I’ve gotten back into making dhamma articles, this first one being on a simile that came to me about a year ago that I started using in my discussions about everyday mindfulness with retreatants.
Since I respect the scholarship and understanding of many people here, I wanted to put this up for scrutiny as I have other projects I’ve done in the past. I also want to thank Bhante Sujato for that wonderful essay about Samadhati and jhayati, and how the roots relate to fire(is that kind of great info that got me hooked on coming to discouse in the first place),as that little tidbit I think helped solidify the usefulness of this simile in my mind, along with positive feedback of retreatants.
I am not sure whether I misread the article.
What I gather was that the mindfulness was equated to an ember.
Throughout the Sutta, the extinguishing fire is used as the simile for Nibbana.
Ember is used as the simile of Anusaya (latent factors such as attachment and aversion) waiting to ignite when the condition arises.
Perhaps we can discuss what is the best simile for mindfulness.
I thought the best simile for mindfulness is the breath.
But there is no point of this because mindfulness of breath is the first we practice in Satipatthana.
“I have made up this simile, bhikkhus, in order to convey a meaning. This here is the meaning: ‘The bowl of oil filled to the brim’: this is a designation for mindfulness directed to the body. Therefore, bhikkhus, you should train yourselves thus: ‘We will develop and cultivate mindfulness directed to the body, make it our vehicle, make it our basis, stabilize it, exercise ourselves in it, and fully perfect it.’ Thus, bhikkhus, should you train yourselves.”
“That’s the method there,” the Blessed One said. “It’s just as the apprentice Medakathalika said to the teacher. ‘I will protect myself,’ bhikkhus: thus should the establishments of mindfulness be practised. ‘I will protect others,’ bhikkhus: thus should the establishments of mindfulness be practised. Protecting oneself, bhikkhus, one protects others; protecting others, one protects oneself.