This week, Joseph concludes his instructions on the six sense spheres, continuing his focus on the conditioned nature of perception. We are taught about the four hallucinations (or errors) of perception:
· Taking what is Impermanent to be Permanent
· Taking what is Unattractive to be Attractive
· Taking what is Unsatisfactory to be Happiness
· Taking what is Non-Self to be Self.
Having identified the problems inherent in conditioned perceptions, Joseph demonstrates how we practice training our perceptions in more beneficial ways. He concludes by revisiting the refrain that is repeated frequently throughout the sutta and applies it specifically to the sense spheres.
1. Which hallucination / misperception / distortion feels most real & hooks you?
a) taking what is impermanent to be permanent
b) taking what is unattractive to be attractive
c) taking what is unsatisfactory to be what brings happiness
d) taking what is not self to be self
What causes you to notice the hallucination and how can you respond to break the chain?
2. What story about yourself have you created that shapes your perception and causes you to take emotion to be self or removes you from being in the present (like Joseph’s fear story)?
For myself, I am a planner so I often am not in the present as I go into future/planning mode.
1. Notice the relief when you let go of the grip of any of the 4 hallucinations.
2. Notice the impermanence of beauty in the things you most love.
3. Notice when you can be receptive to what is coming in through the sense spheres while remaining detached or non-reactive.