Question on MN 18 Honey Cake Discourse

Hi, I read MN 18 quite a few times but unable to fully get the takeaway from this discourse.

Basically what I understand is that we should be mindful of each object of our mindfulness separately - e.g. be witness of eye as eye, sight as sight, eye consciousness as it arises as eye concsciousness.

That way, we will ensure that contact does not arise, when contact does not arise, feelings does arise & so on…

Is my understanding correct? Or is there some other takeaways from this Discourse that I missed?

Many thanks in advance.


Contact, like the presence of the six sense fields cannot be stopped, even for arahants. They are part and parcel of existence in the human realm, (except for the temporary cessation in saññāvedayitanirodha).
For an arahant contact and all the aggregates only finally cease at death, without rebirth.

What can and must be ended for liberation are craving and ignorance, as in SN56.11, DN15, MN26, and SN12.23, among others.



It seems you have it right and are heading in the direction of seclusion from the senses. There are sutta that refer to contact and give more pieces to the puzzle. Likewise with sutta that refer to seclusion of the senses.

For instance, here’s an excerpt on contact from MN 28

Though the eye is intact internally and exterior sights come into range, so long as there’s no corresponding engagement, there’s no manifestation of the corresponding type of consciousness. Ajjhattikañceva, āvuso, cakkhuṁ aparibhinnaṁ hoti bāhirā ca rūpā āpāthaṁ āgacchanti, no ca tajjo samannāhāro hoti, neva tāva tajjassa viññāṇabhāgassa pātubhāvo hoti.
But when the eye is intact internally and exterior sights come into range and there is corresponding engagement, there is the manifestation of the corresponding type of consciousness. Yato ca kho, āvuso, ajjhattikañceva cakkhuṁ aparibhinnaṁ hoti, bāhirā ca rūpā āpāthaṁ āgacchanti, tajjo ca samannāhāro hoti. Evaṁ tajjassa viññāṇabhāgassa pātubhāvo hoti.

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I’ve recently given a talk on this sutta that you might find interesting.


Thaanks Meggers. I am practising that way but sometimes I just feel lost. Dont know whether what I am practising is in alignment with what Buddha taught. Sometimes it seems a long way to go. Yes today read MN 28 and its a wonderful discourse. Thanks for sharing.

“In alignment with what the Buddha taught” is always a concern isn’t it. I remember being told once, “this is the Buddha’s meditation” and thinking to myself now how could anyone know that.

@sujato gave a nice teaching, I hope you listened to that.

Myself, I have always found taking mindfulness into daily life very handy, but I probably picked that up over years of conditioning from being in Japan. They are a mindful culture still.

Sometimes we have to check our aims and reestablish foundations. Contact (phassa) is certainly something to know and understand well.

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