I. GENERAL TEXTS There are five impediments and hindrances, overgrowths of the mind that s

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I. GENERAL TEXTS ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There are five impediments and hindrances, overgrowths of the mind that stultify insight. What five? Sensual desire is an impediment and hindrance, an overgrowth of the mind that stultifies insight. Ill-will ... Sloth and torpor ... Restlessness and remorse ... Sceptical doubt are impediments and hindrances, overgrowths of the mind that stultify insight. Without having overcome these five, it is impossible for a monk whose insight thus lacks strength and power, to know his own true good, the good of others, and the good of both; nor will he be capable of realizing that superhuman state of distinctive achievement, the knowledge and vision enabling the attainment of sanctity. But if a monk has overcome these five impediments and hindrances, these overgrowths of the mind that stultify insight, then it is possible that, with his strong insight, he can know his own true good, the good of others, and the good of both; and he will be capable of realizing that superhuman state of distinctive achievement, the knowledge and vision enabling the attainment of sanctity. AN 5:51 One whose heart is overwhelmed by unrestrained covetousness will do what he should not do and neglect what he ought to do. And through that, his good name and his happiness will come to ruin. One whose heart is overwhelmed by ill-will ... by sloth and torpor ... by restlessness and remorse ... by sceptical doubt will do what he should not do and neglect what he ought to do. And through that, his good name and his happiness will come to ruin. But if a noble disciple has seen these five as defilements of the mind, he will give them up. And doing so, he is regarded as one of great wisdom, of abundant wisdom, clear-visioned, well endowed with wisdom. This is called "endowment with wisdom." AN 4:61 There are five impurities of gold impaired by which it is not pliant and wieldy, lacks radiance, is brittle and cannot be wrought well. What are these five impurities? Iron, copper, tin, lead and silver. But if the gold has been freed from these five impurities, then it will be plaint and wieldy, radiant and firm, and can be wrought well. Whatever ornaments one wishes to make from it, be it a diadem, earrings, a necklace or a golden chain, it will serve that purpose. Similarly, there are five impurities of the mind impaired by which the mind is not pliant and wieldy, lacks radiant lucidity and firmness, and cannot concentrate well upon the eradication of the taints (asava). What are these five impurities? They are: sensual desire, ill-will, sloth and torpor, restlessness and remorse, and sceptical doubt. But if the mind is freed of these five impurities, it will be pliant and wieldy, will have radiant lucidity and firmness, and will concentrate well upon the eradication of the taints. Whatever state realizable by the higher mental faculties one may direct the mind to, one will in each case acquire the capacity of realization, if the (other) conditions are fulfilled. AN 5:23 How does a monk practise mind-object contemplation on the mental objects of the five hindrances? Herein, monks, when sensual desire is present in him the monk knows, "There is sensual desire in me," or when sensual desire is absent he knows, "There is no sensual desire in me." He knows how the arising of non-arisen sensual desire comes to be; he knows how the rejection of the arisen sensual desire comes to be; and he knows how the non-arising in the future of the rejected sensual desire comes to be. When ill-will is present in him, the monk knows, "There is ill-will in me," or when ill-will is absent he knows, "There is no ill-will in me." He knows how the arising of non-arisen ill-will comes to be; he knows how the rejection of the arisen ill-will comes to be; and he knows how the non-arising in the future of the rejected ill-will comes to be. When sloth and torpor are present in him, the monk knows, "There is sloth and torpor in me," or when sloth and torpor are absent he knows, "There is no sloth and torpor in me." He knows how the arising of non-arisen sloth and torpor comes to be; he knows how the rejection of the arisen sloth and torpor comes to be; and he knows how the non-arising in the future of the rejected sloth and torpor comes to be. When restlessness and remorse are present in him, the monk knows, "There are restlessness and remorse in me," or when agitation and remorse are absent he knows, "There are no restlessness and remorse in me." He knows how the arising of non-arisen restlessness and remorse comes to be; he knows how the rejection of the arisen restlessness and remorse comes to be; and he knows how the non-arising in the future of the rejected restlessness and remorse comes to be. When sceptical doubt is present in him, the monk knows, "There is sceptical doubt in me," or when sceptical doubt is absent he knows, "There is no sceptical doubt in me." He knows how the arising of non-arisen sceptical doubt comes to be; he knows how the rejection of the arisen sceptical doubt comes to be; and he knows how the non-arising in the future of the rejected sceptical doubt comes to be. MN 10 (Satipatthana Sutta) To note mindfully, and immediately, the arising of one of the hindrances, as recommended in the preceding text, is a simple but very effective method of countering these and any other defilements of the mind. By doing so, a brake is applied against the uninhibited continuance of unwholesome thoughts, and the watchfulness of mind against their recurrence is strengthened. This method is based on a simple psychological fact which is expressed by the commentators as follows: "A good and an evil thought cannot occur in combination. Therefore, at the time of knowing the sense desire (that arose in the preceding moment), that sense desire no longer exists (but only the act of knowing)." II The Hindrances Individually ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Just as, monks, this body lives on nourishment, lives dependent on nourishment, does not live without nourishment -- in the same way, monks, the five hindrances live on nourishment, depend on nourishment, do not live without nourishment. SN 46:2 1. Sensual Desire A. Nourishment of Sensual Desire There are beautiful objects; frequently giving unwise attention to them -- this is the nourishment for the arising of sensual desire that has not arisen, and the nourishment for the increase and strengthening of sensual desire that has already arisen. SN 46:51 B. Denourishing of Sensual Desire There are impure objects (used for meditation); frequently giving wise attention to them -- this is the denourishing of the arising of sensual desire that has not yet arisen, and the denourishing of the increase and strengthening of sensual desire that has already arisen. SN 46:51 Six things are conducive to the abandonment of sensual desire: 1. Learning how to meditate on impure objects; 2. Devoting oneself to the meditation on the impure; 3. Guarding the sense doors; 4. Moderation in eating; 5. Noble friendship; 6. Suitable conversation. Commentary to the Satipatthana Sutta 1. Learning how to meditate about impure objects 2. Devoting oneself to the meditation on the impure (a) Impure objects In him who is devoted to the meditation about impure objects, repulsion towards beautiful objects is firmly established. This is the result. AN 5:36 "Impure object" refers, in particular, to the cemetery meditations as given in the Satipatthana Sutta and explained in the Visuddhimagga; but it refers also to the repulsive aspects of sense objects in general. (b) The loathsomeness of the body Herein, monks, a monk reflects on just this body, confined within the skin and full of manifold impurities from the soles upward and from the top of the hair down: "There is in this body: hair of the head, hair of the body, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones, marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, pleura, spleen, lungs, intestines, bowels, stomach, excrement, bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, lymph, saliva, mucus, fluid of the joints, urine (and the brain in the skull)." MN 10 By bones and sinews knit, With flesh and tissue smeared, And hidden by the skin, the body Does not appear as it really is.... The fool thinks it beautiful, His ignorance misguiding him ... Sutta Nipata, v.194,199 (c) Various contemplations Sense objects give little enjoyment, but much pain and much despair; the danger in them prevails. MN 14 The unpleasant overwhelms a thoughtless man in the guise of the pleasant, the disagreeable overwhelms him in the guise of the agreeable, the painful in the guise of pleasure. Udana, 2:8 3. Guarding the sense doors How does one guard the sense doors? Herein, a monk, having seen a form, does not seize upon its (delusive) appearance as a whole, nor on its details. If his sense of sight were uncontrolled, covetousness, grief and other evil, unwholesome states would flow into him. Therefore he practises for the sake of its control, he watches over the sense of sight, he enters upon its control. Having heard a sound ... smelt an odour ... tasted a taste ... felt a touch ... cognized a mental object, he does not seize upon its (delusive) appearance as a whole ... he enters upon its control. SN 35:120 There are forms perceptible by the eye, which are desirable, lovely, pleasing, agreeable, associated with desire, arousing lust. If the monk does not delight in them, is not attached to them, does not welcome them, then in him thus not delighting in them, not being attached to them and not welcoming them, delight (in these forms) ceases; if delight is absent, there is no bondage. There are sounds perceptible by the ear ... odours perceptible by the mind ... if delight is absent, there is no bondage. SN 35:63 4. Moderation in eating How is he moderate in eating? Herein a monk takes his food after wise consideration: not for the purpose of enjoyment, of pride, of beautifying the body or adorning it (with muscles); but only for the sake of maintaining and sustaining this body, to avoid harm and to support the holy life, thinking: "Thus I shall destroy the old painful feeling and shall not let a new one rise. Long life will be mine, blamelessness and well-being." MN 2; MN 39 5. Noble friendship Reference is here, in particular, to such friends who have experience and can be a model and help in overcoming sensual desire, especially in meditating on impurity. But it applies also to noble friendship in general. The same twofold explanation holds true also for the other hindrances, with due alterations. The entire holy life, Ananda, is noble friendship, noble companionship, noble association. Of a monk, Ananda, who has a noble friend, a noble companion, a noble associate, it is to be expected that he will cultivate and practise the Noble Eightfold Path. SN 45:2 6. Suitable conversation Reference is here in particular to conversation about the overcoming of sensual desire, especially about meditating on impurity. But it applies also to every conversation which is suitable to advance one's progress on the path. With due alterations this explanation holds true also for the other hindrances. If the mind of a monk is bent on speaking, he (should remember this): "Talk which is low, coarse, worldly, not noble, not salutary, not leading to detachment, not to freedom from passion, not to cessation, not to tranquillity, not to higher knowledge, not to enlightenment, not to Nibbana, namely, talk about kings, robbers and ministers, talk about armies, dangers and war, about food and drink, clothes, couches, garlands, perfumes, relatives, cars, villages, towns, cities, and provinces, about women and wine, gossip of the street and of the well, talk about the ancestors, about various trifles, tales about the origin of the world and the ocean, talk about what happened and what did not happen -- such and similar talk I shall not entertain." Thus he is clearly conscious about it. But talk about austere life, talk suitable for the unfolding of the mind, talk which is conducive to complete detachment, to freedom from passion, to cessation, tranquillity, higher knowledge, enlightenment and to Nibbana, namely, talk about a life of frugality, about contentedness, solitude, aloofness from society, about rousing one's energy, talk about virtue, concentration, wisdom, deliverance, about the vision and knowledge of deliverance -- such talk I shall entertain." Thus he is clearly conscious about it. MN 122 These things too are helpful in conquering sensual desire: One-pointedness of mind, of the factors of absorption (jhananga); Mindfulness, of the spiritual faculties (indriya); Mindfulness, of the factors of enlightenment (bojjhanga). C. Simile If there is water in a pot mixed with red, yellow, blue or orange colour, a man with a normal faculty of sight, looking into it, could not properly recognize and see the image of his own face. In the same way, when one's mind is possessed by sensual desire, overpowered by sensual desire, one cannot properly see the escape from sensual desire which has arisen; then one does not properly understand and see one's own welfare, nor that of another, nor that of both; and also texts memorized a long time ago do not come into one's mind, not to speak of those not memorized. SN 46:55 2. Ill-Will A. Nourishment of Ill-Will There are objects causing aversion; frequently giving unwise attention to them -- this is the nourishment for the arising of ill-will that has not yet arisen, and for the increase and strengthening of ill-will that has already arisen. SN 46:51 B. Denourishing of Ill-Will There is the liberation of the heart by lovingkindness; frequently giving wise attention to it -- this is the denourishing of the arising of ill-will that has not yet arisen, and of the increase and strengthening of ill-will that has already arisen. SN 46:51 Cultivate the meditation on lovingkindness! For by cultivating the meditation on lovingkindness, ill-will disappears. Cultivate the meditation on compassion! For by cultivating the meditation on compassion, cruelty disappears. Cultivate the meditation on sympathetic joy! For by cultivating the meditation on sympathetic joy, listlessness disappears. Cultivate the meditation on equanimity! For by cultivating the meditation on equanimity, anger disappears. MN 62 Six things are helpful in conquering ill-will 1. Learning how to meditate on lovingkindness; 2. Devoting oneself to the meditation of lovingkindness; 3. Considering that one is the owner and heir of one's actions (kamma); 4. Frequent reflection on it (in the following way): Thus one should consider: "Being angry with another person, what can you do to him? Can you destroy his virtue and his other good qualities? Have you not come to your present state by your own actions, and will also go hence according to your own actions? Anger towards another is just as if someone wishing to hit another person takes hold of glowing coals, or a heated iron-rod, or of excrement. And, in the same way, if the other person is angry with you, what can he do to you? Can he destroy your virtue and your other good qualities? He too has come to his present state by his own actions and will go hence according to his own actions. Like an unaccepted gift or like a handful of dirt thrown against the wind, his anger will fall back on his own head." 5. Noble friendship; 6. Suitable conversation. Commentary to Satipatthana Sutta These things, too are helpful in conquering ill-will: Rapture, of the factors of absorption (jhananga); Faith, of the spiritual faculties (indriya); Rapture and equanimity, of the factors of enlightenment (bojjhanga). C. Simile If there is a pot of water heated on the fire, the water seething and boiling, a man with a normal faculty of sight, looking into it, could not properly recognize and see the image of his own face. In the same way, when one's mind is possessed by ill-will, overpowered by ill-will, one cannot properly see the escape from the ill-will which has arisen; then one does not properly understand and see one's own welfare, nor that of another, nor that of both; and also texts memorized a long time ago do not come into one's mind, not to speak of those not memorized. SN 46:55 3. Sloth and Torpor A. Nourishment of Sloth and Torpor There arises listlessness, lassitude, lazy stretching of the body, drowsiness after meals, mental sluggishness; frequently giving unwise attention to it -- this is the nourishment for the arising of sloth and torpor that have not yet arisen and for the increase and strengthening of sloth and torpor that have already arisen. SN 46:51 B. Denourishing of Sloth and Torpor There is the element of rousing one's energy, the element of exertion, the element of continuous exertion; frequently giving wise attention to it -- this is the denourishing of the arising of sloth and torpor that have not yet arisen and of the increase and strengthening of sloth and torpor that have already arisen. SN 46:51 "May nothing remain but skin and sinews and bones; may flesh and blood dry up in the body! Not before having achieved what can be achieved by manly strength, manly energy, manly exertion shall my energy subside!" MN 70 Six things are conducive to the abandonment of sloth and torpor: 1. Knowing that overeating is a cause of it; 2. Changing the bodily posture; 3. Thinking of the perception of light; 4. Staying in the open air; 5. Noble friendship; 6. Suitable conversation. These things too are helpful in conquering sloth and torpor: 1. The recollection of Death To-day the effort should be made, Who knows if tomorrow Death will come? MN 131 2. Perceiving the suffering in impermanence In a monk who is accustomed to see the suffering in impermanence and who is frequently engaged in this contemplation, there will be established in him such a keen sense of the danger of laziness, idleness, lassitude, indolence and thoughtlessness, as if he were threatened by a murderer with drawn sword. AN 7:46 3. Sympathetic joy Cultivate the meditation on sympathetic joy! For by cultivating it, listlessness will disappear. MN 62 Applied thought, of the factors of absorptions (jhananga); Energy, of the spiritual faculties (indriya); Investigation of reality, energy and rapture, of the factors of enlightenment (bojjhanga). When the mind is sluggish, it is not the proper time for cultivating the following factors of enlightenment: tranquillity, concentration and equanimity, because a sluggish mind can hardly be aroused by them. When the mind is sluggish, it is the proper time for cultivating the following factors of enlightenment: investigation of reality, energy and rapture, because a sluggish mind can easily be aroused by them. SN 46:53 4. Contemplation of the spiritual journey "I have to tread that path which the Buddhas, the Paccekabuddhas and the Great Disciples have gone; but by an indolent person that path cannot be trodden." Vism. IV,55 5. Contemplation of the Master's greatness "Full application of energy was praised by my Master, and he is unsurpassed in his injunctions and a great help to us. He is honoured by practising his Dhamma, not otherwise." Ibid. 6. Contemplation on the greatness of the Heritage "I have to take possession of the Great Heritage, called the Good Dhamma. But one who is indolent cannot take possession of it." Ibid. 7. How to stimulate the mind How does one stimulate the mind at a time when it needs stimulation? If due to slowness in the application of wisdom or due to non-attainment of the happiness of tranquillity, one's mind is dull, then one should rouse it through reflecting on the eight stirring objects. These eight are: birth, decay, disease and death; the suffering in the worlds of misery; the suffering of the past rooted in the round of existence; the suffering of the future rooted in the round of existence; the suffering of the present rooted in the search for food. Vism. IV,63 8. How to overcome sleepiness Once the Exalted One spoke to the Venerable Maha-Moggallana thus: "Are you drowsy, Moggallana? Are you drowsy, Moggallana?" -- "Yes, venerable sir." (1) "Well then, Moggallana, at whatever thought torpor has befallen you, to that thought you should not give attention, you should not dwell on it frequently. Then it is possible that, by so doing, torpor will disappear. (2) "But if, by so doing, that torpor does not disappear, you should think and reflect within your mind about the Dhamma as you have heard and learnt it, and you should mentally review it. Then it is possible that, by so doing, torpor will disappear. (3) "But if, by so doing, that torpor does not disappear, you should learn by heart the Dhamma in its fullness, as you have heard and learnt it. Then it is possible ... (4) "But if, by so doing, that torpor does not disappear, you should shake your ears, and rub your limbs with the palm of your hand. Then it is possible ... (5) "But if, by so doing, that torpor does not disappear, you should get up from your seat, and after washing your eyes with water, you should look around in all directions and look upwards to the stars in the sky. Then it is possible ... (6) "But if, by so doing, that torpor does not disappear, you should firmly establish the (inner) perception of light: as it is by day, so also by night; as it is by night, so also by day. Thus with a mind clear and unobstructed, you should develop a consciousness which is full of brightness. Then it is possible ... (7) "But if, by so doing, that torpor does not disappear, you should, conscious of that which is before and behind, walk up and down, with your senses turned inwards, with your mind not going outwards. Then it is possible ... (8) "But if, by so doing, that torpor does not disappear, you may lie down on your right side, taking up the lion's posture, covering foot with foot -- mindful, clearly conscious, keeping in mind the thought of rising. Having awakened again, you should quickly rise, thinking: 'I won't indulge in the enjoyment of lying down and reclining, in the enjoyment of sleep!' "Thus, Moggallana, you should train yourself!" AN 7:58 9. The five threatening dangers If, monks, a monk perceives these five threatening dangers, it is enough for him to live heedful, zealous, with a heart resolute to achieve the unachieved, to attain the unattained, to realize the unrealized. Which are these five dangers? (1) Here, monks, a monk reflects thus: "I am now young, a youth, young in age, black-haired, in the prime of youth, in the first phase of life. But a time will come when this body will be in the grip of old age. But one who is overpowered by old age cannot easily contemplate on the Teachings of the Buddha; it is not easy for him to live in the wilderness or a forest or jungle, or in secluded dwellings. Before this undesirable condition, so unpleasant and disagreeable, approaches me, prior to that, let me muster my energy for achieving the unachieved, for attaining the unattained, for realizing the unrealized, so that, in the possession of that state, I shall live happily even in old age." (2) And further, monks, a monk reflects thus: "I am now free from sickness, free from disease, my digestive power functions smoothly, my constitution is not too cool and not too hot, it is balanced and fit for making effort. But a time will come when this body will be in the grip of sickness. And one who is sick cannot easily contemplate upon the Teachings of the Buddha; it is not easy for him, to live in the wilderness or a forest or jungle, or in secluded dwellings. Before this undesirable condition, so unpleasant and disagreeable, approaches me, prior to that, let me muster my energy for achieving the unachieved, for attaining the unattained, for realizing the unrealized, so that, in the possession of that state, I shall live happily even in sickness." (3) And further, monks, a monk reflects thus: "Now there is an abundance of food, good harvests, easily obtainable is a meal of alms, it is easy to live on collected food and offerings. But a time will come when there will be a famine, a bad harvest, difficult to obtain will be a meal of alms, it will be difficult to live on collected food and offerings. And in a famine people migrate to places where food is ample, and there habitations will be thronged and crowded. But in habitations thronged and crowded one cannot easily contemplate upon the Teachings of the Buddha. Before this undesirable condition, so unpleasant and disagreeable, approaches me, prior to that, let me muster my energy for achieving the unachieved, for attaining the unattained, for realizing the unrealized, so that, in the possession of that state, I shall live happily even in a famine." (4) And further, monks, a monk reflects thus: "Now people live in concord and amity, in friendly fellowship as mingled milk and water and look at each other with friendly eyes. But there will come a time of danger, of unrest among the jungle tribes when the country people mount their carts and drive away and fear-stricken people move to a place of safety, and there habitations will be thronged and crowded. But in habitations thronged and crowded one cannot easily contemplate upon the Teachings of the Buddha. Before this undesirable condition, so unpleasant and disagreeable, approaches me, prior to that, let me muster my energy for achieving the unachieved, for attaining the unattained, for realizing the unrealized, so that, in the possession of that state, I shall live happily even in time of danger." (5) And further, monks, a monk reflects thus: "Now the Congregation of Monks lives in concord and amity, without quarrel, lives happily under one teaching. But a time will come when there will be a split in the Congregation. And when the Congregation is split, one cannot easily contemplate upon the Teachings of the Buddha; it is not easy to live in the wilderness or a forest or jungle, or in secluded dwellings. Before this undesirable condition, so unpleasant and disagreeable, approaches me, prior to that, let me muster my energy for achieving the unachieved, for attaining the unattained, for realizing the unrealized, so that, in the possession of that state, I shall live happily even when the Congregation is split." [*] AN 5:78 * [This Discourse is one of the seven canonical texts recommended by the emperor Asoka in the Second Bhairat Rock Edict; "Reverend Sirs, these passages of the Law, to wit:--...'Fears of what may happen (anagata-bhayani)...., spoken by the Venerable Buddha, -- these, Reverend Sirs, I desire that many monks and nuns should frequently hear and meditate: and that likewise the laity, male and female, should do the same. (Vincent A. Smith, Asoka. 3rd ed., p. 54).] C. Simile If there is a pot of water, covered with moss and water plants, then a man with a normal faculty of sight looking into it could not properly recognize and see the image of his own face. In the same way, when one's mind is possessed by sloth and torpor, overpowered by sloth and torpor, one cannot properly see the escape from sloth and torpor that have arisen; then one does not properly understand one's own welfare, nor that of another, nor that of both; and also texts memorized a long time ago do not come into one's mind, not to speak of those not memorized. SN 46:55 4. Restlessness and Remorse A. Nourishment of Restlessness and Remorse There is unrest of mind; frequently giving unwise attention to it -- that is the nourishment for the arising of restlessness and remorse that have not yet arisen, and for the increase and strengthening of restlessness and remorse that have already arisen. SN 46:51 B. Denourishing of Restlessness and Remorse There is quietude of mind; frequently giving wise attention to it -- that is the denourishing of the arising of restlessness and remorse that have not yet arisen, and of the increase and strengthening of restlessness and remorse that have already arisen. SN 46:51 Six things are conducive to the abandonment of restlessness and remorse: 1. Knowledge of the Buddhist scriptures (Doctrine and Discipline); 2. Asking questions about them; 3. Familiarity with the Vinaya (the Code of Monastic Discipline, and for lay followers, with the principles of moral conduct); 4. Association with those mature in age and experience, who possess dignity, restraint and calm; 5. Noble friendship; 6. Suitable conversation. These things, too are helpful in conquering restlessness and remorse: Rapture, of the factors of absorption (jhananga); Concentration, of the spiritual faculties (indriya); Tranquillity, concentration and equanimity, of the factors of enlightenment (bojjhanga). When the mind is restless it is not the proper time for cultivating the following factors of enlightenment: investigation of the doctrine, energy and rapture, because an agitated mind can hardly be quietened by them. When the mind is restless, it is the proper time for cultivating the following factors of enlightenment: tranquillity, concentration and equanimity, because an agitated mind can easily be quietened by them. C. Simile If there is water in a pot, stirred by the wind, agitated, swaying and producing waves, a man with a normal faculty of sight could not properly recognize and see the image of his own face. In the same way, when one's mind is possessed by restlessness and remorse, overpowered by restlessness and remorse, one cannot properly see the escape from restlessness and remorse that have arisen; then one does not properly understand one's own welfare, nor that of another, nor that of both; and also texts memorized a long time ago do not come into one's mind, not to speak of those not memorized. SN 46:55 5. Doubt A. Nourishment of Doubt There are things causing doubt; frequently giving unwise attention to them -- that is the nourishment for the arising of doubt that has not yet arisen, and for the increase and strengthening of doubt that has already arisen. SN 46:51 B. Denourishing of Doubt There are things which are wholesome or unwholesome, blameless or blameworthy, noble or low, and (other) contrasts of dark and bright; frequently giving wise attention to them -- that is the denourishing of the arising of doubt that has not yet arisen, and of the increase and strengthening of doubt that has already arisen. Of the six things conducive to the abandonment of doubt, the first three and the last two are identical with those given for restlessness and remorse. The fourth is as follows: Firm conviction concerning the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. In addition, the following are helpful in conquering Doubt: Reflection, of the factors of absorption (jhananga); Wisdom, of the spiritual faculties (indriya); Investigation of reality, of the factors of enlightenment (bojjhanga). C. Simile If there is a pot of water which is turbid, stirred up and muddy, and this pot is put into a dark place, then a man with a normal faculty of sight could not properly recognize and see the image of his own face. In the same way, when one's mind is possessed by doubt, overpowered by doubt, then one cannot properly see the escape from doubt which has arisen; then one does not properly understand one's own welfare, nor that of another, nor that of both; and also texts memorized a long time ago do not come into one's mind, not to speak of those not memorized. SN 46:55

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