The Virtues of Redunant Repetitiveness

As beautiful as the suttas are, they can sometimes be very repetitive. It’s easy to rush through some of the repetitions without giving it much thought. “Yes, yes yes, sights sounds, touches, blah, blah, blah.” But there is another way to treat these passages. Treat them as a kind of meditation. Slowly read through each repetition, letting it sink in to your consciousness.

Anyone who indulges in sights, indulges in misery. They are not free from misery.

Anyone who indulges in sounds, indulges in misery. They are not free from misery.

Anyone who indulges in smells, indulges in misery. They are not free from misery.

Anyone who indulges in tastes, indulges in misery. They are not free from misery.

Anyone who indulges in touches, indulges in misery. They are not free from misery.

Anyone who indulges in thoughts, indulges in misery. They are not free from misery.

Anyone who does not indulge in sights, does not indulge in misery. They are free from misery.

Anyone who does not indulge in sounds, does not indulge in misery. They are free from misery.

Anyone who does not indulge in smells, does not indulge in misery. They are free from misery.

Anyone who does not indulge in tastes, does not indulge in misery. They are free from misery.

Anyone who does not indulge in touches, does not indulge in misery. They are free from misery.

Anyone who does not indulge in thoughts, does not indulge in misery. They are free from misery.

-Abhinanda Sutta (SN 35.20)

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