The Release From Perceptual Awareness

Excerpt: DN 2 Potthapāda

The Release from Awareness


[The Buddha]


‘Up to here Poṭṭhapāda,

one is conscious of one’s self

And gradually, one stage after the other,

One contacts the beginning of perception.

This thinking mind is worse for me,

The non-thinking mind would be better.

If I were to incline or force my mind in any way,

Theses perceptions would fade

the knowledge of gross perceptions would arise



Therefore, one does not incline or force one’s mind in any way.

Then, one does not incline nor forces one’s mind,

Then, uninclined and unforced,

those perceptions fade away,

And the knowledge of gross perceptions does not arise.

One contacts Release.


This is how Poṭṭhapāda,

the direct release from perceptual awareness

is understood and experienced, gradually.’



So here, this is probably one of the clearest definitions

on how to enter that state

And at that point

it is really just anything that arises

is just seen with the Four Noble Truths.


In fact, in other suttas,

the Buddha just breaks it down into two:

Seeing the distraction,

and letting it go

That’s it. That’s the Four Noble Truths.         


If we boil it down to the essential

And so, at that point,

the distraction is any kind of little movement of the mind


There is this very clear awareness of nothing

And then the mind starts to begin to incline towards something

And the movement is seen

And that is seen as a disturbance at this point.


And then as this very subtle disturbance is let go of,

awareness becomes so purified

that there is a loss of a sense of presence.


When I first read that, I was very inspired

Because I never knew that was the Buddha’s teaching.


(I knew “nirvana” was the thing in Buddhism,

even though my meditation instructions

were not really explaining what that was.)


I never read about nirodha or cessation

but when I read that, I was very much impressed,

what the Buddha was actually teaching.


The Buddha is not actually teaching mindfulness.

He is actually teaching the way beyond mindfulness.

The complete release from perceptual awareness


That is something not a lot of people know, unfortunately



Bhante then translates the following passage from Pali:


‘This is peaceful, this is sublime,

namely, the stilling of all conditioned things,

the giving up of all becoming,

the extinction of craving,