The Pariyatti Newsletter

Sign up for Pariyatti's bi-monthly newsletter.

Subscribe Featured Articles Archive


Current Newsletter

Pariyatti bookstore and warehouse in Onlaska
The current Pariyatti warehouse in Onalaksa, Washington, is located on a quiet country road
with lots of cows and horses enjoying green pastures.

Pariyatti Presents...

screen grab Zoom event
Recording of the recent Author Talk
with Dr. Paul R. Fleischman
With much gratitude we look back on the recent ‘Pariyatti Presents…’ event. No less than 1145 people from 52 different countries joined us online for the Author Talk with Dr. Paul R. Fleischman! The former psychiatrist, Vipassana teacher in the tradition of S.N. Goenka, and author started off by reading some excerpts from his book Vipassana Meditation and the Scientific Worldview (Second Edition) and responded to questions from fellow Vipassana teachers Kathy Henry and Ben Turner in an engaging conversation about the book. During the last 20 minutes of the two-hour long event, the author also answered several questions from the audience.
 
Should you have missed the event: it can be viewed on our website and on YouTube. Dr. Fleischman will be joining us again on October 24 for a talk and discussion on Cultivating Inner Peace. Save the date!
Go to Event Recording
Section on the Hindrances
Last year we dedicated several newsletters to the exploration of the five hindrances (nīvaraṇa), the five mental factors that hinder progress in meditation and in our daily lives on the path. This newsletter and the following will include some excerpts related to eliminating and being free from sensual desire (kāmacchanda), ill will (byāpāda), sloth and torpor (thīna-middha), agitation, or restlessness and remorse (uddhacca-kukkucca), and sceptical doubt (vicikicchā).
 
Bikkhu Bodhi writes the following in The Noble Eightfold Path:

The first two hindrances, sensual desire and ill will, are the strongest of the set, the most formidable barriers to meditative growth, representing, respectively, the unwholesome roots of greed and aversion. The other three hindrances, less toxic but still obstructive, are offshoots of delusion, usually in association with other defilements.
 
The first effort to be made regarding the hindrances is the effort to prevent the unarisen hindrances from arising; this is also called the endeavour to restrain (saṃvarappadhāna). The effort to hold the hindrances in check is imperative both at the start of meditative training and throughout the course of its development. For when the hindrances arise, they disperse attention and darken the quality of awareness, to the detriment of calm and clarity. The hindrances do not come from outside the mind but from within. They appear through the activation of certain tendencies constantly lying dormant in the deep recesses of the mental continuum, awaiting the opportunity to surface. 
 
Generally what sparks the hindrances into activity is the input afforded by sense experience. 
...
When the mind adverts to the incoming data carelessly, with unwise consideration (ayoniso manasikāra), the sense objects tend to stir up unwholesome states. They do this either directly, through their immediate impact, or else indirectly by depositing memory traces which later may swell up as the objects of defiled thoughts, images, and fantasies. As a general rule the defilement that is activated corresponds to the object: attractive objects provoke desire, disagreeable objects provoke ill will, and indeterminate objects provoke the defilements connected with delusion. Since an uncontrolled response to the sensory input stimulates the latent defilements, what is evidently needed to prevent them from arising is control over the senses.

New Samten Sun now Available 

Samten meditation cushion
It's been a bit of a wait for the shipment to come in*, but we are glad to announce that the new Samten Sun meditation cushions have arrived at our warehouse. 
These inflatable meditation cushions were designed for travelling as they are lightweight (290 g/10.23 oz) and fit in about every bag. However, many meditators like them so much they use them at home as well. 
The sturdy cushion has two air chambers (30 cm/11.8 in diameter), which can be inflated individually, or both together for a maximum height of 20 cm (almost 8 in). This new version has two safety valves that are easy to use, and it arrives in a cloth bag, which can also be used for storage and transport.
 
*The cushions are German made; due to the pandemic we had trouble getting them shipped by air. Via sea freight the shipment took about two months to reach the US, and then another fortnight after it docked in New York. An inside joke here at Pariyatti was that the inflatable cushions might as well have come floating to our shores...
 
Customer review:
"Bought this for a trip in SE Asia after a lot of research. Best choice ... The low chamber when fully inflated, creates a steady base, while the upper chamber inflated upon your preference acts as a soft cushion. The result is excellent and functional."
Order Samten Sun
"Three evil modes of life"
Seven Factors of Enlightenment (Pariyatti Treasures section, The Light of the Dhamma January 1959) also describes how non-restraint of the senses perpetuates the hindrances:

And what is the nutriment of these hindrances? The three evil modes of life (tīni duccaritāni), namely, bodily, vocal and mental wrong-doing. This threefold nutriment is in turn nourished by non-restraint of the senses (indriya asamvaro) which is explained by the commentator as the admittance of lust and hate into the six sense organs of  eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind (cakkhādīnam channam indriyānam rāgapaṭighap-pavesanam).
 
The nutriment of non-restraint is shown to be lack of mindfulness and of complete awareness (asati asampajañña), in the context of nutriment the drifting away of the object (dhamma) — the lapsing of the knowledge of the lakkhanas or characteristics of anicca, dukkha and anattā from the mind, and forgetfulness of the true nature of things is the reason for non-restraint. It is when one does not bear in mind the transiency and so forth of things  that one allows oneself all sorts of vocal and physical liberties and gives rein to full kind. Lack of complete awareness is lack of these four: Complete awareness of purpose (sāttha sampajañña); of suitability (sappāya sampajañña); of resort (gocara sampajañña) and of non-delusion (asammoha sampajañña).
  
When one does a thing without a right purpose, when one looks at things or performs actions which do not help the growth of the Good, when one does things inimical to improvement, when one forgets the Dhamma which is the true resort of one who strives, when one deludedly lays hold of things believing them to be pleasant, beautiful, permanent and substantial, when one behaves thus, then too non-restraint is nourished. And below this lack of mindfulness and complete awareness, lies unsystematic attention (ayonisomanasikāra). The books say unsystematic attention is attention that is off the right course. That is taking the impermanent as permanent; the painful as pleasure; the soulless as a soul; the bad as good.

More than a Bookstore...

Entrance to the Pariyatti Store
After having been by themselves at the warehouse for months, our bookstore/warehouse staff was glad to be able to welcome visitors again on a recent Sunday, when the 10-day Vipassana courses ended at Dhamma Kuñja, the Northwest Vipassana Center just down the road from us.
 
Although at half capacity, it is wonderful that the courses are running again, and it was good to have some people browsing our shelves and display tables again. Should you be in the area and want to physically select some books: on April 4 and 18, and on May 2 we will open our doors again in the morning. It's best to come between 8 and 9:30am, as we accommodate the people leaving the meditation center—and close up again after they have left.
 
Should you like to pay us a visit during weekdays, please call to make an appointment to make sure someone is at the store.
Pariyatti
867 Larmon Road
Onalaska, WA 98570 USA
+1.360.978.4998
Potential Move to Hillsboro, Oregon
 
Expressions of Interest for Future Position Welcome
 
Although we have amazing staff at our bookstore/warehouse in Onalaska, Washington, the views (on Mt Rainier) are stunning, and we love the warm and supportive community of Dhamma Kuñja, we are considering opening another bookstore and moving the bulk of our warehouse operations elsewhere. Over the years we have struggled to find back-up employees in Onalaska, so a new location in an urban center will hopefully provide us with a larger pool to draw from. We might have found a suitable place in Hillsboro, Oregon, and we are currently putting some feelers out, to see whether it would be a good move.
 
Should you live in the Hillsboro area, or be moving there, and working in our bookstore/warehouse on a part-time basis sounds like something you would like to do, we would love to hear from you!
 
The main responsibilities for bookstore/warehouse staff are fulfilling online orders, serving walk-in customers, and collaborating with remotely based colleagues.
 
We are looking for a self-motivated and organised multitasker as the job duties are diverse—they include:
Pulling books for fulfilling orders
Keeping various size boxes in stock
Printing packing slips and stamps for shipping
Accurately weighing filled boxes and entering that information into a spreadsheet
Keeping track of shipping times for USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL, and have the orders out and on time for the couriers to pick up.
Ordering empty packaging
Collecting supplies from our Onalaska warehouse
Putting away supplies in their proper place
Keeping areas clean and organized
Creating sales receipts for money received using QuickBooks
Submitting credit card reconciliation on time to our accountant
Hillsboro site
Why Hillsboro?
The place (third door from the left in the above inset picture) is small and suits our needs, and is located next to the Hillsboro Hall, where group sittings and one-day Vipassana courses are usually held.
 
Fill Out the 'Join our Team' Form

New Audiobook Release Per Chapter

Gotama the Buddha - Son of Earth 
Book cover
The first two of fourteen chapters of Gotama The Buddha: Son of Earth has been uploaded to our website as an audiobook. Wonderfully narrated by volunteer Parag Sampat, the book takes the reader on a journey into the life and the teachings of this Son of Earth-an extraordinary human being who offered his fellow humans a timeless road map to a happy life.

Following the now available Chapter 1 (Introduction) and 2 (Buddhaṃ Saraṇaṃ Gacchāmi) we will slowly release chapters as they become available.
May these recordings be of benefit to many.
Listen to Audiobook or Download eBook
Pariyatti Learning Center Logo
 
“Yathā thambhe nibandheyya, vacchaṃ damaṃ naro idha;
Bandheyyevaṃ sakaṃ cittaṃ, satiyārammaṇe daḷha”nti:
“Here, just as a man who tames a calf would tie it to a post,
He likewise should firmly fix his mind to the object of awareness.”
 
The above simile, well known to old students of S.N. Goenka, starts off (along with its commentarial explanation) the introduction to the end of the middle-part of the Ānāpānassatisuttaṃ (lesson 3.8.4). While the first part (1.4.6 Ānāpānassatisuttaṃ part one—Free from Prattle and Chatter is this Assembly) dwelled on the qualities, or achievements, of the then present bhikkhus and their dedication to their meditation, the last part (3.7.9 Ānāpānassatisuttaṃ part three, Satta Bojjhaṅge—Perfecting the seven Factors of Enlightenment) explained the process of cultivation of the seven factors of enlightenment through ānāpāna and the fulfilment of the four satipaṭṭhānā.
 
Ānāpānassati presents ‘an object that supports the development of concentration.’ That is why the current lesson, the middle part, is vital for any meditator as it defines the application of ānāpāna and how it promotes the full development of the four satipaṭṭhānā (kāyānupassanā, vedanānupassanā, cittānupassanā, dhammānupassanā)..
 
The Buddha explains in full detail the progressive steps for a meditator by linking the different stages of development to the respective four sections of satipaṭṭhānā. A meditator is instructed, while passing through different stages of achievements and in all situations, to ardently maintain at all times awareness along with constant thorough understanding of impermanence. In a special note the Buddha emphatically highlights:
 
Nāhaṃ, bhikkhave, muṭṭhassatissa asampajānassa ānāpānassatiṃ vadāmi
I say, Bhikkhus, one who forgets awareness and does not maintain proper constant thorough understanding does not practise ānāpānassati.
 
This process with the base of sati and sampajāno, brings clear insight of the characteristics of impermanence. Each moment of this unconfused insight is Vipassana: vipassanākkhaṇe lakkhaṇapaṭivedhena asammohato.
 
Reference to the commentary shows that through dhammānupassanā the final removal of the hindrances—nīvaraṇa—gets achieved commencing with the elimination of the first two—sensual desire and ill will. It is essential that this abandonment must be based on experiential wisdom—taṃ paññāya disvā’. This wisdom needs to be cultivated, developed and further increased through developing insight knowledge of Vipassana, the ‘knowledge of impermanence, dispassion, cessation and relinquishment.’
 
Take EtP Lesson 3.8.4
During his life our late teacher S.N. Goenka composed and chanted many verses to express his gratitude towards the Buddha. The course Buddhasahassanāmāvali uses a selection of the verses composed in Pāli as a basis for learning that language. Both the Introduction by Klaus Nothnagel, Pāli teacher and creator of the course, and the Foreword by S.N. Goenka are interesting reads. The former gives a wonderful illustration of Goenkaji composing the verses and how the seed for this course was sown; in the latter Goenkaji details how the verses came to be and which volition we ought to keep in mind should we recite them. The latest verses that have been uploaded are verses 85-88
Ongoing Weekly Reading Sessions

Dhamma Story Time

Mondays, 8:30 p.m. PST/ 5:30 a.m. CET/ 10 a.m. IST
 
These reading sessions are not recorded.
Come and join us live (online)!
Schedule Updates & DST Login Details

Pilgrimages

Pariyatti organizes pilgrimages for Vipassana students of S.N. Goenka. Due to the pandemic we had to cancel our entire pilgrimage program in 2020 but are now tentatively planning to restart in November 2021. The itinerary of Along the Path enables meditators to visit and meditate at the four great places related to the Buddha's life, as well as four other inspiring and important locations in India & Nepal. 
 
 
 
Along the Path (North India & Nepal)
*
November 6–27, 2021
Learn More & Apply for Pilgrimage
In light of the COVID-19 restrictions, the scheduled pilgrimage is tentative. Should it be cancelled before it commences, please rest assured that we will refund 100% of the fees.
How does a monk dwell?
Higher up in this newsletter we saw lack of mindfulness to be perpetuating the five hindrances. In other words, constant awareness will be necessary in order to be able to eliminate the hindrances. In the Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutta  the Buddha's teaching on constant awareness in relation to the mental contents, as regards the five mental hindrances, is worded as follows (excerpt):
 
5. The Observation of Mental Contents
A. The Section on the Hindrances
Again, monks, how does a monk dwell, observing mental contents in mental contents? 
Here, monks, a monk dwells, observing mental contents in mental contents, as regards the five hindrances. 
How, monks, does a monk dwell, observing mental contents in mental contents, as regards the five hindrances?
 
Here, monks, a monk, whenever sense desire is present in him, he understands properly that, “Sense desire is present in me.” Whenever sense desire is absent from him, he understands properly that, “Sense desire is absent from me.” He understands properly, how sense desire that has not yet arisen in him, comes to arise. He understands properly, how sense desire that has now arisen in him, gets eradicated. He understands properly, how sense desire that has now been eradicated, will in future no longer arise in him.
 
Santaṃ vā ajjhattaṃ byāpādaṃ ‘atthi me ajjhattaṃ byāpādo’ ti pajānāti, asantaṃ vā ajjhattaṃ byāpādaṃ ‘natthi me ajjhattaṃ byāpādo’ ti pajānāti, yathā ca anuppannassa byāpādassa uppādo hoti taṃ ca pajānāti, yathā ca uppannassa byāpādassa pahānaṃ hoti taṁ ca pajānati, yathā ca pahīnassa byāpādassa āyatiṃ anuppādo hoti taṃ ca pajānāti.
 
(And so on for the other four hindrances.)
The author of The Five Mental Hindrances advises to base the structure of one's entire life around constant effort:
 
By the “worldling” (puthujjana), however, only a temporary suspension and partial weakening of the hindrances can be attained. Their final and complete eradication takes place on the stages of sanctity (ariyamagga):
 
1. Doubt is eliminated on the first stage, the path of stream-entry (sotapatti-magga).
2. Sensual desire, ill will and remorse are eliminated on the third stage, the path of non-returner (anagami-magga).
3. Sloth and torpor and restlessness are eradicated on the path of Arahatship (arahatta-magga).
...
This widespread harmful influence of the five hindrances shows the urgent necessity of breaking down their power by constant effort. One should not believe it sufficient to turn one’s attention to the hindrances only at the moment when one sits down for meditation. Such last-minute effort in suppressing the hindrances will rarely be successful unless helped by previous endeavour during one’s ordinary life. One who earnestly aspires to the unshakable deliverance of the mind should, therefore, select a definite “working-ground” of a direct and practical import: a kammaṭṭhāna [1] in its widest sense, on which the structure of his entire life should be based.
 
Collected Wheels Publication including 'Five Mental Hindrances'
Five Mental Hindrances and their Conquest—Audiobook
RECOMMEND the Pariyatti Newsletter to your FRIENDS

Donations:  Either one-time or monthly pledge 

Pariyatti is a charitable, non-profit, educational support system for the Dhamma community. Pariyatti exists because of funds donated by supporters.

Please donate now
Donate your Time
Learn more about Pariyatti's mission
Post a book review
Daily Words
 
Pāli Word
 
vijaṭeti — to disentangle, untangle, disembroil, unravel
 
Free guide to Pāli pronunciation & grammar. To listen to the pronunciation in audio, download the PDF to your computer by loading it in your web browser and clicking the download arrow right at the top. Open it in Adobe Acrobat Reader (with Flash Player).
 
Subscribe to Daily Words for inspiration
Itunes App store logo
Google Play App store logo
Facebook Twitter Instagram
vimeo icon
Youtube icon