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The first meditation object given to new monastics

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Ajahn Jayasāro's Yellow Pages Teaching

Tuesday, April 14, 2021

Twice weekly handwritten Dhamma teaching by Ajahn.
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The first meditation object given to new monastics - one embedded in the Pabbajjā novice ordination ceremony - is a contemplation of five parts of the human body: head hair, body hair, nails, teeth and skin. These constitute the first five items of the list of 32 body components found throughout the Suttas. They are distinguished by being the most visible items, and the most liable to provoke agitation. Throughout the history of humanity, it is sobering to consider how much vanity has been bound up with these five things, how much lust, jealousy, how much anxiety and how much depression.

 

Reflecting on these five body parts again and again allows us to recognise all that we project upon them and the ways in which we identify with them. We see that it is this projection and identification that causes us so much unnecessary suffering.

 

The reflections that are most helpful are those in which:
(1) we bring to mind the unattractive aspects of the body part which we usually try to avoid thinking about
(2) its impermanent, constantly changing nature
(3) the physical discomforts and suffering associated with it
(4) its impersonal, conditioned nature.

 

- Ajahn Jayasāro

(no human translation)

(no human translation)

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