THE CONNECTIONS BETWEEN
THE MIDDLE WAY and THE THIRD TRUTH

Short Version
The way animals use their panoramic senses is intensely mindful, and without sensory indulgence or sensual withdrawal.
The Long Version gives details, references, and develops the connection with orthodox Buddhism.

Here is a dividing line.

Continued from Buddhism, Wheels and Repetitions

The Middle Way and the Third Noble Truth are both about a way to get life to run smoothly, to make it Sukkha. – How can the Middle Way be applied to the Third Truth?

The Middle Way

Buddha's Middle Way is a way between the two extremes of sensual indulgence and sensory withdrawal. It is usually understood as moderation in our mental and emotional approach to life.

The Third Noble Truth

The Mahāsatipaṭṭhāna Sutra's Third Truth is very detailed, it lists sixty steps in the sensory process. It describes something which happens not only with the mind, but also with the eye, the ear, the nose, the mouth and the tactile sense.
Here is a dividing line.

So i wanted to know if or how the Middle Way could be applied to the Third Truth.

When applied to the mind, i could only understand the Middle Way as an attitude to life involving moderation or non-attachment. But there was nothing decisive, nothing definite, just a broad area between two extremes.

When applied to the body, it seemed to indicate taking care of it, not ignoring it or delighting in it. Again, this left a broad area of moderation.

But then i asked myself, could the two extremes of sensual indulgence and sensory withdrawal be applied to the physical senses? – What else could i do with my eyes apart from focusing with them or closing them?

And immediately i thought of how some birds and horses see their entire visual field without focusing on anything special, with their so-called peripheral vision. This was a clear and specific third way.

I call it panoramic sensing.

My first experiments with this are described in the opening paragraphs of Going on the Lookout. At first i didn't think any more about the middle way, i was just curious about how animals used this way of sensing. It took several months, even years, for me to realise that the idea was correct.

Panoramic sensing fulfils the criteria of the Middle Way perfectly. This is a practical expression of The Middle Way. Panoramic sensing is a way of using the senses, without any sensory indulgence or sensory withdrawal.

Please continue with Desire is Dependent on Focusing

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