This is the final pair in the lower 5 Fetters.
As these fall, so too will the grosser identificatons with the self.

Investigating these two will likely reveal a couple of home truths.

  • That there is no such thing as desire or aversion.
  • That they are the same.


The Gap

A good technique to use in investigating desire and aversion is an extension of what you learned earlier, when you learned about direct experience.

So, to start with, we realize that we are experiencing an unpleasant feeling.
Q: What is a feeling?
A: It is a sensation plus a story.

We are going to separate the sensations from the mental overlay.
This may take a little practice.

This would be one technique;

  • Sit comfortably
  • close eyes
  • scan the body for sensations
  • pick the most prominent sensation
  • focus on that while being aware of encroaching thoughts.
    You are not interested in what those thoughts are about.
    As they approach, just mentally flick them away. – They will comply and float away out of your awareness.

When you can focus on the pure sensation, when the only thought is “wow, this is the only thought present.”
Then ask yourself if you can find any information inherent to that sensation.
Ask yourself “is the information that transforms that sensation into a feeling, is that always and only provided by the mind?”

Now, back to a keen awareness of that sensation.

Now looking for any inclination to distance that sensation.
We are looking for a balance point between the sensation and the urge to end it.

Being aware of it, but not responding to it.

This can be described as being in the gap.

The following video is an excerpt from the 3 continents exploration of the 5th Fetter – Desire & Aversion.

Here is a link to the whole session.