Reflections on Six Sense Spheres

A DHARMA TALK HANDOUT  

Sense bases: eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind
Sense objects: sights, sounds, smells, tastes, tactile sensations, thoughts

  1. Each day, pick one of the sense doors and pay attention to any fetters that arise in relationship to it. Does paying attention in this way change your relationship to the experience?
  2. When visual images arise in practice, simply make a note of “seeing, seeing,” without getting involved in judging or evaluating the content. Just observe the arising and passing away of the images. When sounds become predominant, make a note of “hearing, hearing,” not analyzing or conceptualizing its causes. If some smell or odor should become noticeable, make a note of “smelling, smelling,” and again go back to the breathing. the more closely you pay attention to the primary object, the more quickly will the mind pick up all other objects. ~ The Experience of Insight, p 41
  3. There are many definitions of the term “fetter” in the suttas. For us as practitioners, the most relevant definition in relationship to the sense doors are the kilesas—greed, aversion, and delusion. What are common experiences for you of these fetters arising at each of the sense doors? How do you work with them?
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