Exploring the six sense bases

I'm going to be jumping about a bit with this blog as I randomly accumulate written material for various projects. However, stick with it and you'll be transformed in no time. I've been mastering Buddhist techniques for a while so that's what you're going to get this time.

Deep down in the fourth foundation of mindfulness, we find the six sense bases. Here we are asked to contemplate the five physical senses and the mind as the sixth sense. The contemplation goes something like this:

- We get very still and calm
- We place our attention on one of the six senses - I like sound best, or sight if I am doing staring meditation
- We observe contact with an object, e.g. sound - It all happens very fast and at the same time, but we observe contact, consciousness, feeling, perception, initial thoughts and then mental proliferation (thoughts on thoughts). Now this is a continuous process so stick with it.
- We also are asked to observe fetters that arise with sense contact. Now, for our purposes, a fetter is a latent unwholesome thing that sits on our mind (like greed or hatred or bitchiness). When we are still, there are no fetters but they are still in our mind waiting for their moment. When sense contact occurs, the mind is stirred into action and, even though the fetter has nothing to do with a car going past, we start thinking about how much we love chocolate and how we could do with some once this meditation business is over with. Once we see this, we think - shit, this is deep.

So, there's a lot to do here. There's the glorious mental proliferation that occurs and there's the triggering of latent junk in our mind. Once we are enlightened we will have no problem with the fetters as we will have uprooted everything - so keep your legs crossed and your mind wide open.


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