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Thread: The Contemplation of Dualities

  1. #1

    The Contemplation of Dualities

    Today I came across a sutta that I don't recall reading previously. Its Sn 3:12 The Contemplation of Dualities.

    Its quite long, and here's a Bhikkhu Thanissaro translation:

    Also, here's an excerpt translated by Andrew Olendzki - and he's written some notes before the excerpt.

    Forms and sounds and flavors and smells
    And touches and all mental states,
    Are wished for, cherished and pleasing,
    As long as it's said that "They're real."

    For the world and for its devas
    These are equal to happiness;
    Whereas when they come to an end...
    This for them is equal to pain.

    'Happiness,' viewed by the nobles,
    Comes from restraining the ego.
    This is just the opposite of
    How it is seen by all the world.

    That which is pleasant for others,
    For the noble ones is painful.
    And what for others is painful,
    The noble ones know as pleasant.

    Behold! A teaching hard to know.
    The deluded are confused here.

    Any comments ?

  2. #2
    Forums Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    I've read this a number of times as it's central to what we need to work on if we want to follow a programme designed to weaken attachment to our present views about the world and our relationship with it. There are different strategies you can use. If you are so inclined, renunciation of the kind in Sn 3.12 is rather powerful as you get a more immediate feedback to other, more subtle, ways of working on this aspect of the path. Another is to contemplate such things during insight meditation, which is just as effective in the long run but requires a deal of practice following structured programmes such as can be found in the Satipatthana Sutta.

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