Sensual Pleasures and Mental Cultivation

For more information about the teachings of Bhante Seelaratana email: bhantesila@gmail.com

 

In my previous article, I told you the necessity of being away from five sensual pleasures to cultivate the mind. What are the five sensual pleasures? They are forms, sounds, smells, tastes, touches, and states to be known from the mind. The Buddha pointed five common features of these sensual pleasure. They are likable, lustrous, preferential, agreeable, desirous, juicy.

Natural properties of human realm are ten fetters. It is common that those fetters are in a medium level in different densities. Therefore, it is acceptable those common properties thrive when turn into sensual pleasures to eke out physical or mental needs. Thriving of the properties related to desire makes anger and ignorance energetic automatically.

As described in the discourses it happens unknowingly. It is habitual to a common mind to be dividing requisites. From the vast diversity from the natural world we select whatever it is suitable as preferences. In this procedure, our pushing certain things away is unknown. Then there are two piles of things; likes and dislikes. There is another heap of things that we are negligent of. Here we learn three different mental states come into being simultaneously when dealing with sensual pleasures called external faculties. They are likes, dislike and ignorance because of being like, dislike and not interested of respectively. In every moment we center to these three different mental states. As a result we attach to certain things while detaching from certain things and ignoring some of the others. I am sure you can understand the strife one has to intervene.  

Ceasing this conflict is the first step of starting the mental cultivation. Easier is telling something but the most important and effective thing is implementation. In implantation of measures we need to establish comprehension of common characteristics of our business of fulfilling demands.

Fulfilling whatever it is first thing we ace is swinging thoughts of the mind. Always when we are at the beginning of a process, we can see the different kinds of dialectic thoughts like; this or that, now or later, cheap or not. In the next moment, we experience how mind start generating inquiring thoughts related to the selection. Then the mind shifts to the happiness r suffering, pleasure or displeasure, convergence or scattered-ness of the mind. Remember those states appear one after the other we do not see them in that manner as our minds are not developed to see the subtle spaces between two different states. Achieving the skill of subtle differences is one of the effects of mental cultivation. 

How can we do this? As said earlier, it depends on our capability to realize the things happening in and around us. Here you remember the only fact that is appreciated in Buddhism is the capability to realize or understand, It is called wisdom.

What is there to understand in dealing with sensual pleasures? Remember, there is a lot. First thing, sensual pleasures make us happy. They please us. There is no doubt about there pleasantness. The fact that they are temporarily is the major thing to be remembered. As anything else, they are also impermanent. One’s postulants, demands, the things he ask for, the need he is going to fulfill the occasion he is in and all the complex relations to his demand are similarly impermanent. Because of this, the enjoyments one achieves associating sensual pleasures become overcome by boredom. Because of impermanency, whatever the density of one’s demand, it has to get into three inevitable subsequent phases. They are pleasure, danger of having the pleasure and getting out of it.

There are times you see nothing else than having a deep sleep. You show to the others that you would not wake up for many hours. What happens in a few hours? At the beginning you enjoy, pleaser with the sleep. Later you are fed up with sleeping. You do not want to be in the bed more. You are in an unbelievable boring-ness with sleep. Fatigue you may feel is something never expected. Yawning, being reluctant; see how much are the dangers of sleeping. Later you want to be away from the bed as quickly as possible. You do different kinds of things to rejuvenate the physical and mental properties to forget you slept. This is the reality, and understand it. Whatever the need that arises in the mind or body it is the same three subsequent phases. It would pave the way to establish a discipline to continue the mental practice. Then understand the realities you experience and establish the necessary patient and effort to continue sitting on the cushion and maintaining the awareness, attentiveness and mindfulness on breath. It would become another habit of your life quickly.