The influence of perception ~ Bhante Gunaratana

Perception is so influential because in addition to determining the apparent characteristics of objects or mental pictures of objects, such as their color, shape, size, or hardness, the thought that follows perception also judges whether the things we perceive are pleasant, unpleasant, or neither. The Buddha taught that desire or craving arise naturally in an untrained mind when it encounters what it takes to be pleasant, beautiful, or attractive. Dislike or aversion arise when the mind encounters what it takes to be unpleasant, ugly, or repulsive. We generally ignore or pay little attention to what we perceive to be neither pleasant nor unpleasant. As we discover, sensory objects in themselves are not marked with beauty or ugliness, pleasantness or unpleasantness, attractiveness or unattractiveness. It is the thinking about what is perceived that judges or categorizes them and thus guides our responses.


Bhante Gunaratana

from the book Meditation on Perception: Ten Healing Practices to Cultivate Mindfulness


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