow
        >trustworthy people to enter the town. In a similar way, mindfulness
        >enables us to be watchful over our senses and not allow impressions
        >to develop into harmful thoughts. I liked this simile very much. Does
        >anyone know where this passage is located? I've been trying to find
        >it without success. Thanks in advance for any assistance.
        >
        >best regards,
        >
        >/Rett

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      • Jim Anderson
        Hi Rett, The Pali word used in the Pali Canon for gatekeeper is dovaariko . I found a passage at A IV 110-111 in the Nagaropamasutta (AN XII.63) that seems to
        Message 3 of 9 , Jan 28, 2004
          Hi Rett,

          The Pali word used in the Pali Canon for gatekeeper is 'dovaariko'. I
          found a passage at A IV 110-111 in the Nagaropamasutta (AN XII.63)
          that seems to match what you're looking for.

          Jim

          > Hi Everyone,
          >
          > Some years ago someone explained to me a passage which I believe was
          > in the Pali Canon where mindfulness is compared to a gatekeeper
          whose
          > job is to refuse entry to suspicious characters, and only allow
          > trustworthy people to enter the town. In a similar way, mindfulness
          > enables us to be watchful over our senses and not allow impressions
          > to develop into harmful thoughts. I liked this simile very much.
          Does
          > anyone know where this passage is located? I've been trying to find
          > it without success. Thanks in advance for any assistance.
          >
          > best regards,
          >
          > /Rett
        • connie
          ... Hi Rett - Hope this is the one you re looking for. It starts at about the 5th paragraph of the Indriyasa.mvarasiila.m section of Vissudhimagga ch. 1 from
          Message 4 of 9 , Jan 28, 2004
            | Subject: mindfulness as watchman or gatekeeper
            |
            | Hi Everyone,
            |
            | Some years ago someone explained to me a passage which I believe was
            | in the Pali Canon where mindfulness is compared to a gatekeeper whose
            | job is to refuse entry to suspicious characters, and only allow
            | trustworthy people to enter the town. In a similar way, mindfulness
            | enables us to be watchful over our senses and not allow impressions
            | to develop into harmful thoughts. I liked this simile very much. Does
            | anyone know where this passage is located? I've been trying to find
            | it without success. Thanks in advance for any assistance.
            |
            | best regards,
            |
            | /Rett
            |

            Hi Rett -

            Hope this is the one you're looking for. It starts at about the 5th
            paragraph of the Indriyasa.mvarasiila.m section of Vissudhimagga ch. 1
            from the Tipitaka.org and second half of Nanamoli's translation, ch. 1,
            section 57.

            peace,
            connie


            Tatraapi neva bhava"ngasamaye, na aavajjanaadiina.m a~n~natarasamaye
            sa.mvaro vaa asa.mvaro vaa atthi. Javanakkha.ne pana sace dussiilya.m
            vaa mu.t.thasacca.m vaa a~n~naa.na.m vaa akkhanti vaa kosajja.m vaa
            uppajjati, asa.mvaro hoti. Eva.m honto pana so cakkhundriye asa.mvaroti
            vuccati. Kasmaa? Yasmaa tasmi.m sati dvaarampi agutta.m hoti,
            bhava"ngampi aavajjanaadiinipi viithicittaani Yathaa ki.m? Yathaa nagare
            catuusu dvaaresu asa.mvutesu ki~ncaapi
            antogharadvaarako.t.thakagabbhaadayo susa.mvutaa honti, tathaapi
            antonagare sabba.m bha.n.da.m arakkhita.m agopitameva hoti.
            Nagaradvaarena hi pavisitvaa coraa yadicchanti, ta.m kareyyu.m, evameva
            javane dussiilyaadiisu uppannesu tasmi.m asa.mvare sati dvaarampi
            agutta.m hoti, bhava"ngampi aavajjanaadiinipi viithicittaani.

            (beginning in 2nd half of Path of Purification 1.57:)
            Herein, there is neither restraint nor
            non-restraint on the occasion of the life-continuum, or on any
            of the
            occasions beginning with adverting. But there is non-restraint
            if
            unvirtuousness or forgetfulness or unknowing or impatience or
            idleness
            arises at the moment of impulsion. When this happens, it is
            called
            'non-restraint in the eye faculty'. [22]
            58. Why is that? Because when this happens, the door is not
            guarded,
            nor are the life-continuum and the consciousnesses of the
            cognitive
            series. Like what? Just as, when a city's four gates are not
            secured,
            although inside the city house doors, storehouses, rooms, etc.,
            are
            secured, yet all property inside the city is unguarded and
            unprotected
            since robbers coming in by the city gates can do as they please,
            so too,
            when unvirtuousess, etc., arise in impulsion in which there is
            no
            restraint; then the door too is unguarded, and so also are the
            life-continuum and the consciousness of the cognitive series
            beginning
            with adverting.

            Tasmi.m pana siilaadiisu uppannesu dvaarampi gutta.m hoti, bhava"ngampi
            aavajjanaadiinipi viithicittaani. Yathaa ki.m? Yathaa nagaradvaaresu
            sa.mvutesu ki~ncaapi antogharaadayo asa.mvutaa honti, tathaapi
            antonagare sabba.m bha.n.da.m surakkhita.m sugopitameva hoti.
            Nagaradvaaresu hi pihitesu coraana.m paveso natthi, evameva javane
            siilaadiisu uppannesu dvaarampi gutta.m hoti, bhava"ngampi
            aavajjanaadiinipi viithicittaani. Tasmaa javanakkha.ne uppajjamaanopi
            cakkhundriye sa.mvaroti vutto.

            But when virtue, etc., has arisen in it, then the door
            too is guarded and so also are the life-continuum and the
            consciousnesses of the cognitive series beginning with
            adverting. Like
            what? Just as, when the city gates are secured, although inside
            the city
            the houses, etc., are not secured, yet all property inside the
            city is
            well guarded, well protected, since when the city gates are shut
            there
            is no ingress for robbers, so too, when virtue, etc., have
            arisen in
            impulsion, the door too is guarded and so also are the
            life-continuum
            and the consciousnesses of the cognitive series beginning with
            adverting. Thus although it actually arises at the moment of
            impulsion,
            it is nevertheless called 'restraint in the
            59. eye faculty'.


            Sotena sadda.m sutvaati-aadiisupi eseva nayo. Evamida.m sa"nkhepato
            ruupaadiisu kilesaanubandhanimittaadiggaahaparivajjanalakkha.na.m
            indriyasa.mvarasiilanti veditabba.m.

            So also as regards the phrases on hearing a sound with
            the ear and so on. So it is this virtue which in brief has the
            characteristic of avoiding apprehension of signs entailing
            defilement
            with respect to visible objects, etc., that should be understood
            as
            Virtue of restraint of faculties.
          • rett
            Great answers, all of them, many thanks! regards, /Rett
            Message 5 of 9 , Jan 28, 2004
              Great answers, all of them, many thanks!

              regards,

              /Rett
            • Norman Joseph [Jou] Smith
              ... Hi all Hope you are well and happy. Has anyone else noticed that this kind of practice [mindfulness as just seeing things as they arise and pass, guarding
              Message 6 of 9 , Feb 11, 2004
                > -----Original Message-----
                > From: Jim Anderson [mailto:jimanderson_on@...]
                > Sent: Thursday, 29 January, 2004 3:43 AM
                > To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
                > Subject: Re: [Pali] mindfulness as watchman or gatekeeper

                Hi all

                Hope you are well and happy.

                Has anyone else noticed that this kind of practice [mindfulness as just
                seeing things as they arise and pass, guarding the sense doors] seems to
                be what the Buddha identified as the first of the four right efforts?:

                Mendicants there are four Right Efforts, what four?
                Disciples generate desire (referring to Right Thought) for the:
                - non-arising of evil and unprofitable states which have not arisen in
                themselves (goodwill),
                - abandoning of evil and unprofitable states which have arisen in
                themselves (compassion),
                - arising of profitable states which have not yet arisen in themselves
                (goodwill),
                - persisting of profitable states which have arisen, that they may not
                grow confused, may multiply, may increase, develop and come to
                perfection (compassion),
                to that end they make an effort, stir up energy, they grip and exert
                their minds.
                These are the four Right Efforts
                A 4.2.13 : A ii 15 ; A 4.28.271 : A ii 256 ; M 77 : M ii 11 ; D 22 : D
                ii 312 ; D 16 : D ii 120

                So it would seem to me that it is not the be all of the practice, but
                just the first step. Preventing and abandoning evil [the unwholesome],
                the first two efforts, would make some space and free some energy to
                create something wholesome, the next two.


                > Hi Rett,
                >
                > The Pali word used in the Pali Canon for gatekeeper is
                > 'dovaariko'. I found a passage at A IV 110-111 in the
                > Nagaropamasutta (AN XII.63) that seems to match what you're
                > looking for.
                >
                > Jim


                > From: Michael Beisert [mailto:mbeisert@...]
                > Sent: Thursday, 29 January, 2004 1:07 AM
                > To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
                > Subject: RE: [Pali] mindfulness as watchman or gatekeeper
                >
                >
                > Hello Rett,
                >
                > Maybe this is the one you are looking for:
                >
                > "I have given you this simile, monk, to convey a message. The
                > message is
                > this: The fortress stands for this body -- composed of four
                > elements, born
                > of mother & father, nourished with rice & barley gruel,
                > subject to constant
                > rubbing & abrasion, to breaking & falling apart. The six
                > gates stand for the
                > six internal sense media. The gatekeeper stands for
                > mindfulness. The swift
                > pair of messengers stands for tranquillity (samatha) and insight
                > (vipassana). The commander of the fortress stands for
                > consciousness. The
                > central square stands for the four great elements: the
                > earth-property, the
                > liquid-property, the fire-property, & the wind-property. The
                > accurate report
                > stands for Unbinding (nibbana). The route by which they had
                > come stands for
                > the noble eightfold path: right view, right resolve, right
                > speech, right
                > action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right
                > concentration."
                >
                > http://www.accesstoinsight.org/canon/sutta/samyutta/sn35-204.html
                >
                > Metta
                > Michael


                > > Hi Everyone,
                > >
                > > Some years ago someone explained to me a passage which I
                > believe was
                > > in the Pali Canon where mindfulness is compared to a gatekeeper
                > whose
                > > job is to refuse entry to suspicious characters, and only allow
                > > trustworthy people to enter the town. In a similar way, mindfulness
                > > enables us to be watchful over our senses and not allow
                > impressions to
                > > develop into harmful thoughts. I liked this simile very much.
                > Does
                > > anyone know where this passage is located? I've been trying
                > to find it
                > > without success. Thanks in advance for any assistance.
                > >
                > > best regards,
                > >
                > > /Rett

                ----------------------------------------------------
                Wishing peace and good health to you and those close to you from
                Norman Joseph (Jou) Smith

                Promotion of my book, The Gift of the Buddha, with a foreword by HHDL:
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              • rett
                ... My conviction is that mindfulness would be more like the faculty that organizes and enables our practice of all four of the four right efforts. regards,
                Message 7 of 9 , Feb 11, 2004
                  >
                  >Has anyone else noticed that this kind of practice [mindfulness as just
                  >seeing things as they arise and pass, guarding the sense doors] seems to
                  >be what the Buddha identified as the first of the four right efforts?:

                  My conviction is that mindfulness would be more like the faculty that
                  organizes and enables our practice of all four of the four right
                  efforts.

                  regards,

                  /Rett
                • Norman Joseph [Jou] Smith
                  ... Hi Rett and all Hope you are well and happy. ... I would agree as mindfulness i.e. awareness, which I see is broarder than the mindfulness as I was taught
                  Message 8 of 9 , Feb 12, 2004
                    > -----Original Message-----
                    > From: rett [mailto:rett@...]
                    > Sent: Thursday, 12 February, 2004 5:28 PM
                    > To: Pali@yahoogroups.com
                    > Subject: RE: [Pali] mindfulness as watchman or gatekeeper

                    Hi Rett and all

                    Hope you are well and happy.

                    > >Has anyone else noticed that this kind of practice
                    > [mindfulness as just
                    > >seeing things as they arise and pass, guarding the sense
                    > doors] seems
                    > >to be what the Buddha identified as the first of the four right
                    > >efforts?:
                    >
                    > My conviction is

                    :-) well said

                    > that mindfulness would be more like the faculty that
                    > organizes and enables our practice of all four of the four right
                    > efforts.

                    I would agree as mindfulness i.e. awareness, which I see is broarder
                    than the mindfulness as I was taught in the Mahaasi Vipassanaa tradition
                    [and what I know of the Goenka tradition], but as the latter, I see it
                    fits more with only the first of the four right efforts. :-)

                    As Dr Rod Bucknell points out at
                    http://home.vicnet.net.au/~jousmith/buddhism/analysis/lis07_09.html:

                    "guarding the six sense-doors, consists in preventing the arising of
                    unskilful mental states in response to stimuli received through the five
                    bodily senses and the mind (D i 70). Now the sixth Noble Eightfold
                    path-factor, right effort (samma-vayama) comprises the four exertions
                    (padhana):

                    preventing the arising of unskilful mental states,

                    eliminating already arisen unskilful states,

                    encouraging the arising of unarisen skilful states, and

                    preserving and developing already arisen skilful states.

                    The first of these four, called the exertion of prevention
                    (samvara-padhana), is identical with guarding the sense-doors (D iii
                    226-7)."

                    The way I was taught mindfulness equates to me in practice, to guarding
                    the sense doors. :-)

                    I understand your conviction Rett, but how does it relate to your
                    experience?

                    ----------------------------------------------------
                    Wishing peace and good health to you and those close to you from
                    Norman Joseph (Jou) Smith

                    Promotion of my book, The Gift of the Buddha, with a foreword by HHDL:
                    http://www.bigfoot.com/~josmith.1/tgotb
                    E-group on my book, get a free older copy:
                    http://www.smartgroups.com/groups/ttbt
                    E-group on 4 Chinese Aagmas compared with 4 Paali Nikaayaa:
                    http://www.smartgroups.com/groups/monkey_magic

                    E-mail/MSN: josmith.1@...
                    E-mail/Yahoo: josmith_1_2000@...
                    Student Email: s351543@...
                    ICQ: http://wwp.icq.com/183459
                    Home or V-mail: +61 (0)500523778 usually checked daily for messages
                    Mobile: +61 (0)421 542 653 notified immediately of messages
                    S-mail: PO Box 95 Toowong BC Queensland 4066 Australia
                    URI: http://www.bigfoot.com/~josmith.1

                    Please sign the online petition:
                    http://www.ipetitions.com/campaigns/irene_fernandez

                    Use http://www.trillian.cc to integrate yahoo, icq, and msn (and others)
                    and be online with all of them at the same time.

                    Use http://www.mailwasher.net/download.php to bounce spam back to the
                    sender.
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